Very interesting little statement. Here it is with my thoughts (in Bold):
WHEREAS THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION PROVIDES:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
.WTFO: Great! Concern for the Constitution, except for the fact that later on in this statement it is clear they are trying to destroy the US Constitution and the free market that it created.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
WE, THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in order to form a more perfect Union, by, for and of the PEOPLE, shall elect and convene a NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY beginning on July 4, 2012 in the City Of Philadelphia.
I. Election of Delegates:
The People, consisting of all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18, regardless of party affiliation and voter registration status, shall elect Two Delegates, one male and one female, by direct vote, from each of the existing 435 Congressional Districts to represent the People at the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in Philadelphia. Said Assembly shall convene on July 4, 2012 in the city of Philadelphia.
The office of Delegate shall be open to all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18. Election Committees, elected by local General Assemblies from all over the United States, shall coordinate with the 99 Percent Declaration Working Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/the99declaration/
) to organize, coordinate and fund this national election by direct democratic voting. The Election Committees shall operate similarly to the original Committees of Correspondence during the first American Revolution.
II. Meeting of the National General Assembly and Deliberation:
At the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, the 870 Delegates shall set forth, consider and vote upon a PETITION OF GRIEVANCES to be submitted to all members of Congress, The Supreme Court and President and each of the political candidates running in the nationwide Congressional and Presidential election in November 2012. The Delegates of the National General Assembly shall vote upon and implement their own agenda, propagate their own rules and elect or appoint committee members as the Delegates see fit to accomplish their goal of presenting a PETITION OF GRIEVANCES from the 99% of Americans before the 2012 elections.
III. Proposed Petition for the Redress of Grievances:
The PETITION OF GRIEVANCES shall be non-partisan and address the critical issues now confronting the People of the United States. The Delegates shall deliberate and vote upon proposals for the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES in consultation with the 99% similarly to the first two Continental Congresses. WTFO: 1st, there is no way that these loons, criminals, Marxists, Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, etc represent 99% of Americans. 2nd, it's interesting they are trying to destroy the system of free market established by our Founding Fathers by trying to imitate their great efforts to resist British oppression.
Below is a suggested list of grievances respectfully submitted by the OWS Working Group on the 99% Declaration. The final version of the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES voted upon by the Delegates of the National General Assembly MAY or MAY NOT include the following suggested issues:
1. Implementing an immediate ban on all private contributions of money and gifts, to all politicians in federal office, from Individuals, Corporations, Political Action Committees, Super Political Action Committees, Lobbyists, Unions and all other private sources of money to be replaced by the fair and equal public financing of all federal political campaigns. We categorically REJECT the concept that money is equal to free speech because if that were so, then only the wealthiest would have a voice. These actions must be taken because it has become clear that politicians in the United States cannot regulate themselves and have become the exclusive representatives of corporations, unions and the very wealthy who spend vast sums of money on political campaigns to influence the candidates’ decisions and ensure their reelection year after year.WTFO: This is actually a pretty good idea. It just needs a little meat on the bone such as what the limit is for candidates to spend so they aren't throwing away billions of tax dollars. However, this fails to address unions, companies, and others from purchasing advertisements using their own money to support their candidate. Limiting that would be in violation of the 1st Amendment.
2. The immediate reversal, even if it requires a Constitutional Amendment, of the outrageous and anti-democratic holding in the "Citizens United" case by the Supreme Court, which equates the payment of money by corporations, wealthy individuals and unions to politicians with free speech. We, the People, demand that institutional bribery and corruption not be deemed protected speech.WTFO: Citizens United v FEC found that corporations, unions etc can use their own money to do what they want. Include making ads or films about politicians. This is a valid form of freedom of speech. Again, they seem to be concerned with selected parts of the Constitution here.
3. Prohibiting all federal public officials and their immediate family members, whether elected or appointed, from EVER being employed by any corporation they regulate while in office and/or holding any stock or shares in any corporation they regulate while in office until a full 5 years after their term is completed. WTFO: Not bad. Along with some other controls this may help with the crony capitalism engaged in by both parties.
4. A complete lifetime ban on accepting all gifts, services, money, directly or indirectly, to any elected or appointed federal officials or their immediate family members, from any person, corporation, union or other entity that the public official was charged to regulate while in office.WTFO: Completely agree.
