“Ninety-nine percent of all new income generated today goes to the top 1 percent. The top one-tenth of 1 percent owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Does anybody think this is the kind of economy we should have. Do we think it’s moral?” – Senator Bernie Sanders [CNBC]
IN AN interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Senator Bernie Sanders questioned the morality of the U.S. economy, where the top 1% make more than the combined 99% in a country where the middle class is disappearing. Sanders is proposing a Financial Transaction Tax, which would be paid for by Wall Street, to prove he’s serious about changing the playing field.
Hillary Clinton began her campaign making these types of statements, which is how she ended her 2008 campaign. There is no doubt her fight for equal pay is part of this struggle.
Senator Sanders seems to be questioning when you “hustle money,” making multi-million dollar speaking fees and enjoying the lifestyle that comes with it, whether you can relate to people trying to feed their kids.
Perhaps it depends where you began and the life you led growing up? Not to Sanders, it seems, which is a harsh line of attack on Clinton that will likely resonate with people who are looking for an under dog like Sanders whose politics is focused on taking on the entrenched in a way that signals you can cut Wall Street out of the reality of a global economy without harming the U.S. bottom line.
HARWOOD: It came out in disclosure forms the other day that Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, in the last 16 months, have made $30 million. What does that kind of money do to a politician’s perspective on the struggles you were just talking about? Does it make it difficult for recipients of that kind of income to take on the system?
SANDERS: Well, theoretically, you could be a multibillionaire and, in fact, be very concerned about the issues of working people. Theoretically, that’s true.
I think sometimes what can happen is that—it’s not just the Clintons—when you hustle money like that, you don’t sit in restaurants like this. You sit in restaurants where you’re spending—I don’t know what they spend—hundreds of dollars for dinner and so forth. That’s the world that you’re accustomed to, and that’s the world view that you adopt. You’re not worrying about a kid three blocks away from here whose mom can’t afford to feed him. So yes, I think that can isolate you—that type of wealth has the potential to isolate you from the reality of the world.
Sanders also wants the big banks broken up, which is a fault line that candidates inside the Democratic and Republican parties have never dared to mine.