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The CA$H of Occupy Wall $treet

CNNMoney ran an article today entitled “Occupy Wall Street has money to burn.” According to the Occupy Wall Street finance group member Pete Dutro, fundraising, particularly online fundraising, has been VERY successful, collecting almost $600,000 in tax-deductible donations since late September. Dutro said that the group still holds $455,000 in its bank account.

(This money MAY have to be spent in non-profit ways, depending upon the conditions for its collection.)

If Occupy Wall Street were like many American for-profit corporations these days, it would just SIT on the money, preferably in off-shore accounts, rather than putting it to good use. 😉

In the past, the funds helped to finance the tent city at Zuccottti Park (formerly Liberty Plaza Park) to purchase things like food, medical supplies, camping equipment, and when necessary, bail bonds. Now, with no formal camp, such expenses have ALSO been eliminated! Combelic said that his group gave money to Occupy Oakland and $3,000 to Occupy Harlem last week. CNN quoted Tom Combelic, a member of the media team for Occupy Wall Street:

“At least from the teams that I’ve been a part of, there’s been a lot of discussion about what to do next in terms of finance,” Combelic said of the new situation.

If I could offer a suggestion, it would be to take advantage of the cash (plus collect more that would not be tax-deductible), and also the POLL (conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Religion News Service) that shows that 29% of Americans SHARE the values of Occupy Wall Street (roughly the same percentage that shares the values of the Tea Party).

What can I say? Some people READ, and some people DON’T! 😉

Also from the poll:

“Majorities of nearly every demographic group – including all major religious groups, age groups and education groups – agree that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor,” reads the survey.

Over two-thirds or 67 percent of respondents said the government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Less than one-third said the government should do less.

(Is the last group the same as those who share the values of the Tea Party? :-) )

Occupy Wall Street could take advantage of the funding (plus collect non-tax-deductible funding for political purposes), the timing, and the majority sentiment expressed above to move into mainstream politics, either as members within the Democratic Party, or as a third party, the “99% Party,” for want of a better term. In either case, the broad support for the belief  “that government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor” might provide the Occupy folks with sufficient leverage to make a difference WITHIN “the system” if they can maintain their philosophical “purity” with regard to certain key, central beliefs that their members can rally around.

If a “99% Party” should evolve, its members will have to put forth candidates that CANNOT be purchased, corrupted, or co-opted – a “tall order” for human beings in general. :-) In addition, such a “99% Party” will have to watch out for “agents provocateurs” who will be doing what they can to discredit and sabotage the fledgling political group.

Still, ideologues “who cannot be bought” would be preferable to the current crop of zealots and ideologues from BOTH major parties, who CAN! :-) Besides, the current crop of for-sale ideologues seems not to care if the U.S. goes “down the tubes” so long as they do not have to compromise. (Those of you from California can probably see the similarities with our STATE politicians in Sacramento! :-) ) Today’s failure of the “super committee” to reach an agreement that would prevent painful budget cuts triggered a 248-point drop in the Dow that seems to UNDERSCORE the lack of concern for the country the legislators claim to represent!

President Obama has threatened to VETO any attempt by congress to undo or alter the automatic spending cuts for 2013 that were triggered by the super committee’s failure. Also, significantly:

The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s issued a statement Monday that said the committee’s failure to reach agreement would not bring a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, as long as the resulting automatic spending cuts remain intact.

As we move into the 2012 election year, there is one fact, borne out by the poll referenced above, that any politician running for office should remember. Any solution that does result in the uppermost 1% of income earners (the only group that has made significant financial gains since 1980) paying their “fair share” will likely not meet with approval by the majority of Americans (regardless of what the 1/3 minority thinks).

-Bill at

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