5. A complete reformation of the United States Tax Code to require ALL citizens to pay a fair share of a progressive, graduated income tax by eliminating loopholes, unfair tax breaks, exemptions and deductions, subsidies (e.g. oil, gas and farm) and ending all other methods of evading taxes. The current system of taxation favors the wealthiest Americans, many of whom, pay fewer taxes to the United States Treasury than citizens who earn much less and pay a much higher percentage of income in taxes to the United States Treasury. We, like Warren Buffet, find this income tax disparity to be fundamentally unjust.WTFO: Let's start with "fair share of a progressive, graduated income tax". By its definition a "progressive" tax based on income is not "fair". A flat tax is fair. For ease of math here let's use a 10% flat tax: if you earn $50K, you pay $5K, but if you earn $5M, you pay $500K. The wealthier person pays 100 times more than the middle class individual. That is fair. Apply that to businesses and they have a stable tax bill they can use to project their costs and build their companies and grow as well as hire more people.
Now, I am all for removing loopholes, tax breaks, all subsidies (eg oil, gas, wind, solar, farm), etc. The tax code is complex and large because politicians have built goodies for themselves and their buddies.
However, the statement that wealthy Americans pay fewer taxes than those who earn much less is completely and demonstratibly false. In fact, in 2008 the top 1% paid 38.02% of all income taxes collected. In 2007, they paid 40.42 and 39.89 in 2006. For those same years, the top 10% paid 69.94%, 71.22%, & 70.79% respectfully. By contrast, for those same years the bottom 50% paid 2.7%, 2.89%, & 2.99%.
Are there some wealthy tax cheats? Yep, like GE, run by Immelt (Obama's good buddy), Tim Geithner (Sec of Treasury), Charlie Rangel (Democrat Rep from NY), etc. However, they are not the norm or the above income figures would not exist.
The Buffett reference shows a complete misunderstanding of capital gains taxes. Yes they are lower, but that is because the money people use to invest (in most cases) has already been taxed as income. The capital gains tax is applied to any profit they make from investing. Taking more of that money doesn't make the risk worth taking for the investor which results in low capital for businesses to run resulting in higher costs and more unemployment.
6. Medicare for all American citizens or other single-payer healthcare system, adjusted by a means test (i.e. citizens who can afford it may opt-out and pay their own health insurance or opt-in and pay a means tested premium). The Medicaid program, fraught with corruption and fraud, will be eliminated except for the purpose of providing emergency room care to indigent non-citizens who will not be covered by the single-payer program.WTFO: Medicare is going broke as it is now. The govt is incapable of running healthcare for the nation (as many other nations have already learned through their failed socialist healthcare systems). Making it larger is ignorant and unsustainable (just like Obamacare). Keeping Medicaid for non-citizens is a reward for illegal aliens to come here and be a further drain on our society and public coffers. Immigration is great and necessary for the USA, but the legal process must be followed. Providing further incentives of illegals only makes the problem worse. Illegals who come to the hospital need to be treated, handed over to ICE and have their home country sent the bill.
7. New comprehensive regulations to give the Environmental Protection Agency expanded powers to shut down corporations, businesses or any entities that intentionally or recklessly damage the environment and/or criminally prosecute individuals who intentionally damage the environment. We also demand the immediate adoption of the most recent international protocols, including the "Washington Declaration" to cap carbon emissions and implement new and existing programs to transition away from fossil fuels to reusable or carbon neutral sources of power.WTFO: Completely stupid. The EPA has already over-reached and giving them the powers to attack businesses further just destroys jobs and the American economy. This is also based on the man-caused global warming myth that has only made corrupt alarmists wealthy and gained power. Also, Americans should NEVER let any "international protocol" stand above the Constitution and our laws. Fossil fuels are necessary right now and the "carbon neutral" sources are too expensive and inefficient to meet the needs.
