- Posted December 30, 2011 by
Fort Worth, Texas
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Occupy Wall Street
Constitutional Do Over
Since this past summer we have seen the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, first on Wall Street in New York City then in various cities throughout the United States and around the world. It is my understanding that the driving force behind this movement is the tremendous disparity in income and wealth in the United States. According to figures from 2007 20% of the people owned 85% of the wealth and the bottom 80% of workers had 15%. Since my appeal to Middle Class Americans I’ve been watching and waiting, waiting to see where the “Occupy Movement” will go. Right now it’s not going anywhere fast. They have no leadership, they have no direction, and they have no goals. Sure it would be nice to take all the wealth in the U.S. and redistribute it but that would be considered stealing. I see only one viable way to level the playing field for the 80% of us who struggle day to day just to get by. That way is through the use of legislative action.
This brings our attention to where it needs to be. Our Senators and Representatives were elected by us with the charge that they should always be focused on our welfare and interests. Being elected officials their job is to serve us, the people who entrusted them to represent us. As early as 1978 when I ran for Congress in the 13th Congressional District in Ohio, I started to become disenfranchised from the established electoral system in this country. This is the United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave, and where every legal citizen has the right to run for an elected office. Let’s examine this statement under the light of reality. How many people with an income less than $100,000 actually run for the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate? The cost of running has excluded all from running except elite citizens with substantial sums of money. These people are in Washington now trying to perpetuate their positions as “career politicians”. They have turned a deaf ear to the voice of the people that they are supposed to represent. They have burdened themselves with selfish greed and partisan politics. Congress has become a millionaire’s club. The Democrats propose good legislation and because it is proposed by them the Republicans completely oppose it and refuse to establish meaningful dialogue to come to a resolution. The Democrats are the same way with legislation proposed by the Republicans. Watching all the bickering and bull crap that went on over the tax cut extension before the Christmas break made me want to throw up. Is anyone in Washington listening to us and what we want or need? The electoral system in this country has become so dysfunctional it would make our founding fathers roll over in their graves. What the United States needs is a Constitutional do-over. We, the middle income and lower income people need to be able to run for office on an even and fair footing with the elites and rich. We don’t need career politicians, we don’t need partisan politics that cause our legislators to become distracted and lose focus, we don’t need special interest lobbyists, and we don’t need Political Action Committees. Here are some things we could include in the Constitutional do-over: all Congressmen having served two or more terms would be out and would become ineligible to run again. Money is preventing “Joe the Plumber” from running for office so come up with some way to take the cost out of the equation. Revamp taxes so that there would be a flat tax for workers and a separate flat tax for businesses and all taxes would be collected by payroll deduction thus eliminating having to file taxes every year. This means we could streamline the IRS because they wouldn’t be concerned about dealing with the volume of tax forms they currently handle and since taxes are collected from the employees pay the IRS would not be concerned with enforcement.
This is where the “Occupy Wall Street” movement can have a major impact. Together we can change our future.