OCCUPY THE BALLOT BOX

You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em—the tents, that is. The Occupy Hartford protest came to a quiet end this week when Hartford police removed the few remaining tents and people from the corner of Farmington Ave. and Broad St. It was kind of a sad scene, with only about a half dozen protestors left. To all the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protestors across the country, the mantra should now be, “Occupy the ballot box!” If those taking over public space for the last few months are serious about change, they will all vote; every chance they get, in every polling place across this nation.

Critics say the OWS people didn’t have a coherent message. The Shad disagrees. Yes, there were some in the groups who wanted simply get high and have a reason not to go to work or class, but to me the message was still there: The big banks and financial institutions got bailed out by the federal government—actually, the taxpayers—because they were “too big to fail” with the thought they would use the money to modify loans, make cash available to small business, and create jobs. None of this happened. And what of the average Joe on the street? He loses his home, can’t find a decent job and still has to file bankruptcy while the CEOs of said institutions continued to enjoy tens of millions in bonuses. The bailouts didn’t give the little guy a chance, it simply made economic disparity in this country worse.

Having said all of that, when it’s time to go home, it’s time to go home. But that doesn’t mean the action should stop. Currently in Washington, DC, there are elected officials who are holding up an extension of the payroll tax cut for middle income folks because they don’t want to have millionaires pay a little more. It’s not like those with million dollar (or more) incomes haven’t paid this before. The proposal is simply to let the giveaways of the Bush II administration expire. The answer? VOTE!

Many members of Congress and those who want to be, are on record as supporting the extension of the payroll tax cut to stave off an approximately $1,000 tax increase to the average family. If you agree with them, VOTE!

If you are “one of the 99%” and don’t vote, you’ve just been hanging around the local park, camping.

Your thoughts?

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