Essentially a transcript of Senator Bernie Sanders's 8.5-plus hour speech on the senate floor in late 2010, The Speech: On Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class finds the now-presidential candidate condemning the collapse of the working class at the hands of the greedy, powerful, and malfeasant. Armed with research and statistics, Senator Sanders discusses income disparity, energy independence, our crumbling infrastructure, corporate taxes and refunds, bailouts, social security, the estate tax, capital gains, education, childhood poverty, unemployment, trade policies, the offshoring of American jobs, banking deregulation, the loss of manufacturing jobs, usury, and a host of other public policy matters.
The longest-serving independent in congressional history, Sanders's priorities have remained remarkably uniform over the decades, as has his commitment to progressive ideals and leveling the playing field for middle- and lower-class Americans. The Speech may be easily read as a campaign platform, since nearly all of the issues Sanders has raised in the 2016 presidential race are expounded upon at great length. Moving beyond partisan bickering and rancor, Sanders offers a coherent, sane, and moral plan to restore income equality and ensure economic justice. While many of the statistics, legislation, and decades-long trends cited throughout The Speech are likely to infuriate compassionate, thinking people, Sanders's offers a call to action, imploring the American populace to more fully and effectively engage the political process. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
On Friday, December 10, 2010, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders walked
on to the floor of the United States Senate and began speaking. It
turned out to be a very long speech, lasting over eight and a half
hours. And it hit a nerve. Millions followed the speech online until the
traffic crashed the Senate server. A huge, positive grassroots response
tied up the phones in the senator’s offices in Vermont and Washington.
President Obama reportedly held an impromptu press conference with
former President Clinton to deflect media attention away from Sander'
speech. Editorials and news coverage appeared throughout the world.
his speech, Sanders blasted the agreement that President Obama struck
with Republicans, which extended the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and
billionaires, lowered estate tax rates for the very, very rich, and set a
terrible precedent by establishing a "payroll tax holiday" diverting
revenue away from the Social Security Trust Fund, threatening the fund’s
very future. But the speech was more than a critique of a particular
piece of legislation. It was a dissection of the collapse of the
American middle class and a well-researched attack on corporate greed
and on public policy which, over the last several decades, has led to a
huge growth in millionaires even as the United States has the highest
rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. It was a plea for
a fundamental change in national priorities, for government policy that
reflects the needs of working families, and not just the wealthy and
Finally, Sanders' speech — published here in its
entirety with a new introduction by the senator — is a call for action. It
is a passionate statement informing us that the only people who will
save the middle class of this country is the middle class itself, but
only if it is informed, organized, and prepared to take on the
enormously powerful special interests dominating Washington.
“A rare oratorical tour de force.” U.S. News and World Report
“Bernie Sanders is such a rarity, and people should appreciate what he’s
doing not just for his home state of Vermont, but for the reputation of
all politicians in general.” Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone