"Having mismanaged the economy for eight years while continually insisting that the 'fundamentals of our economy are strong,' the Bush administration now wants the middle class of this country to bail out Wall Street," Sanders said. "Meanwhile the wealthiest people, those who have benefited most from Bush's policies and are in the best position to pay, are being asked for no sacrifice at all. This is absurd."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set aside one hour to consider the Sanders Amendment to raise $300 billion from a five-year, 10 percent surtax on couples with incomes of more than $1 million and individuals earning $500,000. It is the only amendment being offered to the bill.
"Vermonters and people across America are saying very clearly that this bailout is a bad idea and that the struggling middle class should not have to pay for the greed and excesses of Wall Street. I have received hundreds of calls and more than 2,000 e-mails from Vermonters, almost all of them against this plan. Some 48,000 people all over the country have joined me in signing a letter to Treasury Secretary Paulson opposing any bailout paid for by the middle class," Sanders said.
Sanders also has said that any effective program to help the economy also should re-regulate the financial services industry, include an economic recovery program to put Americans to work at decent wages, and break up huge companies so that there is no longer anything that is too big to fail.
To read the amendment, click here.