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Senate Proceeding on Apr 30th, 2010 :: 1:40:50 to 1:57:05
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James Webb

1:40:29 to 1:40:51( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: quorum call: mr. web understand there is an amendment pending that is not appropriate. are we in a quorum call? i ask unanimous consent to -- a quorum. the presiding officer: a

James Webb

1:40:50 to 1:57:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: James Webb

James Webb

1:40:52 to 1:41:15( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: quorum call is in effect. mr. webb: i understand there is an amendment pending that is not appropriate to set aside if i call up an amendment. is that correct? the presiding offir: an amendment is pending, will

James Webb

1:41:16 to 1:41:38( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: require consent to set aside. mr. webb: having discussed this with the chairman, it says preference not to set the pending amendment aside. is that correct? mr. dodd: it is correct, yes. mr. webb: all right. well, i assume there would be no objection if i spoke about the amendment that i have

James Webb

1:41:39 to 1:41:59( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: introduced, amendment number 3736. mr. dodd: none what sever. mr. webb: i thank the chairman on that. mr. president, i introduced this amendment earlier on another piece of legislation on which it

James Webb

1:42:00 to 1:42:22( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: was not considered germane. i understand there may be some procedural issues with raising it in this particular piece of legislation, but i think it's an amendment that congress needs to pass and that the american people need to have. it's one shot windfall profits

James Webb

1:42:23 to 1:42:43( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: tax on a very appropriately designed group of executives who benefit enormously from the contributions that the american taxpayers made in order to bail out the economy as opposed to bailing out banks specifically. and i will address this

James Webb

1:42:44 to 1:43:06( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: amendment in detail in a moment. but before i do, i would like to point out, as i have every april 30 since i have been in the united states senate, that today is the day now 35 years ago that

James Webb

1:43:07 to 1:43:27( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: south vietnam fell to a communist offensive, and the vietnam war officially ended. april 30, 1975, has aery unique meaning among vieamese and the 2 million americans of vietnamese descent in this

James Webb

1:43:28 to 1:43:48( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: country. it's almost as strong as the way many people feel in this country about b, c and a-d, a clear demarcation line among an effort made for many years to assist an incipient democracy in south vietnam from coming under a

James Webb

1:43:49 to 1:44:10( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: different form of government, just as clearly as we attempted to assist south korea from coming under a form of government that today we see in north korea. and just as clearly as we spent many years and much national treasure preserving the democratic principles in west

James Webb

1:44:11 to 1:44:31( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: germany after the cold war began, with the hope and the eventual result of the unification of that country. this is not a time, all these years later, to debate the merits of the american involvement in vietnam. i'm one who is very proud to have served in that war as a united states marine.

James Webb

1:44:32 to 1:44:53( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: i still believe strongly in what we attempted to do. we've heard from some of the real great thinkers of our generation, asian thinkers such as minister li qun yu of singapore that the attempt of the united states to staunch the

James Webb

1:44:54 to 1:45:15( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: flow of communism in vietnam allowed the other countries in southeast asia, singapore strongly among them, but a number of the other countries in southeast asia, to build governmental systems and free market economies that eventually have had a dramatic impact in

James Webb

1:45:16 to 1:45:37( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: that part of the world. today we see organizations like asean, ten nations of southeast asia having begun to come together and think with commonality about free market principles, different sorts of governments and these sorts of things. a great deal of tt did come out of the position that the united states took during the

James Webb

1:45:38 to 1:45:58( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: vietnam war. this war is not taught in american schools. it goes by so fast in school systems that sometimes it's dealt within a matter of an hour or two. the

James Webb

1:45:59 to 1:46:19( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: contribuons of our men and women in vietnam and in the military are generally dismissed or downplayed. we put 2.7 million american military people into that

James Webb

1:46:20 to 1:46:40( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: country against a very, very capable enemy. we fought for years. we lost8,000 americans on the battlefield we lost another 300,000 wounded. the united states marine corps lost more total casualties in vietnam than even in world war ii. they lost three times as many combat ted in korea, five times

James Webb

1:46:41 to 1:47:02( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: as many combat dead as in world war i. and the experience, becausef the division in this country, went right past the american populace. it's still not plugged into the comprehension, the quality of the service and the quality against a very highly capable

James Webb

1:47:03 to 1:47:24( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: enemy of the results that we brought onto the battlefield, as measured by the standards that our leaders placed upon us. 1.4 million co soldiers -- soldiers -- died in this war by the -- by the admission of the hanoi government in 1995, not by these

James Webb

1:47:25 to 1:47:45( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: arguments about whether body cots coming from the battlefield were inflated or not. 1.4 million soldiers. this was a brutal war. the aftermath of the war is almost never discussed here in this country. it's as if everything ended in 1975. a million south vietnamese, the

James Webb

1:47:46 to 1:48:06( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: cream of south vietnam's young leadership, were put into reeducation camps. 240,000 of them died -- excuse me, 240,000 of them remained in those camps for longer than four years. an estimated 56,000 died. another million vietnamese

James Webb

1:48:07 to 1:48:27( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: jumped into the sea, followed by others, including my wife's family on this d her family was on a boat, having escaped from north vietnam in 1954 and then from south vietnam 1975, facing unknown futures. the soviet union gained a strong foothold, which did not really

James Webb

1:48:28 to 1:48:49( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: expire until the soviet union expired. they were putting into place a command economy and basically a stalinist system. when i first started going back to vietnam in 1991, the system was extremely rigid and could only be called a stalinist system.

