Give Me a Break

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to extend through the end of the year unemployment insurance and help make  health care coverage affordable. It passed overwhelmingly, although some senators voiced dire warnings about the deficit. Indeed, as Senator Bernie Sanders has said, the projected $1.6 trillion budget deficit is a very serious problem. It must be addressed. He has suggested ways to do so. He has called out deficit hawk phonies, however, who conveniently forget their deficit qualms when they want to eliminate the estate tax on American’s most fortunate families, for example. In Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Sanders accused the paper’s editorial page of the same kind of double talk. “Let me get this straight,” he wrote to the Journal. “You oppose a $250 one-time payment for seniors struggling to cope with spiraling health-care costs during the first year since 1975 that there will be no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, but you barely batted an eye when Congress sank $700 billion into a bailout for Wall Street bankers.

“You liked the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy so much that you derided the worry warts ‘spooked by the charge of deficit spending,” he continued in the letter to the Journal.  “You have been an unabashed cheerleader for ending the estate tax on the country's most fortunate families, without a peep of protest about digging us all deeper into debt. You back the unpaid for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are costing trillions of dollars.

“Give me a break,” he concluded.

To watch Bernie discuss deficits at a recent Senate Budget Committee meeting, click here.