How WE Can Save OUR Economy

The next few weeks will culminate into a defining moment in American history and lay the course for our economic future. After two years of being asleep at the switch, Congress is finally stepping up and taking action on financial reform. The resulting bill will be a clear indication and definitive proof as to who is actually running our country. Will it reinforce the dominance of the Wall Street elite, or will it mark a rebirth of the rule of law and economic prosperity for millions of Americans who have seen their standard of living decline?

The early indications are ominous, two of the most crucial aspects of true reform have already been dealt a severe blow. The amendment to break up the “too big to fail” banks has been voted down, and the amendment to audit the Federal Reserve has been gutted of important provisions.

We cannot just sit back and let politicians, who are overly influenced by campaign funding and lobbying activities on the part of the big banks who have plunged us into this crisis, decide our future without us. Our passive unwillingness to stand up for our own rights is part of the reason we are in this crisis to begin with. Right now is the most pivotal time for us to make our voice heard.

This bill is where we draw the line and STAND UP.

Enough is enough! It’s time for Americans to take OUR economy back from the big banks and financial interests that have looted it. It’s time to restructure, decentralize and democratize OUR economy.

Wall Street has pillaged our country. It has been bailed out and saved from their casino gambling, Ponzi schemes and allowed to continue their plunder. They are the concentrated power that history has warned us about.

Trillions of our taxpayer dollars have been handed over from the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve to the Wall Street elite, handed over to benefit the very people who caused the crisis. The truth about how many trillions of our tax dollars have been “transferred,” and who exactly they have been given to, has been kept secret in the un-audited Federal Reserve. It is time to audit the Fed and either dismantle it or remake it so it reflects the interests of the people, not the big banks who have hijacked our economy.

How much do they have to steal before Americans say, ‘No more! It is OUR money, it is OUR economy’? How many more honest, law abiding, hardworking Americans have to lose their homes, jobs and struggle just to acquire basic necessities and make ends meet before these greedy bankers are held accountable?

Before laying out our 12-step program to take our economy back, let’s take a brief look at some of the devastating results of Wall Street’s greed:

* Over 50 million US citizens are living in poverty;

* The US now has the HIGHEST poverty rate in the industrialized world;

* 50% of American children will need to use a food stamp during their childhood;

* 30 million Americans are in need of employment, with 20% of Americans either unemployed, underemployed or without hope of finding work;

* Foreclosure rates continue to break record after record. More than five million families have already lost their homes. A record 2.8 million properties were in foreclosure in 2009. The first three months of 2010 had the highest foreclosure rates ever, and 13-25 million foreclosures are predicted by 2014.

* In the past two years, Americans have lost $5 trillion from their pensions and savings. They have also lost $13 trillion in the value of their homes.

* Personal bankruptcies are rising. A record number of Americans filed for bankruptcy in March 2010. In fact, 6,900 Americans go bankrupt every day.

* Due to this economic crisis, American workers have bought more on credit cards than ever before. We now have over $850 billion in credit card debt, as banks charge usurious interest rates on this debt.

* The US now has the HIGHEST inequality of wealth in our nation’s history. The economic top 1% controls an all-time record 70% of all financial assets.

* The average CEO salary, including stock options and incentives, has skyrocketed and is now 500 times more than the average workers.

* While CEO salaries have been soaring and corporate profits are breaking all-time records, average worker pay is declining and incentives are being cut.

These are just some of the horrifying results of Wall Street’s rigging of the economy. The free-market is now a rigged-market ruled by corporate welfare and crony capitalists who are funneling wealth away from 99% of the American public and directly into their coffers on an unprecedented scale. Risk, losses and debts have been socialized, while profits have been privatized.

As a consequence of their continued looting, austerity measures are about to be implemented. In state after state across the country, and on a federal level, we are facing severe deficits. Mass school closings have already been scheduled for the end of this school year, as thousands of teachers have already been told that they will no longer have a job. Pension funds and medical programs are being slashed. Fire fighters, police and health care workers are being cut back . Six million Americans are on the verge of losing the unemployment benefits that they have been surviving off of and there are now a record six available workers for every one job opening. Unemployment insurance funds have already been depleted in 33 states, with more expected to go into the red within the next few months.

Draconian cuts in vital social programs and critical government functions are just beginning to be phased in, while our national wealth is still being transferred to the wealthiest. They are pulling out the social infrastructure from below us and are about to pile higher taxes on top of us.

While nearly 200 million, two out of three, Americans are struggling to make ends meet and currently living paycheck to paycheck, billionaires have increased their aggregate wealth by a stunning 50% during this economic crisis.

The Robber Barons of the Gilded Age have now been displaced as America’s greediest ruling class.

