In deference to my good friend Dorian Dale who originated the Fat Cat Manifesto, and as encouragement to the budding revolutionaries protesting Wall Street, I have taken the liberty of summarizing demands that must be met in order to restore fiscal sanity within the United States. Please feel free to add, tweak, expound, etc.
1. Break Up The Banks. Reinstate Glass-Steagall, an act established in 1933 to protect citizens from the type of corruption that arose in the 1920’s and resulted in the market crash and subsequent Depression.
2. Regulate Swaps and Derivatives. These investments act are allowed to act like unregulated commodities without oversight, regulation or trading limits. The CFTC should govern these activities and provide transparency to ensure these transactions are “on” balance sheet.
3. Close Tax Loopholes. Eliminate the Carried Interest Tax loophole that allows income from financial investing to be treated as capital gains.
4. Limit Speculation. Rampant speculation in the commodities sector has allowed for the introduction of companies with no business interest in commodities to influence the volume and volatility of crucial staples such as energy and food.
5. Eliminate Tax Havens. Penalize companies who utilize off-shore tax havens to house primary business operations and institute sanctions against countries that harbor them.
6. Shred The Pledge. Every lawmaker who signed the Grover Norquist No-Tax Pledge should be required to shred the pledge with the same alacrity with which they signed it.
7. War Tax. Windfall taxes should apply to all war-profiteering companies who received multi-billion dollar contracts for work in Afghanistan and Iraq.
8. Secure Social Security. Phase in a re-enactment over the next ten years of the original Social Security provision that held these funds in trust “Off-Budget” to prevent Social Security funds being used for general budget purposes such as financing war.