Washington Responds to Occupy Wall Street

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich talks about economic news from Washington over the weekend, and how politicians from right and left are responding to the Occupy Wall Street protests.


Todd Zwillich

Comments [40]

Jay from Minneapolis

Regarding the end of the segment, discussing the change in procedural rules initiated by Harry Reid: There was real, extemporaneous debate in the Senate on this issue. Here is the link to the video of the rule change on October 6.

The action begins around 9:04:00. After a lengthy role call vote there is narrated explanation of what happened at about 10:02:30, after which there is a vigorous and passionate debate on the merits of the rule change. Schumer speaks around 10:39:00

Oct. 10 2011 09:54 PM
Joe B from Brooklyn

What was so interesting about the tea party person who was quoted as saying that occupying the streets for a month does nothing to affect change? And why wasn't she called out?

Tahrir Square, anyone?

Oct. 10 2011 02:02 PM
Joe B

As Naomi Klein said on Thursday, this is a response to the Tea Party. This is a response to the Democratic Party!

Oct. 10 2011 01:53 PM
Carole Kenyon

Our rabbi (a Reform congregation in Franklin Lakes, NJ) spoke about the danger of the idolatry of material possessions. Listening to the program this morning, I realize that she could well have been commenting on the themes of Occupy Wall Street without roiling any congregational waters.

Oct. 10 2011 11:32 AM
Bruce from Tarrytown

What ever happened to separation of Church and Wall State?

Oct. 10 2011 11:30 AM
Kathleen from Brooklyn

There are some superficial similarities with Obama and Reagan, but remember the trickle-down economic tax breaks that Reagan initiated and others called "voodoo economics" that are still espoused today. Robert Rubin's influence on Clinton's policies that brought about deregulation (Glass-Steigel) are still embodied in Tim Geitner and Larry Summers' take on the economy. The banks and investment companies have not "paid" for their bailout. No one has gone to jail....Both parties are beholden to corporate America.

Oct. 10 2011 11:19 AM
Bill from working in lower manhattan

I was inspired to look up & share this quote w/ interested parties - "We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end.
It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. . . .
It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes
me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war,
corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places
will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth
is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety
of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.
God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

The passage appears in a letter from Lincoln to (Col.) William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864.

Oct. 10 2011 11:13 AM
Edward from NJ

Anyone who thinks there's no difference between Obama and the Republican needs to remember the Supreme Court if nothing else*. A lot of people were spouting the no-difference rhetoric about Bush and Gore in 2000. Bush got to appoint 2 members to the court including the current Chief Justice. Four of the sitting justices are in their seventy. Three of those are liberals. Ginsberg will be 80 in 2013.

One of the most common complaints I'm hearing from OWS supporters is about the Citizens United vs FEC decision. Without Roberts and Alito on the court, that ruling goes the other way. If you want more decisions like Citizens United, stay home or vote for a third party candidate.

*And there's plenty else.

Oct. 10 2011 11:05 AM
Bob from Park Ridge

Mr. Cain's comments blaming working class folks themselves for being unemployed or "not rich" and then saying that the protests are the result of the protestors being envious of "successful people" are appalling.

Every successful corporation got there through the hard work of its rank and file employees and not only because of the leadership of its "successful" owners and executives. At its best this has always been something of a partnership.

ONE TOPIC THAT NEEDS DISCUSSION is to seek a definition for "success" in the corporate world.

Is it proper for executives to get multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses while cutting salaries and jobs for those who do the real work?

These employees worked hard for their employers (often for years or even decades) and felt that they WERE successful. Many had five (maybe) six figure jobs that paid the mortgage, put food on the table and put the kids through school. Workers who lost jobs or took significant salary cuts are now in trouble. They are locked into mortgages and school loans that they may never be able to pay off.

And don't owners and employers owe something (maybe a degree of loyalty?) to those who work for their companies?

And let's put aside for the moment that well into their careers many had their pensions cut or frozen (if they had one at all) and that they never could afford to put the maximum amount into risky 401Ks or 403Bs.

So just what is Mr. Cain's definition of "success?"

Oct. 10 2011 10:52 AM

Both Brian and his guest have repeatedly misstated an OWS position: it's not TARP per se that's being opposed, but its preposterously bank-friendly terms and lack of accountability.

The Tea Party, by contrast, claims to believe something quite different -- that any government assistance is bad, though that claim, like so many other TP positions, isn't credible (they mean it only when it's convenient).

Oct. 10 2011 10:42 AM
Asher from NYC

My participation in the Kol Nidre service at Occupy Wall Street got my otherwise right-leaning Jewish grandparents to get behind the movement.

Oct. 10 2011 10:39 AM
KM from NJ

Brian, I think you might be misreading what Obama wants (at least I hope you are). Obama is a natural mediator, and that is only a bad thing when the progressive left stays silent. Until now, we have not had his back from the left -- it's almost like he was playing tug-of-war against an organized, defiant opposition with no help on his side of the rope. He has had to mediate from a center-right position. Now that we have started vigorously pulling on the far left side, he can move his feet back to where his true beliefs reside and mediate more from the left. (fingers crossed)

Oct. 10 2011 10:37 AM
Sheldon from Crown Heights

Why did the left or anyone believe Obama would change the the system?

