Op-ed: Iowans can fight for economic justice Jan. 3rd

Read the editorial below:

[Guest editorial that appeared in the 12/30/11 Des Moines Register written by Iowa CCI Action Fund Director Hugh Espey]

Print out the resolutions to take Jan. 3:

— 2012 caucus resolutions


The Occupy Wall Street movement has put economic inequality, corporate greed and corporate control of our political system at the forefront of the national public debate. Everyday Iowans have an opportunity to address these pressing problems and advance a populist agenda for economic justice and democracy at the Iowa Caucuses January 3rd.

Issues like good jobs, quality public education, affordable healthcare, decent housing and retirement security are all rooted in basic American values of democracy, equality, and fairness. Since the national spotlight is on us, we are uniquely positioned to drive home – in a big way – a vision of good government that puts communities before corporations and people before profits.

We can – and should – fight for economic justice and democracy at our Jan. 3rd caucuses.

We can – and should – tell both Democratic and Republican leaders that we’re fed up with business as usual in Washington DC and on Wall Street.

We can – and should – tell the Republican presidential candidates and Barack Obama that we’re sick and tired of politicians who care more about corporations than everyday Americans.

We can do all of this by taking these resolutions – and big ideas – to our precinct caucuses and getting them adopted:

Bust up the big banks and throw the crooks in jail.

The global financial meltdown and economic collapse were caused by the big banks and corporate CEOs on Wall Street with no regard for the common good. So much wealth and power has been concentrated into the hands of the few that they have been able to break or rewrite the rules, gamble our lives away, and get away with it. No more.

The “too big to fail” financial institutions should be busted up and rebuilt to serve the needs of everyday people, not corporate greed, and the CEOs responsible for the crime of the century must be brought to justice.

Make Wall Street and the 1 percent pay their fair share.

After the economic collapse, corporate interests immediately blamed everyday people and hardworking families for a budget crisis we did not create. The money to rebuild this country is not in the back pockets of school-age children, family farmers, teachers, workers or senior citizens. The money is on Wall Street.

We need to pass comprehensive tax reform that raises marginal rates on millionaires and billionaires, scraps the Social Security wage cap, cracks down on financial speculation and high-frequency trading, and closes corporate tax loopholes.

Stabilize the housing market with across the board principal reductions.

The big banks that inflated and then burst the housing bubble with predatory, subprime loans need to write down the debt that has forced 11 million mortgages underwater. The price tag easily exceeds two hundred and fifty billion dollars, ten times the largest amount being proposed now. Stabilizing underwater mortgages will help fix the housing crisis and pump lots of money back into our economy, creating jobs.

• Break the choke hold that corporate power has over our democracy.

Big money has corrupted our political system and allowed the corporate 1% to hijack the democratic process. We need voter-owned clean elections, public financing of campaigns, universal voter registration, and an end to corporate personhood.

No doubt, other critical issues like immigrant rights, worker justice, and catastrophic climate change must still be addressed. But it’s up to us to get the ball rolling Jan. 3rd. And after the country turns its attention towards New Hampshire and the Super Tuesday primary states, Iowans should pivot and take our fight for economic justice and democracy to the Statehouse.

We need to shake it up.

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