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Bernanke Channels Willie Sutton In Assault On Social Security: ‘That’s Where The Money Is’

By Ryan Grim – December 3, 2009

Bernanke

Ben Bernanke has overseen the greatest expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet in its history, pouring trillions of dollars into Wall Street firms at roughly zero interest rates.

His generosity, however, has a limit.

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee today, where he’s seeking re-appointment as the Fed’s chairman, Bernanke called for cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security even as unemployment rises and the middle class is endangered.

Citing legendary bank robber Willie Sutton, Bernanke said of the retirement and health care funds that are the legacy of the New Deal: “That’s where the money is.”

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) sympathized with Bernanke, saying that, because of entitlement spending, “you’re going to be looking at a situation where the Congress will be unable to provide any kind of fiscal discipline because of the mandatory spending. That puts an enormous burden on your plate.”

“Well, Senator, I was about to address entitlements,” Bernanke replied. “I think you can’t tackle the problem in the medium term without doing something about getting entitlements under control and reducing the costs, particularly of health care.”

Bernanke reminded Congress that it has the power to repeal Social Security and Medicare.

“It’s only mandatory until Congress says it’s not mandatory. And we have no option but to address those costs at some point or else we will have an unsustainable situation,” said Bernanke.
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But there are several other obvious options that could make the situation sustainable — including a transaction tax on Wall Street speculation or a slight tax hike on the wealthiest Americans.

Bernanke talks as if increasing taxes on the wealthy simply isn’t an option.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) followed Bennett and pointed out that “there’s only really two ways you can deflect this deficit, and that’s either by cutting expenditures or raising income taxes or other forms of taxes.”

Reed asked him if he could think of other ways, but Bernanke returned to entitlement money as the way to balance the budget.

“Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is, as he put it,” Bernanke said. “The money in this case is in entitlements.”

There’s also money at the very top of the income ladder. Reed asked if Congress would be wise to tax some of it. Full of suggestions when it came to cutting entitlements, Bernanke was suddenly overtaken by a bout of policy modesty.

“Would you take taxes off the table?” Reed asked.

“Those decisions are up to Congress,” Bernanke said.

“Well, your predecessor signaled very strongly that the tax cuts in 2000 were appropriate,” Reed reminded him.

“I have not done that. I’ve done my best to leave that authority where it belongs, with the Congress,” Bernanke said, just moments after telling Congress to cut entitlement spending.

Full article

December 5, 2009 - Posted by | Aletho News, Economics

9 Comments »

  1. Hey you want to support Social Security All you FINANICAL WIZARDS ???? Try TAXING ALCOHOL Like you do SMOKERS..Like I would propose 2.00 Per drink,Can,Bottle,Shot,And SO on, hey Look .45 a Gallon Tax on a SIX PACK is a Joke…Hit them Like you did SMOKERS..You’ll have TRILLIONS,Look at California and what they consume 14 Billion alcoholic Drinks per year and 9 Billion for florida,i can IMAGINE NY,Louisanna,Texas,Vermont,The Carolina’s tennesse,and SO ON on the CONSUMPUTION THERE too……Now at a cost of 175 Billion Per year Just fo its Use to SOCIETY I SAY HIT EM HARD…..

    Comment by DDR | December 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. Well, they could start by cutting off all the Illegal aliens thats sucking the Social security system dry but can’t have that as it will piss off the mexican politicos and kill the deal with the North American Union, don’t see what the mexicans have in it as I see it they stand to lose more than they will ever gain from it. The only way to fix it is to do way with the Federal Reserve as the whole thing with them unlawful and unconstitutional along with the IRS, it too is not a government agency! It’s a Trust thats domiciled in Puerto Rico and the Beneficiaries of this Trust are unknown.

    Comment by Publius | December 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Yeah,DDR, let’s “hit em hard,” by taxing drinks. Who does most of that drinking? The poor and middle class. Let’s make em pay! Extract more money from their miserable little lives!

    Comment by Ron | December 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. The Federal Reserve is only mandatory until congress says otherwise so how do you like them apples Bernie!