8. Adoption of an immediate plan to reduce the national debt to a sustainable percentage of GDP by 2020. Reduction of the national debt to be achieved by BOTH a cut in spending to corporations engaged in perpetual war for profit, the "healthcare" industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all other sectors that use the federal budget as their income stream AND a truly progressive income tax code that does not allow the wealthy and corporations to evade taxes through excessive deductions, subsidies and loopholes. We agree that spending cuts are necessary but those cuts must be made to facilitate what is best for the People of the United States of America, not multinational and domestic corporations. WTFO: Getting the debt under control is great, but their plan to achieve it is ignorant. See above for the tax issues. Also, it is a complete myth that any war is "for profit". Moronic children with no understanding of the military or national defense throwing spears at one of the few Constitutionally mandated responsibilities of the Federal govt. Also, they call for spending cuts right after they call for a growth in Medicare and the EPA. Talking out both sides of their mouths here.
9. Passage of a comprehensive job and job-training act like the American Jobs Act to employ our citizens in jobs that are available with specialized training and by putting People to work now by repairing America's crumbling infrastructure. We also recommend the establishment of an online international job exchange to match employers with skilled workers or employers willing to train workers in 21st century skills.WTFO: Obama's stimulus packages showed this plan to be a complete failure, yet they want more of it. Bottom line: govt can't create jobs, it can only establish an environment (friendly to private businesses) where the free market can create jobs. This focuses on "21st century skills" but there are still jobs for those with non-technical skills. There is nothing wrong with those who work with their hands. This shows the spoiled nature of a lot of this "movement": they seem to feel they are too good for some jobs. This entitlement is pathetic and anti-American. Lastly, this is a call for a huge increase in govt spending after they claim they want the debt reduced. Sorry kids, you can't have it both ways.
10. Student loan debt relief. Our young People and students are more than $830 billion in debt from education loans alone. Payment and interest on these debts should be deferred for periods of unemployment and the principal on these loans reduced using a corporate tax surcharge.WTFO: You asked for the loan, you signed the agreement so this is an ignorant request fueled by the entitlement disease. If you accepted the debt in an effort to get a degree, then you are responsible for paying your debt. PERIOD!
11. Immediate passage of the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration and border security reform including offering visas, lawful permanent resident status and citizenship to the world’s brightest People to stay and work in our industries and schools after they obtain their education and training in the United States.WTFO: The Dream Act rewards those who broke our laws coming into this nation. It is a myth that these illegal immigrants represent the "world's brightest People". The world's brightest people are able to get here through legal processes and should not have criminals get the same benefits and rights as citizens they have worked for.
12. Recalling all military personnel at all non-essential bases and refocusing national defense goals to address threats posed by the geopolitics of the 21st century, including terrorism and limiting the large scale deployment of military forces to instances where Congressional approval has been granted to counter the Military Industrial Complex's goal of perpetual war for profit.WTFO: Leftover hippies from Vietnam era. These people are ignorant of what is essential or non-essential in terms of national defense. While there are areas that need improvement in the military including some cost savings, this is nothing more than an attack on servicemembers fueled by the false claim of "war for profit" again.
13. Mandating new educational goals to train the American public to perform jobs in a 21st Century economy, particularly in the areas of technology and green energy, taking into consideration the redundancy caused by technology and the inexpensive cost of labor in China, India and other countries and paying our teachers a salary that is competitive with the private sector. Paying our teachers a competitive salary commensurate with the salaries of People in the private sector with similar skills. WTFO: Another deficit creating program after asking for debt reduction? Yep. "Green" jobs has been a failure. Look at Spain for a current example. Teachers get paid pretty well, I think. After all, do you get as much time off in the year as they do? I make about what a teacher makes yet I don't get Summers off. I find it ironic that the demand they use to support teachers is the same one where they make the grammatical error of creating a last sentence that is redundant to the second have of the previous sentence (which didn't flow with thier rant about Chinese and Indian labor costs). Classic!
14. Subject to the elimination of corporate tax loopholes and exploited exemptions and deductions stated above, offering tax incentives to businesses to remain in the United States and hire its citizens rather than outsource jobs and reconstruct the manufacturing capacity of the United States. In conjunction with a new jobs act, reinstitution of the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps and a similar emergency governmental agency tasked with creating new public works projects to provide jobs to the 46 million People living in poverty, the 9.1% unemployed and 10% underemployed.WTFO: If you want to encourage businesses to hire in the US, you just have to make a stable, simple flat corporate tax rate. You will also have to tear down the over-sized corrupted unions that make doing business in the US unprofitable. Also, I've already presented the case that the govt can't create jobs so the Works Progress Admin and Civ Conservation Corps idea is not only going to fail but it'll raise the national debt again.
