In the post-occupation hangover, a (or the) big question is whether or not and to what extent Occupy Wall Street’s message will have managed to translate into actual policy. OWS itself has strenuously refused to get involved in coming up with any legislation, since the movement wants to eschew mainstream politics at large.
Today we caught wind of the Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act, which is to our knowledge the first piece of legislation inspired by OWS. The act was written by Congressional Progressive Caucus members Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). Like the OWS movement itself, the proposed legislation is wide-ranging, encompassing job creation measures, new taxes on Wall Street, and Medicare and Social Security protections.
After repeated efforts by conservative Washington politicians to reenact the same failed policies, Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) took action. CPC Members traveled across the country listening to the American people. Americans told us they want work and that cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and education is unacceptable. At the same time, they want big banks to help clean up the mess they made and they want millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.
The authors say the act would create 5 million jobs over the next two years and reduce the budget deficit by $2 trillion.
Fact sheet for the act:
The provisions are noble but like the OWS movement itself, the legislation is incredibly wide-ranging. We’ve reached out to the congressmen involved and will update if we hear back.
[h/t Sam Rubenfeld]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 23, 2011