Sanders assails Wall Street CEOs for entitlement cuts
November 29th, 2012
08:48 PM ET
4 months ago

Sanders assails Wall Street CEOs for entitlement cuts

(CNN) – Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats, derided Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, along with other Wall Street leaders, for pushing for cuts to entitlement programs as a part of the nation's budget negotiations.

"I do have a problem with wealthy CEOs from Wall Street who caused the recession now coming to Washington and saying, if you're old, if you're sick, or if you're poor, we're going to cut your benefits," the outspoken senator said Thursday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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"I frankly think that's obscene," he continued. "We don't need advice from the people who caused this recession through their greed and illegal behavior."

Blankfein told CNN Wednesday that Democrats and Republicans needed to compromise to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff adding that he would be open to moving the top marginal tax rate for families making above $250,000 a year from 35% to 39.6% in addition to cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

The U.S. economy risks falling off the 'fiscal cliff,' a series of automatic federal spending cuts and tax rate increases set to go into effect if congressional leaders and the White House fail to reach a budget deal by a year-end deadline.

"Here you have a guy from Wall Street who is making $10 million, $20 million a year, worth a whole lot of money who along with his other CEO friends helped plunge this country into the worst recession since the 1930s, got a huge bailout," said Sanders.

Sanders comments come as President Barack Obama and congressional leaders met with CEOs and business leaders this week to seek ways to avoid the fiscal cliff, the top economic issue facing the nation. Leaders of the largest companies have indicated they are holding off on hiring and spending because they are worried about Washington gridlock over the fiscal cliff.

–CNN's Ashley Killough and Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Bernie Sanders • Wall Street
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Vermont is offering us a good leader.

    November 29, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    Bernie- Your buddies, Chris Dodd and Barney Franks caused the recession, not Wall Street CEOs.

    November 29, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. Richard Head

    I don't know why those wall st. ceo's haven't been locked up yet or better yet hung for treason. Oh yeah, now I remember. The Orange Bonehead & the gop is protecting them in exchange for millions going into their super-pacs to keep them in office so they all can continue to screw us over until hopefully one day the people in Bonehead's district will wise up & run the Bonehead out of D.C. Blankenstein needs to shut up & get the hell out of this country instead of trying to destroy it. He's lost any rights to say anything about how we should move forward.

    November 29, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. Sandy

    Go Bernie!

    November 29, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  5. NYC REPUB

    Welp....he has a huge point....

    November 29, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Hooray for Bernie Sanders! These Wall Street bums want to steal the money working class Americans have paid into Social Security all of their life to pay for the debt that Wall Street ran up with their reckless investments. This is as bad as the House Republicans wanting to steal from Social Security to pay for the war they started in Afganistan, then neglected to start a phoney war in Iraq, and left the mess for the Obama Administration to clean up with no funding. Both of these groups of crooks should be brought up on charges and locked away. Instead, some states such as mine in TN, keep sending these criminals to Washington. If Charles Manson ran as a republican in the South, he would be elected by a landslide!

    November 29, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. dfeaster

    We should never forget that the rich hold sway over the rest of us and act accordingly.

    November 29, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. Sorensen

    Mr. Sanders should not be surprised. Blankfein and his friends will keep trying to screw the rest of the population as
    long as they think they can get away with it. All the way to the revolution of the financial world, which is no great
    threat to Blankfein and people of his ilk. By that time they will have moved their assets to safer places.
    However, most of them will end as lonely and despised, old men. As they should. Stature and class they will never
    achieve.

    November 29, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. jake

    you want to get back at the ceo's? stop buying the products and services these thieves are pandering to the people. there are a lot of small reputable buisness' that will be more than happy to cater to you. Drive these overpaid thieves out of buisness..the best revenge is to purchase elswhere.

    November 29, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It really makes you wonder what the CEO of this and other wealthy companies are willing to do to help with reducing the debt themselves. What can their companies do to pay more to reduce the debt and help people not need governement assistance.