After trillions in bailouts – a cover for the greatest theft of wealth in history – we are seeing record-breaking profits and bonuses on Wall Street. We have the power to stop this looting, break up this concentrated power and take back the economy. We just have to stand up for ourselves – TOGETHER.

We can break the financial oppression, and here’s how we will do it.

The Mobilization for OUR Economy begins while the Obama Administration and Congress are debating reform of the financial industry. However, much more than what is being proposed is needed to give Americans control over their economic lives. To achieve these objectives, we are working to make the following common-sense reforms into reality:

#1) Break up the “Too Big To Fail” Banks. You can’t have free-market competition when a handful of big banks can rig the market and regulatory structure to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else. We will continue to push for reforms put forth in the Kaufman-Brown SAFE Banking Act.

#2) Put in place a transparent open exchange for over-the-counter derivatives and ban High Frequency Trading (HFT). Investigate all prior HFT and frontrunning activities, including the sudden 1000 point stock market plunge on May 6th. Create a team of experts to analyze/restructure/dissolve existing derivative contracts to reduce risk. We support Senator Blanche Lincoln’s Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act.

#3) Require stricter accounting standards so the real value and debt/liabilities of banks are understood. With this, a more responsible executive pay structure must be implemented. Investigate firms and hold them liable for accounting scams. Clawbacks must be implemented on bonuses and executive compensation that was based on false profits. Investigate the Federal Reserve’s role in covering up, aiding and abetting firms in accounting fraud.

#4) Rein in corporate power. Stop corporate welfare – no more bailouts! End
corporate personhood and reverse the Citizens United court decision by a constitutional amendment. We must also make sure that all taxpayer funds and loans handed out in the bailout are returned with an interest rate that reflects current profit margins that were created as a result of our tax money.

#5) Audit the Federal Reserve. There should be zero secrecy in this private banking corporation that prints U.S. dollars and extends zero interest loans to a select few. The Fed should either be dismantled or re-made to represent the interests of the American people, not the banks, and include elected positions on their Board of Governors.

#6) Tax trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives and options. A small micro-tax applied to large firms would slow high-risk speculation and provide significant revenue, allowing reduction of income taxes, withholding taxes and adequately fund government operations.

#7) Corresponding to our second objective, close the casino by reinstating both a modernized version of the Glass–Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking, and a strict Net Capital rule that limits wild risk-taking and speculating.

#8) Shut the revolving door and put up a strict firewall between finance executives and government regulators and officials.

#9) End usurious credit card and pay day loans. Cap interest rates and get rid of hidden bank fees.

#10) Create an empowered and independent Consumer Protection Agency (CPA). Investigate predatory lending schemes, liar’s loans and put a moratorium on home foreclosures, as the first steps in what will be many investigations into abusive practices. Credit rating agencies should be regulated by the CPA and function independently of the firms producing the products being rated.

#11) Urgently hire 1,500+ white-collar crime investigators to enforce existing laws.

#12) Fire, investigate and prosecute government officials like Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers and John Dugan, and investigate Hank Paulson, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin, all of whom played a significant role in the financial collapse and the massive “transfer” of wealth to the finance industry. Also investigate and prosecute, under RICO statutes, top executives in financial firms who engaged in fraudulent activity. Appoint people like Elizabeth Warren, Simon Johnson, Joseph Stiglitz, William Black and Ron Paul to positions of authority over the economy.

These are our primary objectives and the necessary steps that must be taken to take OUR economy back. If the financial reform bill, that has been two years in the making, doesn’t live up to this 12-step program, we will know that our politicians have sold us short once again.

The Wall Street elite have controlled our political process for too long!

We must show them that we mean business this time, so STAND UP and fight for your future. Join us at sit-ins, protests and rallies across the United States. We can take back our country. We can regain control over our economic lives.

The time is now!




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Tiffiny Cheng directs A New Way Forward, David DeGraw directs and Kevin Zeese directs ProsperityAgenda.US. Read other articles by Tiffiny Cheng, David DeGraw, and Kevin Zeese.

13 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on May 12th, 2010 at 10:50am #

    Tiffiny Cheng, David DeGraw, and Kevin Zeese a suggestion. Can we add this to the program because without this there will not much to take back. Work together

    Carbon Tax Center:
    James Handley: 202-546-5692
    Citizens’ Climate Lobby:
    Steve Valk: 404-769-7461
    Price Carbon Campaign:
    Tom Stokes: 413-243-5665

