"Occupy Congress And Change The World!"

Put together a slate of candidates that are honest people drawn from the occupy movement's ranks and elect them to Congress. The first order of business is to take big money out of federal politics. Pass the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 750 and H.R. 1404). A law where political candidates for federal office would raise a large number of small contributions from their communities in order to qualify for Fair Elections funding. Contributions are limited to $100.00. Strictly voluntary by the candidate to avoid legal issues. Require new FCC regulations granting 100% FREE TV air time to all federal candidates who obtain sufficient petition signatures and/or votes to get on the ballot and participate in the primaries and/or electoral process. Allocate certain cable TV channels for the specific purpose of political advertising.

End Political Corruption - End the "revolving door" of politicians and their staffs from ever becoming becoming lobbyists and prohibit all federal public employees, officers, officials from ever being employed by any corporation, individual or business that they specifically regulated while in office.

Clean Up Wall St. - Break up the biggest banks. Reenact Glass-Steagall. Abolish credit default swaps. Derivatives must be traded on transparent exchanges. Tax all Wall St. financial transactions at 1%. Damp down speculation and raise $400 billion a year.

End The Wars - Reduce the military budget by half ($275 billion).

End The Police State - End the Patriot Act

Clean The Air - EPA to STRICTLY enforce the Clean Air Act.

Create Jobs - A ten-year federal program that involves a New Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to create millions of jobs rebuilding America that includes infrastructure banks run by engineers, not politicians to extricate ourselves from the Great Recession now and increase productivity later.

Invest In Education - Begin with the federal government paying tuition and fees for all students, part and full time, who are enrolled in two-year public institutions in the United States.

Make Health Care Affordable And Accessible To All - Medicare For All. Allow Medicare to purchase drugs directly. Give the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) more authority to drive down medical costs. End fee-for-service.

Create A Fair Federal Tax Code - The marginal tax rate ought to be raised to 50 percent on income between $500,000 and $5 million, 60 percent on income between $5 million and $15 million, and 70 percent on income over $15 million. There should be a 2 percent annual surtax on all fortunes over $7 million. The estate tax should be 55 percent and kicks in after $5 million. Capital gains should be taxed at 35 percent. End the home mortgage deduction on all homes over $1 million. End the home mortgage deduction on all second homes. Corporations should be taxed by a variable amount based on the percentage of payroll going to US workers. A small business employing 100% US workers should be taxed somewhere between 15-20% while a company that has completely shifted its production overseas should be in the 50% range. Eliminate corporate loopholes, unfair tax breaks, exemptions and deductions, subsidies, end offshore tax haven abuse. Expatriation of capital should be subject to a maximum tax-rate penalty, with violation considered a felony act.

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Comment by aunitedworld on November 19, 2011 at 10:16pm

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Comment by Mark E. Smith on November 22, 2011 at 12:51am


That's an interesting idea, David, but of course it would require first the ability to elect people (see the discussion http://www.occupycafe.org/forum/topics/when-the-governed-don-t-consent for some of the problems with that, and second the ability to hold them accountable and exercise our will through them during their terms of office, a power that was not granted to us by the Constitution.

Of course we might be able to get Congress to approve the fifty or more Constitutional amendments that would be necessary in order to allow us to exercise our will through our elected representatives, and to have free and fair elections so that we could get people who might represent us elected, but judging by the history of Constitutional Conventions, that would be a lengthy and risky process.

Have you read Prof. Robert Jensen's article about why the Occupy Movement doesn't and shouldn't make demands? Here's a link: http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/freelance/occupydemands.htm

Putting together a list of honest candidates would be easy. Getting Congress to enact laws that would allow those honest candidates to be elected wouldn't be easy at all. It would require that Congress give up the power granted to it by Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution to be the sole judge of the "elections, returns, and qualifications" of its members. Congress has not historically shown any desire to give up any of its Constitutional powers.

In order to get Congress to make the changes that would allow us to elect a less corrupt Congress, we would first have to elect a less corrupt Congress. Do you see the problem there?  ;)



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