Incredulous that Wall Street investment bankers and billionaire CEOs have descended on Washington in the midst of ongoing budget talks to tell Americans that they should "lower their expectations" when it comes to the security of their retirement and future health care, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor Thursday to call out the audacity of corporate-minded millionaires and billionaires, calling them the new "face of class warfare" in the United States.
"I find it literally beyond comprehension, that we have folks from Wall Street who received huge bailouts from the people of our country—from working families in this country—because of the greed and recklessness and illegal behavior, which Wall Street did to drive us into this recession, and now these very same people are coming here to Congress to lecture us and the American people about how we have to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid while they enjoy huge salaries and retirement benefits."
Sanders specifically called out CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, who has recently been making both the media rounds and consulting with lawmakers regarding the ongoing tax and budget debate in Washington during the current lame duck session. Blankfein, one of the highest paid executives on Wall Street and worth hundred of millions personally, made the comments about 'lowered expectations' in a recent evening news interview with CBS and said that average Americans should understand that the US simply can't "afford" to maintain programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The facts of such sentiments, as many economists repeatedly point out, are false, but Sanders said that Blankfein delivered the familiar rightwing trope "with all the sympathy for someone struggling to get by on $14,000-a-year retirement that you’d expect from a Wall Street banker paid $16 million last year."
The chutzpah of Blankfein, whose firm Goldman Sachs directly benefited from the AIG bailout, is large but not surprising.
There is an arrogance to many of these corporate types, especially the CEO's and the hedge fundies, that they're smarter than everybody else, they're harder working than everybody else, and they deserve more than everybody else.
The reality is, the system is rigged in their favor and many of them are ethically-challenged anyway so even if it wasn't rigged in their favor they would steal their way to the top.
Witness Goldman where they sold worthless CDO's to their own clients, knowing those CDO's were worthless, than shorted the very same so that they could make money coming and going.
Why would anybody in government listen to a criminal like Lloyd Blankdfein?
Unfortunately it is because he is rich and he, along with the rest of the 1%, own those guys.
What is good for Lloyd Blankfein is bad for the rest of the country - but that won;t stop the geniuses in charge from giving him what he wants.