Occupy Wall Street
I've been saying for some time that progressives need to get off the sidelines and get back into the game. For the last year or so, conservatives have set the national agenda - pushing deficit-reduction at the expense of job-creation and economic recovery. Now it looks like Americans are starting to take action to reclaim our country from the Wall Street bankers who caused the current crisis - and who continue to prosper, in marked contrast to the vast majority of Americans.
I have been impressed by the enthusiasm and engagement of citizens all across America, and I support their widespread opposition to government by the top one percent for the top one percent.
For too long, the vast majority of Americans - the other 99 percent of us - have suffered the most from the subprime mortgage mess, the collapse of the housing market, the financial crisis, and the economy-wide recession caused by Wall Street and the big banks.
Millions of Americans are out of work. Millions have lost their homes, are in foreclosure, or have mortgages that are underwater. Millions of hard-working Americans have lost much of their retirement savings and will have to keep working well into their 60s or 70s. Poverty, unemployment, and income-inequality are the highest they've been in decades.
Programs that help the poor, the unemployed, and the middle class are being cut at all levels of government - and Republicans in Congress are talking about balancing the budget by "reforming" essential entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
At the same time, the Wall Street banks that caused our economic difficulties got bailed out with taxpayer money - and they're making billion-dollar profits again. Taxes on corporations and the wealthy are at near-record lows.
It seems pretty clear to me that all of the suffering and sacrifice of the last 5 years has fallen on the middle class and the poor - and I'm angry that wealthy Americans aren't taking on their fair share of the cost of dealing with this crisis and getting our economy back on track.
I strongly believe that all Americans should share in the sacrifice needed to create new jobs and put our economy on the path to recovery - including the top 1 percent, who have been hurt the least in the current economic crisis and who are the most able to bear the burden of additional sacrifice.
I believe it's time for Americans to step up and take a stand against unfair policies that enrich the top 1 percent while crushing the bottom 99 percent. I believe action is needed to preserve opportunity and ensure that the American Dream remains within everyone's reach.
I don't support violent or destructive protests, but I want all the patriotic Americans who exercise their rights to freely assemble, Occupy Wall Street, and peacefully protest injustice to know that I support you wholeheartedly.
I will be working in Congress to ensure that Congress starts addressing the needs of the "99 percent" and asking the wealthiest "1 percent" to do their share.