The 'Occupy' movement has valid points; Reform is required

Dear Editor,

Regarding the occupy movement. I do not understand what Congress finds so hard to understand about it
What does surprise me is that there are not more seniors joining. Then I realize we don't drive downtown and restrooms are a must.

Joking aside some of the concerns as I see them are:

1. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. without jobs among other things due to our arcane health system the family has no health insurance, cannot make their house payment and certainly has no disposable income. In 2010 44% of adults 19-64 either had no insurance at some point in the year or not enough to cover needs. This is up from 35%in 2003. The average cost in the US now tops $8,000 per year, more than twice what most other industrialized countries spend and costs rising. I guarantee your supplemental medicare coverage will increase more than your social security check. As for individual policies...........who knows?

2. The Occupy Movement recognizes that America does not have a level playing field for jobs. San Francisco went to China to build their new bridge and had it barged over here as American steel was "too expensive." You can bet the Chinese company does not pay health and retirement benefits, does not have to worry about EPA rules or work safety conditions. Many of their workers may even live in dorms at the site. Is this what we want? If to level the field we need to increase tariffs on goods from China, India, Viet Nam etc then so be it.

3. Everyone who ran for office in '08 promised to revisit NAFTA. That has not happened. What has happened is the new Free Trade Act with three more countries added. The great sucking sound of NAFTA has just increased to a massive sucking sound.

4. Afghanistan broke Russia yet we continue to let that country drain our treasury and maim our young. You want to end the war? Restore the DRAFT and you will see much more concern. Most Americans can not even tell you how many years we have been fighting over there and in Iraq. Bringing home troops does not mean military leaving and "private contractors" at triple military pay or more stay and say we are out of it .

5. The Occupy Movement wants Congress to act on mortgage modications. At present they are voluntary for the banks and banks are not volunteering. IT IS NOT WORKING to the degree needed and won't until Congress makes them do it. We want the banks regulated as they were in the past so they can't gamble with our money and when they loose we have to pay so they can play again. We want the bankruptcy laws changed so that the bankruptcy judge has the authority to modify primary home loan mortgages not just second, third and investment property mortgages as is the case now.

6. We want campaign reform. Real campaign reform. Asking the very people that benefit from the current system to do it will probably not work. It will probably take a Constitutional Amendment ...... so be it. Limit campaigning to six months before the elections. Make all media, written, television whatever give the same amount of coverage to every candidate. The fact that over half of Congress are millionaires then throw in the lobbyists it is a greased slope. Not greased in favor of middle America. I do not think corporations are people. Limit all sources to campaigns. Including, but not limited to PACS, Super PACS, organizations that are a front for their contributions. Make it clear our elections ARE NOT FOR SALE.

7. We want States to stop passing laws that make it impossible for current voters to vote. The older generation probably votes in every election but may not have photo id.

8. We want Congress to leave alone social security and medicare. The Republicans pushed for the Medicare part D drug plan but both parties are guilty of passing this law with no funding for it. Plus it will not allow the Government to negotitate drug prices as the VA can nor will it pay for drugs purchased out of the country .This is a joke when about 75% are made out of this country.

9. I believe we should not get rid of collective bargaining. Those same law enforcement officers you see owe what they have to collective bargaining. Getting rid of collective bargaining is a huge step backward.

10. Personally, I want Congress to spend more time and energy on JOBS, JOBS AND JOBS and less time worrying about my religion or lack thereof as well as keep their nose out of the personal lives of women.

The Occupy Movement wants at least a chance to have what we older folks have now. I want it to be better for my sons, grandkids etc but if that is going happen.....
Congress needs to change and change now.

This is the view of one older lady.

Contact your members of Congress now.

Harriet Benjamin

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