Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: What the Tea Party Should Have Been

Finally, the movement America has been waiting for, the movement this country needs, the movement the Tea Party should have been. And it is spreading faster than the Tea Party ever did, and it has become more popular than the Tea Party ever was. Why? Because this movement is directed at the right people in the right places and it is not backed by the very people who have benefited from 30 years of deregulation, market manipulation, sweetheart tax cuts and loopholes, and industry specific taxpayer subsidies. I wrote about who is funding the Tea Party in a previous post. The Tea Party should have been protesting against the very people who were funding them: Wall Street, the Koch brothers, the oil and gas industry, the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries, and all the large corporations who have lobbyists in Washington, D.C. These are they who are writing the legislation that our Congress has been passing for the last 30 years! These are they who have benefited from the tax code and the tax cuts. These are they whose incomes have skyrocketed nearly 300% while the middle class income has stagnated. These are they who contribute large sums of money to our legislators and to whom our legislators are beholden. These are the 1%. These are the constituents of our legislators. Our congress is bought and paid for by these wealthy individuals and large corporations. And if we are to have a government of the people, by the people, for the people, we MUST get the money out of politics.

Dylan Ratigan, an MSNBC host, is spearheading an effort to return our government to the people of the United States and to get money out of politics. I have written many times about the egregious Supreme Court Citizens United decision and the immediate impact it had and continues to have in our elections. Corporations are not people! People are people. Corporations cannot go to the polls and vote, people can. But corporations can give a whole heck of a lot more money towards campaigns than people can. I encourage everyone to go to his site, http://www.getmoneyout.com/, and sign the petition. I applaud Mr. Ratigan and wish there were many more in our media with his fire and passion for transparency and ethics in our elections. The ability of Wall Street firms and corporations to buy off our elected officials, both Republican and Democrat, has created an atmosphere in this nation in which, well, look at the charts in the previous link, unemployment is at its highest level since the depression, but corporate profits are at an all time high. Wealth inequality is the highest it's been since the 1920s. As I've been saying for years, it's all thanks to the Republican policies of trickle down economics.

When the GOP cut the taxes at the top and deregulated, CEOs and Wall Street did not find ways to invest and create more jobs to put more Americans to work or to improve the education system in America. They kept the money, shipped the jobs overseas where the labor was cheaper and pocketed the difference. They created news outlets like FOX news to dumb down the average American so they would listen to their carefully prepared propaganda and never realize where the blame should be placed. Then they created complicated derivatives markets and credit default swaps that eventually led to toxic assets that crashed the economy in 2008. Then the American taxpayers were forced by the paid-for congress to bail out these same firms and corporations that caused, through their own greed and lack of discipline, this economic meltdown.

This is where the Tea Party should have said ENOUGH! But instead, they took funding from the same corporations. They kept getting their information from FOX news because it was comfortable. They brought guns to their rallies and blamed their problems on "the black guy" and called him a Nazi. They wanted to "take their country back". The Tea Party was a joke from the beginning of its inception, because they were only a pawn in the hands of the 1% to keep the status quo going for a while longer. And since the election of 2010, the new Tea Party members of Congress have done more to obstruct and hurt the poor and middle class than any Congress in this country's history! Why else do you think there have been so many recall elections? These folks came in promising to do something about jobs, jobs, jobs, and have YET to do ANYTHING to help a single American citizen find a decent wage earning job. In fact the legislation they have introduced, if passed, would have caused millions to lose their jobs.

Finally, Occupy Wall Street! This is the rally, the movement that the Tea Party should have been. These brave people are angry at the right people, in the right place, and have the right message. That message, in part, is this: those greedy pigs caused the economic meltdown, they've taken our jobs and our futures, and they’ve taken our bailout. They've repaid us with higher credit card rates, exorbitant and extraneous fees, and massive amounts of student loan debt without any prospect of ability to repay. They've kicked us out of our homes. They've taken $3 trillion dollars out of the economy and it's sitting in their private accounts not helping anyone or contributing any good to this country. They took that much money out of our economy because our government is complicit with them and has been bought off by them and has legislated into existence an atmosphere in our nation in which this sort of greed is possible. We are the 99% and we will not be ignored anymore!

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