BY KENNY BELFORD
Before you dismiss the Occupy Wall Street movement as simply a counter group to the Tea Party, there are some facts that might change your view.
First, let’s consider how the Tea Party was created. The Koch brothers of Wichita, KS, in command of a combined net worth of $50 billion, hired Republican operatives, such as Dick Armey and Freedom Works to organize the movement, create the agenda, and issue the talking points.
The sole purpose was to advance their wealth by herding up uninformed sheeple, arm them with altered facts and unleash them on America. Remember the Tea Party actions during the health care debate and the “Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare” signs?
The entire crop of Republican presidential wannabes is unanimous in their opposition to allowing all Americans to find a way to obtain health insurance.
At a recent debate the crowd actually cheered when an audience member yelled out “Let him die” to a question asked about what to do if someone had no health insurance and faced medical treatment in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Not one single Republican candidate rebuked that response.
The mindset can be summed up with as an “I’ve got mine, and if you don’t… tough” philosophy. All the candidates are self-professed Christians, except for that “I am my brother’s keeper” part.
Now there is another faction of America that doesn’t have the backing of two of the wealthiest individuals on the planet. It’s the portion of America that’s being left behind by the Republican policies to protect the rich.
When George W. Bush and his Republican-controlled Congress passed his tax cut scheme, there were two important points to mention. First, the tax cuts were supposed to be temporary. There was an official beginning, and end. Second, by huge margins the wealthiest Americans received the overwhelming bulk of tax relief.
The current Republican-controlled Congress has stated they will oppose any and all attempts to return the wealthiest Americans to their previous taxation levels.
Here in Oklahoma the majority of the sheeple believe that’s a good idea. The Koch brothers are getting the money’s worth when they can get lower income individuals fighting to keep funding massive tax breaks for billionaires.
There are a few interesting facts about the wealthiest 1% of Americans that illustrate how much of a game changer this philosophy has created:
1. The Top 1% Owns 40% of the Nation’s Wealth
2. The Top 1% Take Home 24% of National Income
3. The Top 1% Own Half of the Country’s Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds
4. The Top 1% of Americans Have Only 5% of the Nation’s Personal Debt
5. The Top 1% Are Taking In More off the Nation’s Income Than at Any Other Time Since the 1920’s
This isn’t simple happenstance. It’s the plan, the objective. It’s the Tea Party agenda set by the $50 billion Koch brothers. It’s the Republican Party plan, supported by all their presidential candidates. It’s the U.S. Supreme Court plan with their Republican majority that gave unlimited rights to corporations to buy elections. It’s the plan supported by ignorant [ignorance is a choice] Americans, certainly Oklahomans, that are willing to hurt themselves to further the transfer of wealth.
We’re not going to see our current President display fierce opposition; he’s displayed he doesn’t have much stomach for a fight. We’re not going to see Democrat leadership in Congress or the Senate take on a major challenge. They’re more than willing to make concessions to “negotiate” with Republicans that concede nothing.
All we have going for us – the 99% of Americans that aren’t billionaires – is the new Occupy Wall Street movement.
If that group grows in numbers and presence, there is a chance those that have to fight our battles for us will wake up, grow some spines and fight back.
If that effort falters and withers away, before long we’ll look back on this time as “the good old days.”
– Kenny Belford lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer