Occupy Washington D.C. Releases Deficit Proposal
WASHINGTON -- The congressional "Super Committee" may be stalling, but Occupy Washington D.C. -- the protest formerly known as "Stop the Machine" that has been camped out in Freedom Plaza since Oct. 6 -- has set out its plan for fixing the budget.
"The 99%'s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending" was released Thursday morning.
The report has some usual progressive ideas: Ending the Bush tax cuts, enacting a "Speculation Tax" of "a half of a percent or less on Wall Street speculation" and taxing U.S. corporations on profits held overseas.
It calls for some changes that some libertarian-leaning types would like: Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ending corporate tax subsidies and cutting military spending to only what the U.S. needs to defend itself.
The report also proposes writing down all underwater mortgages to market value (the Federal Reserve could "unilaterally correct loans to reflect real value"). It suggests the government create more public-sector jobs. It proposes a new infrastructure-fixing program modeled on the Depression-era Works Progress Administration. It recommends erasing all student debt, leaving Social Security alone and "building a new economic model of more widespread ownership of assets and participation and wealth."
Some of the proposals seem self-contradictory and perhaps the report's authors overstate their case when they write that "The proposals in this report show that it would not be difficult for the so-called 'Super Committee' to achieve the requirement of at least $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade."
But the report's conclusion -- in which the Super Committee's biggest corporate donors are laid out, and the implications of these massive donations on the budget-cutting process are adjudged to be deleterious -- has fairly universal appeal.
Lest you think that this document at last answers that much-asked question of what it is that the Occupiers are demanding, it's doesn't:
"This report should not be considered the demand of the Occupy Movement. It was prepared by one Occupation, Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC and it does not reflect even that Occupation’s full demands. Most of this report provides solutions to the deficit questions the Congressional Super Committee is attempting to address while also re-starting the economy."
Photo by Flickr user Elvart Barnes
RELATED VIDEO: PBS NewsHour report on the congressional super committee being stuck, coming up on its November 23 deadline to cut the federal deficit.