15. Implementing of immediate legislation to encourage China and our other trading partners to end currency manipulation and reduce the trade deficit.WTFO: Completely agree. This is what Donald Trump has been saying for quite some time.
16. Immediate reenactment of the Glass-Steagall Act and increased regulation of Wall Street and the financial industry by the SEC, FINRA and the other financial regulators, and the commencement of a Justice Department criminal investigations into the Securities and Banking industries practices that led to the collapse of markets, $700 billion bail-out, and financial firm failures in 2007-2008.WTFO: The repeal of Glass-Steagall did not cause the market collapse. The corrupt influence of govt officials into the housing market did. The Community Reinvestment Act, signed by Pres Carter and strengthened by Clinton pushed the banks to make sub-prime loans to people who couldn't afford to repay.
17. Adoption of a plan similar to President Clinton’s proposal to end the mortgage crisis and instead of the Federal Reserve continuing to lower interest rates for loans to banks who are refusing to loan to small businesses and consumers, the Federal Reserve shall buy all underwater or foreclosed mortgages and refinance these debts at 1% or less to be managed by the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (and foreclosure task force described below) because 1% or less is the interest rate the Federal Reserve loans to the banks directly who hoard the cash rather than loan it to the People and small businesses.WTFO: This is a stupid idea. The Fed is a major part of the problem so it will only make things worse. The banks are not loaning money because of what the Fed and the Obama admin is doing. The massive regulations and unstable US dollar is what is preventing loans, not the banks. This does nothing to resolve the core problem: too many people are in houses they cannot afford to keep. Until most of these people move to a more affordable house, this crisis will continue. Also, this is another debt increasing program.
18. An immediate one year freeze on all foreclosures to be reviewed by an independent foreclosure task force appointed by Congress and the Executive Branch to (in conjunction with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ) determine, on a case by case basis, whether foreclosure proceedings should continue based on the circumstances of each homeowner and propriety of the financial institution's conduct.WTFO: Again, this delays the solution to the problem. It also trusts Congressional appointees to be "independent". Really? I think this crowd has been smoking too much weed. The foreclosures need to go through the banks. It'll suck and be painful for many, however they signed the dotted line and are responsible for their own actions. It is not right for others to pay for their mistakes with tax dollars. Also, this is the only way to reset the market and end the housing crisis.
19. Subject to the above ban on all private money and gifts in politics, to enact additional campaign finance reform requiring free air time and public campaign finances to all candidates who obtain sufficient petition signatures and/or votes to participate in the primaries and/or electoral process, to shorten the campaign season and to allow voting on weekends and holidays.WTFO: I don't have a problem with this as long as air time and finances are equal to candidates. However, why wasn't this closer to the similar demands? A little A.D.D. maybe?
20. An immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and a substantial increase in the amount of funding needed for veteran job placement and the treatment of the physical and emotional injuries sustained by veterans in these wars. Our veterans are committing suicide at an unprecedented rate and we must help now.WTFO: Iraq and Afghanistan are critical to maintaining national defense from islamic extremists and we need to finish the missions we started. However, suicides are up and our wounded warriors deserve our support. They sacrifice so much for so little in return. It is a duty of this govt to make sure they are reintegrated and have their injuries cared for. I'm honored to serve with such selfless people.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that IF the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES approved by the 870 Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in consultation with the PEOPLE, is not acted upon by Congress, the President, and Supreme Court, to the satisfaction of the Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, said Delegates shall organize a THIRD, COMPLETELY NON-PARTISAN, INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY to run candidates for every available Congressional seat in the mid-term election of 2014 and again in 2016 until all vestiges of the existing corrupt corporatocracy have been removed by the ballot box.WTFO: More power to you. That is your right to establish another party to represent you. The American public will give you the feedback you need with their votes.
★THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT★WTFO: Again, you are not nor do you represent 99% of Americans. Most of us strongly disagree with many of your positions.