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Sign Sen. Bernie Sanders' petition for amendment to Wall St. bailout

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Go here and sign Senator Bernie Sanders' petition and send to all your contacts. Sanders (Indep. Vermont) wants to add an amendment to this bailout and needs our support. (I've printed it below if you want to read it here).

This is the October Surprise. McCain is out there saying he doesn't want a bailout for the rich or whatever his line of crap is - because the majority of Americans are against this handout (duh!). But Obama and the Dems are going along with it, in their own weak way. This is a bad strategy for the Dems to have McCain look like he's supporting the small guys. Plus this bailout, as is, is just bad.

Sanders has provisions here for the upper 1% (who caused this and can afford to pay) to be forced to pay for this. Sign the petition and, if you can, call your 2 senators, and also call the senators on the Banking Committee (list below) and tell them to support this proposed amendment. Or tell Paulson to shove it. The Dems have to not only stand up against Paulson's & Bush's handout for these loser criminals but must also be PERCEIVED as standing up against BushCo if they don't want to hand this election to McCain. These senators need to hear from us IMMEDIATELY.

Newsroom / Archives

Speak Out on the Bailout -- 09/23/2008

In less than 24 hours, more than 6,600 of you co-signed Bernie Sanders' letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on the Bush administration's $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill. "We are appalled that your proposal puts the cost of this bailout on average Americans; that it contains no provisions reversing failed deregulatory policies; that it allows executives at these failed institutions to continue to make exorbitant salaries and bonuses, and that your proposal contains no help for average Americans who themselves are facing severe economic hardships," the letter says. On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson were met with angry reactions from some senators as they pressed for quick passage of the bailout package. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd told them that the "economic maelstrom" was caused by a combination of "private greed and public regulatory neglect." In Vermont, newspaper editorial pages weighed in on the crisis and what to do about it. "Say what you want about Vermont's Sen. Bernard Sanders," the Brattleboro Reformer editorial began, "but he is right more often than not on economic issues." The Rutland Herald said "the staggering irresponsibility of the financial sector and the failure of Washington to rein in its excesses have borne out the direst warnings from Vermont's senator." To co-sign the petition to Treasury Secretary Paulson, click here.

Financial Crisis

Dear Secretary Paulson:

As a representative of the Bush Administration, you have proposed a financial bailout program of $700 billion - over $2,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. We are appalled that your proposal puts the cost of this bailout on average Americans; that it contains no provisions reversing failed deregulatory policies; that it allows executives at these failed institutions to continue to make exorbitant salaries and bonuses, and that your proposal contains no help for average Americans who themselves are facing severe economic hardships.

While the Administration has quickly rallied to help Wall Street, it has ignored the needs of the declining middle class. Since President Bush has been in office the wealthiest people in this country have made out like bandits and have not had it so good since the 1920s. The top one-tenth of one percent now earn more income than the bottom 50 percent of Americans and the top one percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Incredibly, the richest 400 people in our country saw their wealth increase by $670 billion during the Bush presidency.

Having mismanaged the economy for 8 years while continually insisting that, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong," the Bush Administration, six weeks before an election, wants the middle class of this country to bail out Wall Street to the tune of one trillion dollars.

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.

Any plan to clean up the mess on Wall Street must:

1. Ensure that middle income and working families are not the ones who are paying for this bailout by

o Imposing a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers. That would raise more than $300 billion in revenue over five years;

o Ensuring that assets purchased from banks are realistically discounted so companies are not rewarded for their risky behavior and taxpayers can recover the amount they paid for them; and

o Requiring that taxpayers receive equity stakes in the bailed-out companies so that the taxpayers' assumption of risk is rewarded when companies' stock goes up. Taken together these three provisions will substantially reduce the likelihood that this bailout will end up on the backs of average American taxpayers.

2. Include a major economic recovery package which puts Americans to work at decent wages. Among many other areas, we can create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and moving our country from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Further, we must protect our must vulnerable families from the very difficult times they are experiencing.

3. Repeal the disastrous de-regulatory legislation that facilitated this crisis.

4. End the danger posed by companies that are "too big too fail," that is, companies whose failure would cause systemic harm to the U.S. economy. If a company is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. We need to determine which companies fall in this category and then break them up.

In closing, we believe it is appropriate to act quickly to address any systemic danger to our economy. But that does not mean that we need to give a blank check to the financial sector.


Senator Bernie Sanders

Citizen Co-Signers

To read more about Bernie's plan to pay for any bailout with a surtax on the very wealthy, click here.

Congress numbers and Senate & House Banking Committee Members

Here is the main number for Congress - the Senate and House - in Washington, DC. 202 225-3121

Toll-free numbers, sponsored by a variety of sources, come and go, so this list may not be current (although we try to update it often). If you find dead numbers here, or know of numbers we could/should add, drop an email to thom at

1 (800) 828 - 0498

1 (800) 614 - 2803
1 (866) 340 - 9281
1 (866) 338 - 1015
1 (877) 851 - 6437
1 (800) 459 - 1887


Christopher J. Dodd Chairman (D-CT)
Richard C. Shelby Ranking Member (R-AL)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Robert F. Bennett (R-UT)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Wayne Allard (R-CO)
Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI)
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Mel Martinez (R-FL)
Robert P. Casey (D-PA)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Chairman Barney Frank represents Massachusetts' Fourth Congressional District. The other Democratic members of the Committee are:
Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, PA Rep. Maxine Waters, CA Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, NY Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, IL Rep. Nydia M. Vela'zquez, NY Rep. Melvin L. Watt, NC Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, NY Rep. Brad Sherman, CA Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, NY Rep. Dennis Moore, KS Rep. Michael E. Capuano, MA Rep. Rube'n Hinojosa, TX Rep. William Lacy Clay, MO Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, NY Rep. Joe Baca, CA Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, MA Rep. Brad Miller, NC Rep. David Scott, GA Rep. Al Green, TX Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, MO Rep. Melissa L. Bean, IL Rep. Gwen Moore, WI Rep. Lincoln Davis, TN Rep. Paul W. Hodes, NH Rep. Keith Ellison, MN Rep. Ron Klein, FL Rep. Tim Mahoney, FL Rep. Charles Wilson, OH Rep. Ed Perlmutter, CO Rep. Christopher S. Murphy, CT Rep. Joe Donnelly, IN Rep. Bill Foster, IL Rep. Andre Carson, IN Rep. Jackie Speier, CA Rep. Don Cazayoux, LA Rep. Travis Childers, MS

Republican Members Rep. Spencer Bachus, AL Rep. Deborah Pryce, OH Rep. Michael N. Castle, DE Rep. Peter King, NY Rep. Edward R. Royce, CA Rep. Frank D. Lucas, OK Rep. Ron Paul, TX Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, OH Rep. Donald A. Manzullo, IL Rep. Walter B. Jones , NC Rep. Judy Biggert, IL Rep. Christopher Shays, CT Rep. Gary G. Miller, CA Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, WV Rep. Tom Feeney, FL Rep. Jeb Hensarling, TX Rep. Scott Garrett, NJ Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, FL Rep. J. Gresham Barrett, SC Rep. Jim Gerlach, PA Rep. Stevan Pearce, NM Rep. Randy Neugebauer, TX Rep. Tom Price, GA Rep. Geoff Davis, KY Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, NC Rep. John Campbell, CA Rep. Adam Putnam, FL Rep. Michele Bachmann, MN Rep. Peter J. Roskam, IL

Rep. Kenny Marchant, TX
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, MI Rep. Kevin McCarthy, CA Rep. Dean Heller, NV


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