The Top 1%

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This short article in Vanity Fair's latest issue points out that the top 1% of this country control this country and our political leaders:

http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105 

Here is an excerpt: When you look at the sheer volume of wealth controlled by the top 1 percent in this country, it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level. And it looks as if we’ll be building on this achievement for years to come, because what made it possible is self-reinforcing. Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s—a scandal whose dimensions, by today’s standards, seem almost quaint—the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. “I certainly hope so,” he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending. The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift—through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price—it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.

I read this article the same day I got one of those 'pass this around' emails.  See what you think of it.  And it you like it, share it.

Congressional  Reform Act of  2011
1.  Term  Limits.
  12 years only, one of the possible options  below..
      A. Two Six-year Senate  terms
       B. Six Two-year House  terms
       C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House  terms

2.   No Tenure / No  Pension.
   A  Congressman collects a salary while in office and  receives no pay
when they are out of  office.

3.   Congress (past, present & future) participates  in Social  Security.
   All  funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to  the Social
Security system immediately.  All  future funds flow into the Social
Security system,  and Congress participates with the American  people.

4.   Congress can purchase their own retirement plan,  just as all Americans
do.

5.  Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay  raise.  Congressional pay
will rise by the  lower of CPI or  3%.

6.  Congress loses their current health care system and  participates in the
same health care system as the  American  people.

7.  Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose  on the American
people.

8.  All contracts with past and present Congressmen are  void effective
1/1/11.
    The  American people did not make this contract with  Congressmen.
Congressmen made all these  contracts for themselves.   Serving  in Congress
is an honor, not a career.  The  Founding Fathers envisioned citizen
legislators, so  ours should serve their term(s), then go home and  back to
work.

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