Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, has been working overtime ever since the Occupy Wall Street protests began. He made headlines two weeks ago when he grilled Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke over the “wealth gap” in America:
Since that contentious tête-à-tête, Sanders has ratcheted up his rhetoric, at one point labeling the financial industry as “the most powerful, dangerous and secretive” institution in the United States, reports The Hill. And his twitter account has been working around the clock.
Among the incendiary tweets sent out by his staff this weekend are ones that, of course, bemoan the "wealth gap" in America:
But then the Sanders staff went on to make a dangerous suggestion: customers should simply take their money out of the major banks and put it in smaller ones:
This echoes sentiments spoken earlier by Dick Durbin (D-IL) when he suggested that customers unhappy with Bank of America's $5 debit fee should "vote with their feet:"
Other messages available on Sanders's social networking page offer ideas that he says would “change the system to work for all Americans, not just the top one-percent,” including a Wall Street speculation fee and a cap on credit card interest rates, reports The Hill.
And it does not look like his criticisms for the financial industry are going to slow down anytime soon.
"I think the protesters deserve a whole lot of credit in focusing attention on Wall Street, which in my view, is the most powerful, dangerous, secretive major institution in the United States of America. And the more we learn about Wall Street, the more we learn about their reckless and illegal behavior, the better off we will be," Sanders told the Vermont Reformeron Monday.
Self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
"There is a lot to be said about people coming together at the grassroots level at this time. A lot of people are hurting, we are in the worst recession since the 1930s and this was caused by the greed and recklessness of Wall Street. And what the protesters are doing every day is reminding us of that reality," the The Hill reports Sanders of having said.
It's important to realize that behind all of this fiery rhetoric stands a U.S. Senator who is encouraging behavior that--if acted upon--could cause a run on some of the nation's biggest banks. Runs, of course, can destabilize banks to the point where it has to file for bankruptcy. Several major banks filling for Chapter 11 would almost certainly cause a much bigger nationwide panic.
Is that really an appropriate solution to the "wealth gap?"