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June 18, 2009

Why Is a "Socialist" Trying to Save Capitalism?

Vermont's junior Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) continues to make his presence known in the U.S. Senate. Earlier this year, he made national news when he told Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, "If an organization is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.”Bernie_Sanders

This week, Sanders was named by Newsweek as one of six Senators pushing back against some of Pres. Barack Obama's economic reforms in an article provocatively titled, "The Insurgents: The Secret Battle to Save Capitalism."

 The other five senators mentioned in the article — all Democrats — are Maria Cantwell of Washington, Carl Levin of Michigan, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Dianne Feinstein of California and Jim Webb of Virginia. They and Sanders met with Obama and members of his economic team in the White House.

Here's how the article portrayed the battle between this sextet and Obama's economic team:

The internecine war of wills between the insurgents and the White House economic team has occurred mostly out of sight. But it is part of a larger battle for the future of the financial system — and in some ways capitalism itself. At issue is whether the financial landscape — the size of Wall Street firms, who regulates them and the kinds of things they will be allowed to trade — will look much different once the crisis passes. These senators fear it won't unless they are vigilant.

Author Michael Hirsch singled out Sanders for his efforts to get financial giants such as Citigroup and AIG broken up into smaller firms to avoid them continuing to be "too big to fail."

In fact, Cantwell and Sanders joined forces to put a hold on the nomination of Gary Gensler, Obama's choice to run the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

As Hirsch points out, the commission was "the key regulatory body that in 1998 had fought unsuccessfully under Brooksley Born to rein in derivatives trading. Born's efforts were beaten back by the Democratic administration under Bill Clinton, including Gensler, who as Treasury undersecretary had opposed regulation of credit default swaps. Those are the financial instruments that later brought AIG—and much of the financial system—to the brink of meltdown."

In other words, the people from the Clinton administration who helped bring about the financial crisis through deregulation or a laissez-faire approach are being put into similar posts during the Obama administration.

Ah, yes, change indeed.

Would Bernie apply the same standard -- too big to fail, too big to exist -- to institutions that he loves, such as government and national single-payer health care? Obviously not. His mantra would only apply to private institutions, of course. Government will always be fed, made larger, and bailed out.

Is your critisism of your Jew Master Sanders opportunistic (given your lengthy support of him) or do you find yourself flanked by him, ideologically? Can one report on one's own "comrades"?

When Bernie was in Stowe talking about Obama and Wall Street he said the following (note the emphasis)

“I like President Obama. I think he is a smart man and his worst day in office will be better than President Bush’s best day,” Sander said. “But we deal with thousands of issues and we don’t agree on everything. I think Obama should be tougher on Wall Street and I was disappointed that many of the people on his economic team, such as Geithner and Larry Summers, were put in place to solve a problem they helped create.”

Sanders said Obama may be timid toward Wall Street for fear that, if he pushes financial leaders too hard, “they may have a capital strike, stop investing in America and hurt the economy.”

“In one sense, Obama is the most powerful person the world — that is, except for those on Wall Street,” Sanders said. “And these people don’t give a damn about the country or about Vermonters.”

"Double Standard" seems to be hoping for the failure of the American government. How patriotic. Patrick Stanton doesn't realize Shay was being critical of Obama, not Sanders.

Note to Patrick- the injection of your personal obsession with Judaism into all your comments is unproductive and off topic. You hate Jews. We get it. Maybe you should start your own blog and confine your hate-speech there.

You're both lucky that as a web editor, Cathy Resmer has a lot more patience than I do. Personally I'd delete the first two comments for their offensive nature and lack of merit.

