Vermont Voices

The $700 billion Wall Street bailout proposal President Bush wants to ram through Congress is running into solid opposition in Vermont and around the country. More than 32,000 of you have cosigned a letter posted here to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson insisting that "any plan to clean up the mess on Wall Street must ensure that middle income and working families are not the ones who are paying for this bailout." The senator's office

The $700 billion Wall Street bailout proposal President Bush wants to ram through Congress is running into solid opposition in Vermont and around the country. More than 32,000 of you have cosigned a letter posted here to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson insisting that "any plan to clean up the mess on Wall Street must ensure that middle income and working families are not the ones who are paying for this bailout." The senator's offices in Vermont and Washington have fielded hundreds of calls and received thousands of e-mails like these: "We are absolutely sickened by the prospect that honest, hardworking, fiscally responsible middle class Americans will have to foot the bill for the Wall Street bailout," wrote a couple from Rupert.. "I'm among the Americans outraged at the undisciplined, arrogant, reckless nature of the markets," a constituent from Springfield, Vt. said. "After pulling down six-, seven- and eight-figure bonuses for flying their respective companies into the ground, these Wall Street geniuses then pull their golden parachutes and leave it up to the taxpayers to clean up the mess and pay their bills. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable," an exasperated person from Fairfield told Bernie.

Fairfield, VT
Dear Senator Sanders,
This e-mail, and words themselves, cannot express the dismay and disbelief I feel about the current Wall Street crisis and proposed bailout. After pulling down six-, seven- and eight-figure bonuses for flying their respective companies into the ground, these Wall Street geniuses then pull their golden parachutes and leave it up to the taxpayers to clean up the mess and pay their bills. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.
And to make a bad situation tragic, due to the ever-escalating Federal deficit, the bill will be paid by my children and grandchildren.
I wish I had a solution to offer you, but I don't. All my life I've strived to live within my means and pay my debts. I guess the joke's on me - except I feel more like crying than laughing. Unbelievable.
Springfield, VT
Hold fast, Bernie. It took a long time for the banking crisis to develop; don't be pressured into capitulating to a half-baked solution. I'm among the Americans outraged at the undisciplined, arrogant, reckless nature of the markets. Many of us have been quietly toiling away at our workaday jobs and now our wages--our fiscal support of the federal government--are all that's between Wall Street and economic free fall. Keep reminding them of who's finally paying the price for their avarice.

Thank you.

Chester, VT
I may not always agree with you on every topic, but I most certainly agree with you on opposing the current (or any future) bailout package for private corporations.
If I could ask you to share a message with your peers it would be this; You do not have my permission to take any...ANY...not so much as a single near worthless penny…. of my hard earned money to reward the people who have mismanaged their businesses.
Senator Sanders, thank you for opposing the bailout package.

Rupert, VT
We are absolutely sickened by the prospect that honest, hardworking, fiscally responsible middle class Americans will have to foot the bill for the Wall Street bailout. While we realize that something must be done to prevent further damage we have a problem knowing that the very people who caused the problem will literally sail off into the sunset on their yachts. Some type of strictly defined framework must be established to protect our tax dollars from being further pilfered by the greedy denizens that are at the center of this crisis. Also, what about some accountability for what has already been done? What about being forced to pay back the obscene bonuses and salaries earned in the course of this unprecedented example of unscrupulous pillaging??
So many Vermonters are struggling to provide their families with the basics right now. It's hard to imagine how something as far reaching as this crisis has become, could have happened.... Yeah, let's hand over social security next!
Please do what you can to insist that the bailout be done with strict oversight.
Thank you.

Waterbury, VT
Senator Sanders, you and I may seem to be very different. You are the only one who calls himself a socialist in the Senate. I am in favor of free markets and capitalism. However, we can agree on one thing. The privatization of profits and the socialization of losses is immoral and wrong. To bail out the well-connected on Wall St., those who thrive on government regulations and monetary policy, is unconscionable. I urge you to reject the bailout of Wall Street that …Bush, Paulson, and Bernanke propose.

Richmond, VT
Dear Bernie,
My wife and I are both sixty-six years of age. We both retired this past January.
For the past eight years we have lived under one of the worst administrations in U.S. history. This administration is now asking Congress - just a few weeks shy of one of our most important national elections - to approve a massive financial bailout without strong protections for the American people.
As two people who have worked hard all of our lives and who have saved for our retirement, we strongly urge you not to get caught up in this panic attack and to ensure that you give taxpayers strong protections before approving Henry Paulson's bailout.
As always, we appreciate your support.

Newport, VT
Dear Bernie: Thanks for all you do for Vermonters and the nation. I'm sure you know that if this bailout plan is rushed through, it will make it that much more difficult for the next administration to address our already dire problems such as education and health care.

Brattleboro, VT
Please vote against any bailout of these investment concerns that have made risky, unwise actions and now expect us to cover their mistakes. The Bush administration began with the Enron debacle and it seems now that scheme to deprive hard-working Americans of their money is being applied to the country as a whole.
Congress has already given over sizeable authority to the executive branch via the Patriot Act in the wake of 9/11; it has no right to give the White House and its Secretary of the Treasury the power to transfer the people's money to the richest bankers in the country. Vote No to the Bailout legislation.
…The Bailout legislation is being rammed through Congress in a matter of days. The Legislation allows the Treasury Department to appoint the same bankers who created the crisis to administer and dictate the use of trillions of our tax dollars. It is also one of the biggest transfers of wealth from working families to the ultra-rich in the history of the United States.
The priorities of the current administration are not for the poor or disadvantaged but for the wealthy. This is a national tragedy.

Burlington, VT
We know that you are a leader in this and are very appreciative. We are very concerned about the Bush administration's proposed bailout legislation. We don't believe that extremely wealthy investment bankers who engaged in irresponsible risky behavior deserve to be bailed out. We would like to see you craft or support legislation that provides relief to homeowners facing foreclosure and middle-class people about to retire, for example. Please do not force middle class folks in general to pay for the efforts of the wealthiest people among us to further enrich themselves.
We hope Congress will not rush to pass legislation that it and the American people will regret for a generation.

Saint Albans, VT
Senator Sanders,
I know you're busy, but I just want to express my opposition to the latest bailout of the mortgage industry. While I don't want to see the economy crash and burn, I also don't want to see the banks, and bankers responsible, just be able to wash their hands, and walk away, while leaving generations of Americans paying for their mess.I feel if we need to purchase these "bad Debts", we should do so in true venture capitalist fashion and offer pennies on the dollar. Just enough so the banks don't fail, but not enough for them to show any type of profit. In addition there should a proviso denying any officers of any of the banks that accept this bailout, any sort of bonus. Then once the government has taken control of a loan, there should be an offer made to the homeowners involved to given a fixed rate loan they can afford with the government acting as lien holder.
I know this would cause a great gnashing of teeth on the bankers, and Phil Gramm's part, but I'm surprisingly o.k. with that.
Thank you for your time and service.