TOGETHER WE CAN follow the example of the Tea Party, and take back the government for the people.
David and Charles Koch are two of the nation’s wealthiest business persons. They did not become that wealthy by making stupid decisions.
One of their best investments, ever, was the funding of the start of a new movement called the Tea Party. The Kochs, or someone advising them, recognized that a significant proportion of our population is upset with what they see happening in our nation and would like to have an opportunity to demonstrate their frustration.
So the Koch brothers helped to fund the beginning of this movement of frustrated individuals, called The Tea Party.
It is not surprising that many of the non-wealthy 90 percent of the people would be upset and frustrated. With the top 10 percent of our people and Corporate America owning more and more of the total wealth of our nation, while everyone else sees their incomes stagnate or declining it is understandable that people are upset. Thank God they are! The last thing we need in America is a complacent population.
As those Tea Party members looked at whom to blame, there was only one obvious culprit - the federal government. So the simple answer was, to cut back the federal government by reducing government spending - and reducing taxes.
By enrolling a large number of frustrated voters, the Tea Party had a significant influence in the most recent election and it now is a major influence in our government, particularly the Republican Party. Their power is intoxicating.
As is so frequently true, their simple answer may appear to be the best answer for the Koch brothers, but it is exactly the wrong answer for 90 percent of the people.
The best thing for the Koch brothers, and the rest of the wealthy and Corporate America may appear to be to continue to cut taxes to the rich, and cut services for the people - exactly what the Tea Party advocates. The worst thing for the other 90 percent is to continue to cut services to the people, and continue to cut taxes for the rich.
The Tea Party has shown us what can be done when the people get sufficiently upset. It is up to the rest of the nation to learn from their example, and take back the government so that it serves the 90 percent of the people that combined have less than 20% of the nation’s financial wealth and are struggling.
Those of us who care about our country, need to follow the example of the Tea Party. We need to organize and make our voices heard.
Since I started to write this book, a new organization has sprung up to challenge the Tea Party proposals. It is called the Contract for the American Dream. It takes its name from a speech by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 1963 march on Washington, when he said, “I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream.” The movement already boasts over a quarter of a million signers, and is growing every day. Here is the movement’s statement:
“We the American people promise to defend and advance a simple ideal: liberty and justice for all. Americans who are willing to work hard and play by the rules should be able to find a decent job, get a good home in a strong community, retire with dignity, and give their kids a better life. Every one of us - rich, poor, or in-between, regardless of skin color or birthplace, no matter their sexual orientation or gender - has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is our covenant, our compact, our contract with one another. It is a promise we can fulfill - but only by working together.
"Today, the American Dream is under threat. Our veterans are coming home to few jobs and little hope on the home front. Our young people are graduating off a cliff, burdened by heavy debt, into the worst job market in half a century. The big banks that American tax-payers bailed out won’t cut homeowners a break. Our firefighters, nurses, cops, and teachers - America’s everyday heroes - are being thrown out onto the street.
"AMERICA IS NOT BROKE. America is rich - still the wealthiest nation ever. But too many at the top are grabbing the gains. No person or corporation should be allowed to take from America while giving little or nothing back. The super-rich who got tax breaks and bailouts should now pay full taxes - and help create jobs here not overseas. Those who do well in America should do well by America.
"AMERICANS NEED JOBS, NOT CUTS. Many of our best workers are sitting idle while the work of rebuilding America goes undone. Together, we must rebuild our country, reinvest in our people and jump start the industries of the future. Millions of jobless
"Americans would love the opportunity to become working, tax-paying members of their communities again. We have a job crisis, not a deficit crisis.
"To produce this Contract for the American dream, 131,203 Americans came together online and in their communities. We wrote and rated 25,904 ideas. Together, we identified the 10 most critical steps to get our economy back on track and restore the American Dream.
10 CRITICAL STEPS TO GET OUR ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK
1. Invest in America’s infrastructure.
2. Create 21st Century Energy Jobs.
3. Invest in public education.
4. Offer Medicare for all.
5. Make Work Pay.
6. Secure Social Security.
7. Return to fairer tax rates.
8. End the wars and invest at home.
9. Tax Wall Street speculation.
10. Strengthen Democracy”
This is the type of movement by the people that I had hoped would develop. I have signed up.
We now have an alternative to the Tea Party. It is an opportunity we needed. Instead of cutting back as is proposed by the Tea Party, we now have an organization that proposes that we charge forward and build the nation that we have always dreamed of.
When the Tea Party and their Republican friends tell us we can-not tax the wealthy and corporate America to return to the Great Prosperity of the past our answer must be a loud and clear. TOGETHER WE CAN charge forward with a Contract for the American Dream!