It’s time to Occupy Congress (and sign this petition)
We as a nation now owe more than $15 trillion. It is almost universally recognized that if we do not take action soon to dramatically reduce our long-term national debt, we as a nation will be bankrupt, and not just monetarily speaking.
As of yesterday (11/21/11), the supposed bipartisan Congressional "super committee" admitted their complete failure to accomplish even a modest reduction of $1.2 trillion, a goal that was deemed as the bare minimum needed to protect our currency's status as the world's reserve currency.
In my opinion, the root of the problem lays not on Wall Street but at the intersection of Pennsylvania and Maryland Avenues--the U.S. Capitol--the current seat of our dysfunctional and cowardly Congress. By many accounts, the super committee’s failure was a shared disaster. The Republicans proved inflexible on almost any increase in tax revenue, while the Democrats remained tied to protecting a social contract that is out of whack with our current economic predicament. The super committee members and the party leadership that backed them demonstrated that the words “compromise” and “leadership” no longer apply to the rank and file of this once venerated American decision-making body.
The solution to our debt crisis has been clearly and effectively laid out in multiple policy documents put forward by both parties, a solid example was the presidentially commissioned National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (or the Bowles-Simpson plan). I believe the solution--like many difficult problems in life--lies somewhere in between the positions of both parties. We must make substantial but gradual alterations to America’s social contract (e.g. social security and Medicare), while protecting the most vulnerable from falling through the social net. We must also increase revenue by reducing government spending and increasing tax revenue. Simpson-Bowles presents a solid foundtion from which to work toward a reasonable solution.
But these hard decisions have been kicked down the road by Congress in favor of preserving their own hides and jobs on election day. I believe that the American people can’t wait that long and deserve better of their elected officials. Congress serves at the pleasure of the American people, and I believe that many, many Americans are displeased with Congress’ lack of leadership and decision-making.
It is time for American citizens of all political stripes to come together to show our displeasure with the current partisan Congress and urge them to put aside their differences in favor of a better future for America. That’s why this petition calls on Congress to take action and pass a bipartisan solution to our debt crisis. Congress should either bring Simpson-Bowles to a vote on the floors of both houses of Congress, or it should vote on the terms that were put fourth by both parties during the Grand Bargain that was on the table during the debt ceiling crisis. It is time for Congress to stop bickering and get back to work now.
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement will be holding what is being billed as the "largest Occupy protest ever" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/occupy-congress-on-jan-17-largest-occupy-protest-ever/2011/12/02/gIQAAGLgKO_blog.html). If you've been looking for the right way to become involved in the OWS movement, or have just been looking for a proper forum to legally and peacefully express your discontent with our current political leaders, this January 17 is the time to do it. Now is the time to focus national attention on Congress' inability to lead and call for a solution to the budget crisis that threatens the security and prosperity of all Americans.
Therefore, in addition to signing this petition, I intend to protest in front of the Capitol and "Occupy Congress" on January 17, 2012 and call for the Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to address our debt crisis now (through either Simpson-Bowles or the Grand Bargain). I encourage you to join me in signing this petition and by protesting (peacefully and leagally) in front of the Capitol, January 17, 2012. It is time the American people demonstrated that we are still a nation that cares about our future and is willing to take action to prove it.
Please sign this petition to Congress (and share it with anyone who you believe feels similarly) and join me in front of the Capitol January 17, 2012. Occupy Congress!