Bernie is absolutely correct. In fact there is no institution "too big too fail" but the perception that some are is carefully conceived by the banks to hold the nation for ransom. Breaking up the banks is exactly the right thing to do.

does ANYONE truly know and understand what a socialist or socialism is about??? do not confuse this with communism. in europe, there are several western european countries that are run under socilist ways. let me tell you, for one, I know germany and france are a few. when I was staioned overseas in germany as an army dependent, (after also having been active duty) a partial government run state/country has health care where I was able to go to ANY doctor, with a co-pay on meds, a by the law of 38 hrs of full time and a 30 day paid vacation, in addition to some holidays which were paid as well. mom and pop stores were predominant and some larger box stores existed as well. along with various sizes of corporations. the only difference was a better control of the government, and although some of it did not fit into the freewheeling scamming of larger corporation siphoning off of the local people, there was a better control over how capitalism, which DOES exist under socialist states, is more evenly distributed. In other words, the middle class is more pre-dominant than the lower/poverty classes and the rich class. even after the wall dividing eastern and western germany came down, due to Prez. Reagan there was a problem for awhile in the adjustment of one part (the east) having been withheld decades of progress) flooding into the modern day ways of the western german economy. In a decade, the have merged well, kept the history of ups and downs alive, so that it may not happen again. Now germany has joined forces with several other european countries to form the European alliance. not much different form the political standpoint of the U.N. There is ONE currency now in circulation, the Euro dollar, and an alliance in other ways, yet each country still governs itself. socialism is an inbetween from the unruly and uncontrolled ways of capitalism (ABSOLUTELY NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH OUR MOST PRECIOUS DEMOCRACY) and quite the distance away from ever becoming a communist country. the concept of capitalism is too strong to allow the people to accept, without a real tough fight to be converted into a completely controlled government country. No different than what we are going through now. WE THE PEOPLE.... would NEVER accept a total government to control us. I would very highly suspect that there would actually be a revolution, as many other countries have had, and similiar to the one our country has had to excerpt our independence from Britain only a few short centuries ago. In conclusion, before anyone decides to make a comment about an article, which does not go into the details of the history (as most articles are only designed to highlight a specific moment in the news), RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. then perhaps not only will you learn something new or refresh your memories, you will not become part of the mudraking of the media hype to use propaganda for or against a cause. The media is only as good as the people who read it.

On the comment by Haik Bedrosian in regard to the comments by Patrick Stabton, I will whole heartedly agree that ".personal obsession with Judaism .." is completely out of line to this blog or a few other ones Mr. Stanton has commented on, such as the one about the Abenaki in VT. For the readers and those who wish to respond to a particular article, please leave your prjudices of others out of the cmments and stick to the article and issue at hand. If yo still feel you need to voice your personal obsessions about a person, race, gender or practicing faith, go find a group who specifically is geared towards such subject. Peoples opinioons DO matter, as well as the !st amendment. However, more than a written law, how about the law of nature to not tread on me or anyone else's rights to existance!!!!! Nolka

Yes, I know the nature of Shay's post. I would say that his critisism of Obama is equally self-contradictory, but his, even apparent, questioning of Sanders is not something Shay is known to do in person, hence my response. Also, Haik, I can't believe an ARMENIAN is accusing me of anti-semitism! (We should probably watch out for other unexplained phenomena now...)On Resmer, is she a Jew? I don't have her on the "master list" of local elders of Zion, you know...
You found the 1st Amendment in your civics book, mazel tov!
Jump in anytime, shabbes goy...
Free Von Brunn,

Good luck to you Patrick. I hope you get well someday.

Patrick as well as all other bloggers-

No civics book if I ever had one in school. many decades inder my belt, I have been brought up to be interested in other cultures and religions, and am most grateful to my parents for this encouragement. throughout my travels to other countries and in life, I cannot imagine to have anyone or anything the same or similiar. Yes, I DO see color, and tose of peoples around me. it would be boring if we did not see different colers/shades in peoples skin, even hair..... etc. On the subject of B. Sanders, I have found him to be very much for his people in the state of VT, to be interested in their welfare, as in living conditions, not handouts. basically, I would have to agree that any company or large entity that is too big, can and most likely will fail. oversight is lost and the ball gets dropped. failure is inevitable if those above everyone else continue to act as if they are the only ones in the company and those of a supervisory nature, not CEO/upper executive status, as well as the workers have literally been conveniently forgotten.

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