Wall Street bankers bailed out by middle-class taxpayers now are shamelessly lining up for the biggest paydays ever. Seniors on Social Security, meanwhile, will get no cost-of-living adjustment next year unless Congress passes a bill proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that inflation was flat so Social Security benefits won't go up for a second straight year. Meanwhile, in response to the record-setting pay packages on Wall Street, Sanders revived a push to break up financial institutions deemed "too big to fail."
Wall Street Pay Wall Street banks, investment banks, hedge funds and other financial firms are set to pay $144 billion in compensation and benefits this year, a 4 percent increase from the record-breaking $139 billion paid out in 2009, according to the survey by The Wall Street Journal. "These people are ferocious. These guys are back to the same-old, same-old, paying higher compensation packages than before the Wall Street collapse," Sanders told Sirius/ XM radio's Pete Dominick. "Meanwhile, the people who bailed them out - the middle class - are seeing a decline in their wages." Click here to listen.
Social Security Some 58 million seniors and disabled Americans are looking at another year without a change in benefits. Sanders wants the Senate to vote in November on his proposal to provide an emergency $250 payment. Back on March 3, 2010, Senate Republicans blocked an amendment by Sanders to provide an emergency benefit of $250 to seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities. President Obama supported the amendment. The provision was endorsed by the AARP, the VFW, American Legion and other groups. But only one Republican senator voted in favor of the provision. To read more, click here.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell The Pentagon announced Thursday that it will comply with a court order to stop enforcing its policy barring gays from serving openly in the military. At the same time, the Obama administration asked a federal judge to delay implementation of the ruling that Justice Department contended would "irreparably harm our military and the national security of the United States." To take our new survey on gays in the military and other issues, click here.
Alternative Medicine More than a third of Americans use some sort of complementary or alternative medicine, according to a survey by the National Institutes of Health. Before heading to a conference Sanders hosted this weekend in Vermont. Dr. Josephine Briggs, director of the NIH's Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, talked with Vermont Public Radio's Mitch Wirtlieb about growing interest in the field. Click here to listen.