James Webb

1:48:50 to 1:49:10( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: but the other piece of this, which a number of people in this country -- and i count myself among them -- have worked assiduously for decades to bring about is the healing of that war here, in vietnam between the

James Webb

1:49:11 to 1:49:34( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: 2 million people of vietnamese descent here in this country and the existing forces in vietnam. this has been a very arduous and successful for the most part process. when i look at the vietnam of today -- and i've spent a great deal of time there not only

James Webb

1:49:35 to 1:49:58( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: during the war but afterwards, i -- i'm very optimistic. i've always believed, in in my younger days as a marine, that vietnam was one of the four or five most important countries to the united states when we look at our relations in asia. and this is evolving, and the country, as our trade relations

James Webb

1:49:59 to 1:50:23( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: have evolved, as our contacts have evolved and as the trust level has evolved, our countries are i think working very well together to assure the stability of this region. so i feel compelled to make these points on a day that has

James Webb

1:50:24 to 1:50:44( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: such a -- an impact on vietnamese around the world and to say that i'm hopeful that with the progress that we have made over the past several years, that we can achieve the objectives that we once were trng to achieve on the battlefield, a strong relationship with a country whose government would become

James Webb

1:50:45 to 1:51:05( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: more open and more mature, with a people who have a tremendous level of not on newership and energy, and in the end a relationship that can assure greater stability in east asia and southeast asia. mr. president, i would now like

James Webb

1:51:06 to 1:51:29( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: to turn to my amendment. this is a very carefully drafted amendment. it's one shot, not a continuing windfall profits tax, whi don't generally agree with. it's a one-shot amendment designed to give the american taxpayers a place on the upside

James Webb

1:51:30 to 1:51:50( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: of the recovery of the financial system that they, quiek frankly, enabled -- quite frankly, enabled. you can understand the anger in thisountry when you look at the results of this hearing the other day that senator levin chaired and you -- you hear the,

James Webb

1:51:51 to 1:52:11( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: in many cases, the irresponsible behavior of some of the executives in the financial sector that brought about the difficulty that brought about our entire economic system. this amendment isery simple t. would provide a one-time 50% tax on boney thawses are abov -- bonuses that are

James Webb

1:52:12 to 1:52:34( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: above $50,000 of any initial bonus paid to executives at fannie mae, freddie mac or financial institutions that received a minimum of $5 billion in a tarp program. it is only for income that was generated through work in 2009 and compensated in 2010. as again, this is a one-shot matter of fairness to balance out the rewards that these

James Webb

1:52:35 to 1:52:56( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: financial institutions received which were enabled by the contributions of the american taxpayers. particularly in the tarp program. we've had estimates that this amendment would recover for our economic system somewhere in the neighborhood of a minimum of $3.5 billion and potentially as high as $10 billion on 13

James Webb

1:52:57 to 1:53:17( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: companies of $400,000 after all the other compensation paid. that's the kind of money that has been paid to these executives. and, again, i needo emphasize that the american taxpayer did not create the economic crisis. they were required to bail out the people who did create it,

James Webb

1:53:18 to 1:53:39( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: and they deserve to share in the upside, because these are the rewards that they themselves enabled. paul krugman, who's a nobel prize-winning economist, wrote in july of 2008 about his concern at the very inception of this economic crisis that we were moving toward a tendency in this country to socialize risk and individualize reward.

James Webb

1:53:40 to 1:54:03( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: in other words, wnever we create a situation where there's an economic challenge, the american taxpayer at large is expected to absorb the risk, but when the reward comes in, only the executives, the people who were managing the financial system, are able to actually get the reward. this particular reward is a

James Webb

1:54:04 to 1:54:25( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: one-shot -- this one-shot tax proposal has come about largely as the result of government interverntion as a result of working people -- intervention, as a result of working people having to put their money forward in order to bail out a financial system that went wrong. and as a result, i believe as a matter of equity, the reward should be shared with the taxpayers who made it possible.

James Webb

1:54:26 to 1:54:46( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: when i first started thinking about doing this, i actually was drawn to an article that was written in the "financial times" which pointed out by -- this actually was last november in

James Webb

1:54:47 to 1:55:08( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: the "financial times," and this was written by martin wolfe, who's a conservative economist. and here you see i think the logic and the equity of moving forward with this type of a windfall profits tax. when you have paul krugman, who's known as a liberal economist, nobel prize winner, and martin wolfe, who's a conservative economist who writes for the "financial times"

James Webb

1:55:09 to 1:55:29( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: agreeing on a principle, you really need to stop and think about it. martin wol, in this article, said -- and i'm going to just read a few excerpts from that article -- "windfall transactions a ghastly idea, so why do i now find the idea of a windfall tax so appealing? well, this time it looks different. first, all the institutions

James Webb

1:55:30 to 1:55:51( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: making exceptional profits do so because they are beneficiaries of unlimited state insurance for themselves and their counterparts. second, the profits being made today are in large part the fruit of t free money provided by the central bank, an arm of the state. third, the case for generous is

James Webb

1:55:52 to 1:56:12( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: to restore the financial so and so the economy to health. is not to enrich bankers. fourth, ordinary people" -- and we need to think about this when you look at the impact, the incredib anger that is in this country after incidents such as the hearings this week -- "ordinary people can accept that

James Webb

1:56:13 to 1:56:37( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: risk takers receive huge wards, but such rewards for those who have been rescued by the state and bear substantial responsibility for the crisis are surely intolerable. our taxpayers, our working people rescued a financial system that was on the verge of collapse because of massive acts

James Webb

1:56:38 to 1:57:00( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: of bad judgment and greed by the very cpanies that are now reaping huge bonuses from the government's intervention. it's not too much to ask those who have been so fully compensated and who have received in excess of a $400,000 bonus on top of their compensation, that they pay a one-time tax and share that

James Webb

1:57:01 to 1:57:07( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: excess on top of their $400,000 bonus with the people who

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