Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture: We are the 99% - now, let's get to work. 11 October '11
I got an e-mail today from the 1%.
It was actually from a business PR firm - whose e-mail list-serve I somehow got on.
The e-mail read:
Small businesses aren’t hiring right now. One of the main reasons is excessive government interference with the free market. The cost of doing business is driven up by over regulation. Pending changes create tremendous uncertainty. Complex tax codes and a legal system stacked against small business exacerbate the problem. However, there are some things that government could do to lighten the regulatory burden, reduce costs and get small business hiring again...
The e-mail goes on to list 5 simple, clear bullet points on how we can all fix our economy - 5 policies that are basically ripped right out of the mouth of Eric Cantor.
- Repeal Obama Care.
- Abolish labor unions.
- Reduce frivolous law suits.
- Lighten the regulatory burden.
- And - Dramatically simplify the tax code.
I mean - these guys are really good at messaging - and to the average low-information voter - all seems like common sense solutions, right?.
After all - Obamacare is evil - I heard it on Fox co-called News!
And labor unions are corrupt! - Who the hell needs to be able to talk back to their boss, anyway?
And why should there be FRIVOLOUS lawsuits?!
Or BURDENSOME regulations?!
And what's wrong with simplifying the tax code??
Of course - once you dig a little deeper - you realize that these policies are organized to ONLY benefit the top 1%.
Repealing so-called Obamacare will allow for-profit health insurance executives - who reside in the top 1% - to continue on with their death panels - and continue making money off denying children with pre-existing conditions healthcare.
And abolishing labor unions will allow CEOs - in the top 1% - to keep making paychecks 500 to 5000 times greater than their workers - and to keep offshoring American jobs to jack up their own profits.
And reducing so-called frivolous lawsuits will protect 1 percenters like the Koch brothers from having to compensate families of people who die when one of their pipelines blow up or there's downstream cancer-causing pollution from a paper factory.
And trashing so-called burdensome regulations will allow 1-percenters at BP and ExxonMobil to keep skirting safety laws that prevent another oil rig from exploding - or pollution laws that prevent entire cities from acquiring asthma.
And yeah - let's simplify the tax code - like Herman Cain wants to do with his 9-9-9 plan that will give the top 1% an enormous tax cut - while forcing poor people to pay for that rich people's tax cut by paying 9 percent income tax on their food, and giving the other 99% of us, on average, about a 900% tax increase.
Oddly, even though these proposals are custom made to benefit only the top 1% of American - most Americans don't realize it.
Rarely are people able to dig below the sound bytes and bullet points like I just did, and figure out what these policies will actually do - which is why Republicans are so effective at messaging - and why Democrats need to play copy-cat.
Democrats need to do a better job at messaging - and luckily for them - the new - clear as day - message is right in front of them.
It's simple..."We are the 99%".
We are the 99% - say it over, and over, and over again.
And out of that message - everything else flows.
We are the 99% who want free health care so that we don't have spend 15,000 bucks a year just for the right to see a doctor when healthcare should be a basic human right - like it is in every other developed nation on the planet.
We are the 99% who want democracy in the workplace in the form of labor unions so that our employers can't screw us over with low wages - unsafe working conditions - and discrimination.
We are the 99% who want to end so-called Free Trade so that we can build things in America again end employ millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs.
We are the 99% who expect a decent retirement when we get older and expect a social safety net if we fall.
We are the 99% who deserve a free college education like young people everywhere else in the developed world get.
We are the 99% who are tired of footing the bill for running this country since Ronald Reagan dropped the top 1 percent's federal income tax rate from 74 percent down to 28 percent - and we think it's time for everyone to pay their fair share.
A democracy works when the will of the majority is represented - and not just the will of the top 1% - and it's up progressives in America to make sure that that happens - and it starts with clear messaging.
The young people in New York City - in Washington, DC - in Boston - in Los Angeles - in Chicago - and in hundreds of other cities across America have invented that message.
Now it's time to use it for real progressive change.
We are the 99% - now, let's get to work.
That's The Big Picture.