    Some of our best friends have become the planet’s worst enemies.
    The climate and energy bills in Congress were designed by big banks and fat-cat
    environmental organizations that have lost touch with the people and nature.
    The bills all use smoke-and-mirrors: cap-and-trade, offsets, and give-aways.
    The truth is this: as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy we will go to the ends of
    Earth the deepest ocean, the most pristine land for the last drop of oil and gas, and
    destroy mountains for the last shard of coal.
    But that would guarantee climate disasters for young people and nature – we would
    destroy creation.
    Fossil fuels are cheapest only because they do not pay their costs to society – for damage
    to human health, the environment and future generations.
    So today, based on discussions with religious leaders, congressional staffers, economists,
    and concerned citizens, I am proposing a People’s Climate Stewardship bill.
    The bill defines a simple, honest carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies upon
    the first sale at the mine, wellhead or port of entry.
    The money collected will be distributed monthly to the public as a green check – so
    families can afford the energy they need during the transition to a clean energy future.
    The rising carbon fee will stimulate investment in low-carbon energy and efficiency.
    We will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We will create jobs, good jobs.
    And we will preserve for our children and grandchildren the remarkable planet that we
    inherited from our elders.
    Here, in our nation’s capital, it is time to demand a government of the people, by the
    people and for the people – not for special interests.
    It is time not for greenwash and half-hearted measures. It is time for honest effective
    action for all people and life on the planet. Thank you.
    James Hansen, Remarks at Earth Day on the Mall, Washington, DC, 25 April 2010

    That’s we would
    destroy creation.

  2. dan e said on May 12th, 2010 at 11:10am #

    caw! caaww! polly want summore ofthe/bythe/forthe pipedreams! the formula: 1) recite once more the standard litany of evils, being careful not to mention AIPAC or the 51 prexies; 2) ask for $$:)

    BTW, whatever became of Richard Oxman, anyway?

  3. Don Hawkins said on May 12th, 2010 at 11:49am #

    Wall street has many terms and hand shakes here’s one.

    As for guilt, many of the honest people on Wall Street seem more conscience-stricken than the thieves, which is probably the result of being overpaid and suspecting their jobs have scant social utility, if not a negative impact. Ms. Odean notes that takeover experts (collectively known as ”hired guns” or, more stingingly, ”killer bees”) sometimes joke about mergers creating ”body rain” – i.e., distraught, newly discharged managers hitting the streets in search of jobs, or splattering on the pavement from high altitudes like so many raindrops. For some, of course, ”golden parachutes” can lead to softer landings. NYT

    Creating ”body rain” yes good on that level. A new way of thinking one way to look at it.

  4. Don Hawkins said on May 12th, 2010 at 11:52am #

    Wall Street and the next and probably last big Con.

  5. Don Hawkins said on May 12th, 2010 at 1:33pm #

    I just heard one of the most amazing things I have heard in a long long time. Watching CNBC and John Harwood who is Chief Washington Correspondent for CNBC said 53% of the American people want to still drill off shore in the Gulf. Well then Maria Bartiromo said there’s so much oil in the Gulf that when you drill it just shoots up and John then said your right and that’s why 53% of the American people want to still drill, John had this strange smile on his face when he said that. Tiffiny Cheng, David DeGraw, and Kevin Zeese if that’s all that got left on Wall Street the time is now stay strong. The oil in the Gulf is so big and under so much pressure that when you drill down it just shoot’s up. I think just maybe Wall street is under a little more pressure than the oil in the Gulf and that’s why the American people want to drill. CNBC’s audience what do you think college graduates from the planet Zenon. Stay strong calm at peace fight back.

  6. Robert Simms said on May 12th, 2010 at 1:52pm #

    “I am proposing a People’s Climate Stewardship bill. The bill defines a simple, honest carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies upon the first sale at the mine, wellhead or port of entry. The money collected will be distributed monthly to the public as a green check – so families can afford the energy they need during the transition to a clean energy future.”

    Sorry Don Hawkins and James Hansen (Remarks at Earth Day on the Mall, Washington, DC, 25 April 2010). Please quit trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’ during every single pathetic Earth Day. And please quit posturing. The articles written for The Environmental Handbook Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach in April 22, 1970 showed us all the way out – including talk about “climate change.”

    Since that first Earth Day, most of us ignored the warnings, and we not only continued using fossil fuels, we greatly expanded their use. Everyone who relies on fossil fuels – at this late date of 2010 – is at least partly to blame for the recent oil rig disaster in the Gulf.

    At this late date in our long historical use of fossil fuels, no one should be absolved and get bailed out. No one should be let off the hook “so families can afford the energy they need during the transition to a clean energy future.” This is laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic.

    Forty f-ing years after that first Earth Day, and we are still lost – trying to come up with easy solutions, instead of facing the realities of what ‘we the people’ must do – NOW!

    The vast majority of grandparents, parents, their offspring, other relatives and friends have been living in a state of denial for 40 years. Addictions to fossil fuels, corporate ads on TV, etc. – and ‘perceived/needed’ comfort levels – are no excuse.

