There are an incredible amount of people, all over the United States, taking to the streets to protest a variety of issues most focusing on the fact that an elite 1% of the richest people are not being taxed appropriately, the corporate tie with politics and its attributes that lead to lobbying for tax shelters and lower taxes, and general anger toward unfair wages between average Americans when scaled against the wages or salaries of CEOs. It has morphed into war protests, hippie like songs and poems, as well as a forum for discontent about many other issues. Unemployment woes resonate through various protests, the discomfort of many displayed in signs and posts using the technological advances such as YouTube, iPhone pictures, and photographs displayed on various media outlets all over the world.

Perhaps, what we are witnessing, is a reflection of the Arab spring becoming the American spring? The reactions of some representatives, like House Majority Leader Eric Canton calling the crowds “mobs”. Conservative Christian leaders, like Bryan Fischer, calling the protesters “terrorists about to carry out terrorist acts”. The installation of fear, contracted by change, is often depicted from the pulpit, from political offices, and now from corporations and the actions of Wall Street executives sipping champagne from the balcony of the building.

Capitalism, at it’s very worst, is the complaint of the people protesting who are the 99% of people suffering in an economy without jobs, dwindling unemployment benefits, and rising taxes. A CEO, protected by a “golden parachute”, earns five times the amount they earned in 1980s while the average worker has not enjoyed the raise in pay making an average of $26,000 to $40,000 per year. Even those who receive Social Security retirement or disability payments have not seen a “cost of living” increase. The dissolving middle class faces poverty situations and in some cases loss of medical benefits, choosing which child can be covered, or starving due to the increase of utilities, taxes both local and state, school taxes, and property taxes. The poverty levels have significantly risen since 2008 with only 100,000 being made this quarter. It’s not enough, and the average worker and average American is sick of poverty, being cast aside, and the prospect of a bleak future in which bankruptcy becomes a real and normal solution to poverty. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. The reality can be found using any search engine, finding out the truth is easy to do with patience, time, and a bit of digging.

So, what to do? Perhaps representatives in both the Senate and House need to suffer with the rest of us in order to meet the needs of their constituents. Instead of $100,000+ salaries, I say we bump them down to $26,000 per year so they understand the state of most of the people who have elected them. Lobbyist cooperate interest groups should not be permitted to fund campaigns or representatives. Perhaps, with the pressing need to make ends meet, the elected officials may understand what is like to live hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck, scraping by and empty refrigerators, pantries, and shelves. Maybe they need to stand in line for food at a food bank, getting what food they can for free. Making that small amount last until the next month when the line is longer and the food less.

Further, taxation of the elite rich who pay less than the average secretary pays for income taxes should be instituted immediately along with close of loopholes that allow for tax refuges, tax shelters and removes the holes in which the rich prosper and the poor suffer. Maybe if they were forced to pick which bill to pay this month so one could eat or even be forced to clip coupons to afford food for their family will teach them to respect the plight of those who live this reality every single day, week, month and year.

Maybe, those Republicans who take the opportunity to shield the rich need to learn how to eat tuna out of cans every week in order to afford much needed medication like diabetic medicine, anti-psychotics, or heart medication. When they find themselves collecting welfare cheese and bread, stretching every penny to meet the needs of a family, choosing to spend the allowance allotted for the education of their children or the wealth needed for retirement, selling their cars for more efficient cars, foreclosing on homes and property because you cannot afford the mortgage, and are forced to stand in front of a Home Depot to get extra money for one’s family working for two peanuts and a roll of toilet paper they would resort to real solutions for the economy instead of accepting millions from corporations and elite rich people to get what they need while the rest of us can’t even afford cake.

They beheaded Marie Antoinette for less than that. I am certainly not suggesting we send our government representatives to the guillotine, I am suggesting that we guillotine the salary, benefits, retirement funds, and lifestyle of the rich and ridiculous in order to give them a fresh prospective on the reality of the 99%. Most don’t know and don’t care about the plight of those of us struggling to pay the bills, feed ourselves, keep our car running so we can work, and facing the possibility of homelessness. The routine in D.C. has been the same: some feel that unemployment benefits make people lazy, that those who are unemployed aren’t willing to work at Burger King which can’t possibly make ends meet, and suffer tooth pain and physical pain because one is too lazy to get medical benefits. The surreal norm of the representatives exceeds the reality of real people who struggle, suffer, sacrifice health and well being in order to feed their children or put some food on their own table.

Millions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich do not cycle back into the economy. Millions of dollars corporations get in tax breaks or not paying any taxes at all does not cycle back into the economy. It goes to bonuses for already fat CEOs and executives, hoarded by banks who were relieved of taxes in order to loan to people isn’t happening, and the plight of the average person is trivialized by those who degrade the voices of the tired and poor by calling them “mobs” and “terrorists”.

The crowd grows. Yet mocked by Wall Street executives, the crowd grows. The ignorance of those in power who could change things fuels the people, the 99%. The American spring has begun, the voices of the people are speaking, and many in power ignore them, trivialize them, degrade them, and perpetuate fear against them. Yet bravely, every day, another voice cries out “I’m starving, poor and tired, the American dream has become a nightmare, and I have had enough!”

I have had enough, too. I am the 99% suffering every day, week, month, year. I stand in food lines to feed myself. I struggle to pay rising costs when my income does not reflect the cost of living. I eat tuna out of cans so I can afford my much needed medication. I suffer on less money because I have to pay for medicare and medicaid, living month to month on two peanuts and a roll of toilet paper. I don’t qualify for assistance because I make too much monthly. I suffer with tooth pain because I can’t afford dental care. I suffer physically from not eating enough. My household income barely meets the needs for average survival. I am suffering with a disabling mental illness that it takes me hours and hours to make a post and I struggle to pay for my medications to keep me somewhat sane. I suffer from discrimination because I don’t get the tax breaks that other married couples get because I so happen to be a lesbian. I struggle to afford the psychiatrist and psychotherapy I desperately need and benefit greatly from. I am choked by taxes both local and state to live where I wish. I am looking for a “cost of living” increase so that I can afford the cost of life. I am the 99% and I am not going to take this anymore. I am not going to idle. I am standing up to be counted as one suffering the nightmare of the American dream and the empty promises of a prosperous future.

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