Everything Bernie Sanders Predicted In 2010 Has Come True Or Will Come True

I had never read Senator Bernie Sanders’s book The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class. Recently, I decided I better read it. The book is, in a sense, a visual text of an eight hour filibuster Sanders conducted in 2010 over a budget agreement that included extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

I’m so glad I read it. This book completely opened my eyes and connected all the dots for me. Hell, I didn’t even know Sanders conducted a filibuster until I heard of the book itself.

After reading the book, I watched the entire filibuster. All eight and a half hours of it. The filibuster included Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and former Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), both of whom sided with Sanders in opposing the extension of the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.

In his passionate address, Sanders asked a basic question every American should be asking themselves, even today: Why would we extend massive tax cuts to the wealthiest individuals when it will add more to the debt and deficit, widen the income gap, strain our resources to invest in education and infrastructure, and deny coverage for disabled vets?

Why can’t we give disabled and wounded vets a $250 check to help with medical costs, but we can give Goldman Sachs $600 billion? Why can’t we invest $2.2 trillion in our infrastructure, but we can give Morgan Stanley $2 trillion? Sanders made that point very clear, numerous times, throughout his speech. Think about it. While Republicans tell us we can’t afford to invest in our own nation, we can certainly invest in corporate conglomerates that crashed our economy.

Sanders also hit the nail on the head when he said, “The Republicans will tell you: Oh, we have a great plan to deal with it [deficit and debt]. We are giving tax breaks to millionaires. But now what we are going to have to do is start making deep cuts in Social Security, and that deficit reduction commission started paving the way for that, very substantial cuts in Social Security.” And what have we seen from Republicans in 2012, 2013, 2014 and this year? Plans to cut Social Security. In 2010, Sanders called it: Republicans will justify paying for these tax cuts by cutting Social Security benefits.

Five years ago, Bernie Sanders delivered a historic filibuster on corporate greed. Today, almost everything he predicted came true, and other predictions are on the horizon. For instance, he said, “I believe in the coming months you are going to see an intensification of efforts to expand unfettered free trade. I think that will be a continuation of a disastrous policy for American workers.” It took five years, but now it’s just a hair away from being a reality – the TPP.

My, how things really haven’t changed in the last 5 years. Everything Sanders stood for, affordable education, affordable healthcare, expanded infrastructure, etc. the Republicans have opposed and blocked. He said during his filibuster that the Republicans next move would be getting rid of the estate tax. Well, earlier this year, Republicans voted to do just that.

Sanders said , “I think if our goal is to create the millions and millions of jobs we need, and if our goal is to make our country stronger internationally in a very tough global economy, I would much prefer, and I think most economists would agree with me that a better way to do that, to create the millions of jobs we have to create, is to invest heavily in our infrastructure.”

What did the Republicans do? They filibustered meaningful infrastructure legislation. Then they had the audacity to say the Keystone XL Pipeline was an infrastructure plan for America. No roads, nor bridges, nor dams or railways…a pipeline.

I tend to follow the idea perfectly summed up by Sanders:

“This is the United States of America. Maybe I am old-fashioned. I think we can do it too. I think we can rebuild our rail system, make our country more efficient and create jobs.”

Sanders said, “Right now, it is extremely difficult for middle-class families to send their kids to college. Does anyone have any doubt whatsoever that our Republican friends are not going to come back here and say: Oh, we cannot afford to raise Pell Grants as we have in recent years. We cannot afford to support working families who have their kids in childcare. Cut. Cut.Cut.”

And what did Republicans do? Just 2 months after Sander’s speech, they voted to cut from Pell Grants and childcare the year after. But at least they got their tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

So let’s break this down.

Senator Sanders said the Republicans would pay for these tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires but cutting from Social Security. The voted to do just that. He said the Republicans would offset the cost by voting to cut Pell Grants and child care. They voted to do just that. He said they would hold infrastructure spending hostage. They did just that.

Long story short, Sanders has been 100% right in the last 5 years. Republicans got their tax breaks for their richest friends, and everyone else has been screwed over.

Sanders finished his filibuster with this simple call to action:

 “If the American people stand up and say, we can do better than this, that we don’t need to drive up the national debt by giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, that if the American people are prepared to stand — and we’re prepared to follow them — I think we can defeat this proposal. I think we can come up with a better proposal which better reflects the needs of the middle class and working families of our country and, to me, most importantly, the children of our country.”

Don’t bet on any Republican doing this.

Watch clips Sanders’s filibuster here, courtesy of CSPAN:

Image is a screenshot