By Tiffiny Cheng, David DeGraw and Kevin Zeese
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.