    Comment by William Jackson | December 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. Stop the presses! I can’t believe that I’m reading this on this backwater blog. Sorry, alethonews, you’re the best, but this if front page MSNBCCNNFOXCBSABC Breaking Headline NEWS!

    Bernanke reminded Congress that it has the power to repeal Social Security and Medicare.

    “It’s only mandatory until Congress says it’s not mandatory. And we have no option but to address those costs at some point or else we will have an unsustainable situation,” said Bernanke.**

    When I started working Social Security was “fixed” by Alan Greenspan. They taxed me extra my whole working life in order to build up a surplus for the boomers. Another couple of Jewish Fed chiefs later, a multi-trillion dollar bailout for organized crime on Wall Street, and another few wars for Israel, and he wants to take back Greenspan’s deal.

    I am not on Social Security or Medicare, but my mother is. Thanks to those social nets, she is able to live independently and I do not have to pay for her care and medical expenses – something that I could not do. I bring this up just to remind the many young people who see this programs as benefitting only the old, that loss of the benefits to the aged will have tremendous impact on working age people who are already struggling.

    Comment by G Street | December 6, 2009 | Reply

  6. Working Americans only have to do ONE THING, just one.

    Everytime some billionare like Ben or a senator or columnist says the word “entitlement”, cut them off, strike till their fired, go for the Tax Revolt if necessary.

    “Entitlements” are what working people EARN, have we all not learned?

    Billions, nay, TRILLIONS of dollars heading for Israel or the DoD are never, ever called entitlements. Nope: That money is very WELL spent, the price we all gladly pay for the New World Order.

    How about the alphabet agencies? Start with the NSA and CIA and work down the food chain. Again, TRILLIONS and NO citizen oversite of any kind is permitted. The NSA, for instance, can arrest you without warrent just for asking the wrong questions in public. Believe it, Little Pards!

    And the alphabet agencies NEVER protected Americans from a goddam thing, never! September 11, 3001, the prosecution rests. But they EARN their money doing nothing, never fear. That’s all hard work and patriotism.

    But entitlement? Oh god, let’s blame the boomers again, it’s the 21st Century and EVERY SINGLE LIE about the 60s was long ago exposed, but the sheep still believe Fox News so by all means, blame the most downsized generation in history.

    Clue: Four-fifths of boomers were non-college industrial/agriculture workers and what happened to those millions of jobs, and WHEN did it happen? Gosh, how come Cal Thomas never mentions that? How come, in fact, boomers need SS at all? Didn’t they all get a nifty General Motors pension? Oops… yeah, some did, and they all had to displace high school kids at Taco Bell to make ends meet. But the Taco Bell money only SUPPLEMENTS their Social Security (sound familiar?). If Bernake and his Drones get their way, the boomer problem will disappear earlier than SS ever imagined.

    The whole idea, methinks…

    Comment by Franz | December 6, 2009 | Reply

  7. Well, well well. I like DDR’s comment about raising the taxes on a beer, that’ll certainly solve the whole problem of funding the salaries of people who produce NOTHING. We have to keep in mind that taxes on corporations or extremely rich individuals is problematic to the American Dream. Oh, the terror, of suited individuals having to contribute to society rather than raping it. In a just world this would be a non-issue and the people would have risen as one to sit the elite jerks like Bernanke in a prison cell where they belong.

    Comment by Billy | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  8. Bernanke, Pelosi, Obama, Gietner, Gore, just to name a few should be taken to the wood shed and given some Tennessee justice for what they and there likes are doing to the middle class people in Amerika. What they are doing is nothing short of grand theft and treason. There has to be some retribution and it won’t come soon enough.

    Comment by Randy | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  9. Randy they are doing their job. They are stealing every cent they can and lowering the standard of living in North America to that of places like India for example. Meanwhile parts of Indian society change and have more money, higher employment. This is so that once they bring in their NWO all the way there will be no haves and have nots in the masses. We will all be poor and willing to work for a pittance. It is kind of equalizing everything around the globe.

    Dirty Flockers deserve to rot in hell for what they are doing to your once fine country but, really, they are just the nails in the coffin that has been being constructed for the past 120 years or so.

    Comment by Noor al Haqiqa | December 26, 2009 | Reply


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