    Hey kids, if you want to place the blame squarely where it belongs, tell your grandparents that they’ve screwed up big time! And if you’re still driving a fossil fuel-burning vehicle, you should be included as part of that debris of tires that are being suggested to fix the ruptured hole – a high-pressured shot into the oil hole itself!

  7. kanomi said on May 12th, 2010 at 2:19pm #

    Tiffiny Cheng, David DeGraw, and Kevin Zeese are either college students or totally naive. Or both:

    “After two years of being asleep at the switch, Congress is finally stepping up and taking action on financial reform. The resulting bill will be a clear indication and definitive proof as to who is actually running our country.”

    Are your heads so stuffed with shitty college lectures? This bill has already been gutted, been proven to be spineless. The whole audit the Fed thing is a charade. There will be no reform. We already know who is running the country.

    And in case you precious little wet-ears haven’t figured it out by now, Obama is not your friend. He is a merciless fraud, a paid puppet of the financial elite who do run this country and the entire Western system for their own bloody mercenary ends. Same with the two parties. Same with the media that talks about your ‘freedom’ and the universities that teach you of your ‘freedom’ and the armies that protect your ‘freedom’ – your freedom to be a slave.

    There is no democracy, no liberty, no hope and no change – there is only the tyrannous stink of fraudulent oligarchy and the viciousness of a government owned and operated by thieves.

  8. Don Hawkins said on May 12th, 2010 at 2:41pm #

    There is no democracy, no liberty, no hope and no change – there is only the tyrannous stink of fraudulent oligarchy and the viciousness of a government owned and operated by thieves.

    kanomi well put so what’s left courage I hope.

  9. Deadbeat said on May 12th, 2010 at 2:42pm #

    I agree with dane and kamomi. It seems any that Kevin Zeese lends his name to is a pipe dream. This is yet another effort designed to waste activists time and attention. The proposals listed in the article scream elitism. I can enumerate the problem with each of them but ultimately they do ABSOLUTELY nothing to help people in need.

    I also agree with dane it’s also fails to mention any challenge to American Zionism.

  10. Don Hawkins said on May 12th, 2010 at 3:19pm #


    The Interior Department on Wednesday announced it would change the way it oversees offshore drilling. The department is splitting the responsibilities of its Minerals Management Service to separate its oil royalty collection and safety inspection roles.

    As part of the shift, the Obama administration has asked for an additional $29 million to pay for more inspections of offshore platforms and a review of procedures.

    The overhaul will undoubtedly lead to stricter regulations of offshore drilling. With the agency coming under heavy fire for allowing BP to bypass some environmental studies, there will likely be more stringent environmental analysis and oil spill response plans.

    Regulators will also likely establish more rules regarding the equipment and techniques used in offshore oil production. The current focus on faulty blowout preventers and well cementing procedures as a possible causes for the accident will likely lead to more standards in those areas.


    Some lawmakers are looking at placing additional protections on offshore drilling. The Senate climate bill released Wednesday would allow U.S. states to prohibit offshore oil activity within 75 miles of their coasts. Reu

    Just like the financial reform bill more mumbo jumbo better known as bullshit. Who’s going to pay for the destruction of creation that will be one hell of a bill and who will pay does it matter? Within 75 miles of their coasts or who will pay nonsense.

  11. Don Hawkins said on May 12th, 2010 at 4:07pm #

    Chu said he had called upon the “very best” physicists, engineers, materials scientists and geologists from the government, academia and industry to “think outside of the box” in finding ways to tackle the spill.

    It’s a start why stop there.

  12. ikester8 said on May 14th, 2010 at 12:10pm #

    Every single one of these suggestions, while noble and all that, have failed and will fail, given that the Congress is wholly corrupt. The most recent debates on the latest round of “reform” have proven it. Those who say that the answer lies in pulling your money back out of their pockets are on the right track. Assume the system is hopelessly corrupt and incapable of reform, and you will begin to make smart choices.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 18th, 2010 at 1:35am #

    Tiffiny et al, I’m afraid I’m with kanomi. The global market capitalist economy is not your economy. It’s the economy of the psychopathic plutocrats, mostly hereditary, disproportionately Zionist, white, male, European and totally insane and spiritually wicked. If you want your economy to create an habitable planet, where liberty, equality and fraternity prevail, where sufficiency replaces insatiable greed as the raison d’etre of the system, then the current system must disappear from the pages of history. Hoping that the House Negro, conscienceless liar and all around charming psychopath Obummer, the Zionist ‘Manchurian Candidate’ will do anything to rein in that Zionist cottage industry, the banskster kleptocracy, is, I regret to say, evidence of deep self-delusion.