The federal government unveiled $800 billion in new loans and debt purchases on Tuesday. The amount included a $200-billion program to help loosen lending to consumers for auto purchases, student loans and credit cards. The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department moved in tandem in the latest bid to reignite the sputtering economy. Altogether, the government's commitments to contain the financial crisis now approach $7 trillion, The Associated Press calculated. "The sums are just unbelievable," Senator Bernie Sanders told CNN. "What impact is it having? Why do we have to spend that money?" Sanders asked. "Meanwhile, middle class families are worrying, how do I stay warm this winter. How do I send my kids to college?" Sanders voted against the $750 billion Wall Street bailout that Congress approved in October. He is a strong proponent of a major economic recovery program to create good-paying jobs.
Sanders agreed with President-elect Barack Obama's call for the next Congress to pass a bold economic stimulus package.
"After years of neglect, our top priority should be a major investment in repairing our crumbling roads and bridges, fixing our schools, reviving our railroads, and making a major financial commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Now is the time to move forward aggressively because each $1 billion investment creates up to 47,000 new jobs," Sanders said.
"If Congress can fork over $700 billion to rescue the Wall Street fat cats from their reckless gambles, why can't we put millions of Americans to work rebuilding our country as we address the severe economic crisis we face?" Sanders asked.