    November 29, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. SeriousBlack

    Then we go over the darn cliff! Since Corporate America are calling all the shots in Congress we're going over the cliff to change the game. Let's do it!!!

    November 29, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Jesus F. Christ

    Go Bernie, A man who is not afraid to say what he thinks.

    November 29, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  13. LegalizeReason

    "Here you have a guy from Wall Street who is making $10 million, $20 million a year, worth a whole lot of money who along with his other CEO friends helped plunge this country into the worst recession since the 1930s, got a huge bailout," said Sanders.

    Senator Sanders, the sad truth is that these people know no shame. They forget that they failed and had to be bailed out by the taxpayers and then gave themselves big bonuses as if they were still the Masters of the Universe that they
    deem themselves to be. So of course, why not go back to the tapayers for another helping at the trough. Congress needs to start by raising taxes big time on those earning over 1 million and repealing the capital gains tax. We cannot afford to have our "sucessful" citizens like Romney paying taxes at 15% while others pay 39%..

    November 29, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  14. rs

    Sanders is completely right. Why in the world should the burden of Bush's eight year spending spree (much of it lavished on the rich as tax cuts) be paid by people who are either going to need or be on Social Security and Medicare?

    The Republicans haven't figured out yet that trickle down economics produces the fewest jobs in a recovering economy, and does nothing for the middle class.

    They can stick to that line if they like, but 2014 will come and wash them away if they choose to tank the economy AGAIN!

    November 29, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  15. Iamnotfooled

    How can they sleep at night? Greedy.

    November 29, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  16. Ferry

    God bless you Sen. Bernie Sanders. It's very surprising how Americans forgets easily. What America needs is a revolution against greedy capitalism

    November 29, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  17. mgrgurich

    Tell it like it is Bernie!!

    November 29, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. Graham Krueger

    At least someone's fighting the good fight.

    Solidarität, Kamerad Bernie. We're with you.

    November 29, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  19. Dan5404

    Sanders tells it ike it is. Let's figure ways to fund them and be more efficient in cutting waste. Social Security does not add to the deficit, and can be saved with some careful planning. Welfare recipients are not the deadbeats the GOP makes them out to be. Most of them are just poor, sick.or old.

    November 29, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  20. CBR

    Bernie Sanders continues to speak for the 47%. He is well aware that we must find ways to work together to solve the problems that we are facing.

    November 29, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  21. Donkey Party

    Love or hate Sanders, he's 100% correct in his comments.

    November 29, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  22. Lee

    Bernie Sanders is a nut job who couldn't get elected in any other state than the beautiful but loony state of Vermont. People that make a lot of money are not the main cause of our recession. There are some individuals and specific companies that were bad actors but there a lot of thugs that are politicians too. Bernie Sanders has been around long enough to have been working on solutions and he is just as guilty as anyone else.

    November 29, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. plain&simple

    Someone makings tens of millions of dollars a year, receiving government assistance because of your stupidity and greed, wanting to cut government assistance to the working class who have paid for years into the programs for benefits promised if you paid in,wanting to CUT it out ? Wow....how much more can this man want? Go get em Bernie!

    November 29, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. fernace

    I agree w/Sanders that it's obscene for these CEO's to suggest that people who are already suffering, should suffer some more, so that the rich don't have to! What did they do w/their bailouts? They certainly didn't invest in the country & our economy by hiring people! Now they claim it's the "fiscal cliff" that prevents them from doing so! What was the hold up 2-3 years ago? Greed, pure & simple! They certainly are eager to hold on to their "ent.itlements," aka taxcuts, that are supposed to encourage them to create jobs! So much for that idea! Instead they have gone right back to giving themselves huge bonuses & hoarding their $$! I feel like they're helping the extremist GOT-Party to hold the economy hostage, until they can get even by slashing/cutting safetynets people work all their lives to pay for! If any1 is causing us to have to rely on "socialistic" help measures it's people like this & the uncompromising congress, who are forcing us into a corner! Obscene & out of touch!!

    November 30, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  25. Gurgyl

    ........those guys are idiots and making you think of drastic reforms.

    November 30, 2012 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
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