Obama IS part of the system - he IS a democract hence - he tried to reform it instead of destroying it, just like Gorbachev. The best thing OWS can do is avoid being co-opted by the established political parties.

Oct. 10 2011 10:37 AM
john from office

Vote for Obama, if you stay home we will get a real jerk in the white House. Dont vote third party nor stay home, VOTE OBAMA.

Oct. 10 2011 10:36 AM

Joy-- re: Friends don't let friends bank with the Too Big To Fail Banksters--

I moved my money to a credit union back in the 1980's. Fantastic service, fair fees.

Of course, the TBTF Banksters can still get their vampire squid suckers clamped onto us, via credit cards (one of mine is from my credit union) and Chase bought out my mortgage company.

Oct. 10 2011 10:36 AM
john from office

Becky, I am no that smart nor evil.

Oct. 10 2011 10:34 AM
The Truth from Becky

We are swiftly separating into two classes, rich and poor and people have every right to protest.

***FUVA don't be fooled by John, he is not genuine. The thank you is a smokescreen.

Oct. 10 2011 10:33 AM
Mark from Astoria

I agree with the last caller. I just don't think I can support Obama in the next election. I won't vote for a Republican candidate either, but Obama has been a let down on so many issues. I'm tired of feeling like no one will stand up for people like me. I will either not vote in the presidential election or, like the caller, vote for a third party candidate that I can stomach.

Oct. 10 2011 10:32 AM
Gianni Lovato from Chatham

If and when the OWS folks give up the gratuitous robing & disrobing, as well as the hedonistic practices of "free" sex and pot, they just might get a chance of not winding up as ineffective as the flower children of 1968.
Otherwise it will be déjà vu all over again.
And I'll have wasted my driving 300 miles to deliver supplies to Zuccotti Park.
Pity, but not for me. (I'm too old to get hurt)

Oct. 10 2011 10:31 AM
John from office

The federal reserve and the idea of a national bank were fought over by Hamilton and Jefferson 200 years ago. Hamilton won the fight. It is a boogy man of the far right.

Oct. 10 2011 10:30 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

john from the office -- thanks a lot!

Oct. 10 2011 10:30 AM

I'm sure Todd Zwillich realizes that Lincoln was speaking about taking sides in a civil war when he made his comment about God.

However, Jesus, as written about in the Gospels, definitely was on the side of the poor and the downtrodden. He declared it was harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel go through the eye of a needle.

Now, God's position? Not clear. Christ's? Pretty well known.

Also, I'm not sure Todd Z. is using "co-opted" in the sense it was used in the 60's and 70's. The Powers That Be tried to "co-opt" in order to destroy the anti-war movement.

He seems to be using it as meaning the Powers That Be are trying to decide whether to try to harness the energy of the OWS movement for their political gain, to hold onto their power. Not to support the OWS objectives, but to try to bamboozle the movement supporters into thinking the Democratic Party, for example, supports the same philosophy and ideals as the protesters do.

Obama has made that much more difficult since so many have seen him govern almost in opposition to what he campaigned on, Except for helping the health industry players with his health insurance reform bill and going after SocSec and Medicair. He was pretty clear about what he wanted until he began to work on bamboozling the Democratic voters.

Oct. 10 2011 10:28 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Obambi is Reagan ??????????


Oct. 10 2011 10:27 AM

One of the factors that gave the tea party legitimacy and clout, and is often overlooked, is how Fox covered even their smallest rallies early on.

Oct. 10 2011 10:26 AM
john from office

FUVA, you were right on the money with your comment on the "Great Migration" segment. You are clear eyed, that is good.

Oct. 10 2011 10:25 AM
Carolita from Nyc

I dont think we are against the bail out, but are against the impunity!! You are misreading.

Oct. 10 2011 10:25 AM

Parallels between the tea party and the occupiers? Red herring and disingenuous. They both might be angry over "bank bailouts", but the tea party says it wants banks to fail and let the chips fall where they may (even if it goes so far as having people starving in the street). The occupiers want no such thing. The parties are diametrically opposite.

Oct. 10 2011 10:25 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Oh, please. This is true grassroots?

The money here on the Left is just as much behind the OWS hooligans....the unions, Soros, the rebranded ACORN base, David Axelrod's combat jackboots troops.

What a joke.

Oct. 10 2011 10:23 AM

as the rich are getting richer, everyone else is working for less and les

why shouldn't those who are getting the most from the economy pay more and more to a nation that gives them more and more

Oct. 10 2011 10:23 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

Suspect that there is already money -- quiet money -- behind this group. They have no doubt proven resourceful themselves, but I believe they're getting help, on the low.

Oct. 10 2011 10:22 AM
Henry from Manhattan

The Tea Party got underway once Obama was in office. When Bush began the bailouts, they weren't around. That colors their agenda heavily.

Oct. 10 2011 10:22 AM

@MartinC...Median income falling is a predictable result of no job creation. What say we give the 'job creators' a grade of 'F' for the last 2 years and take away their tax breaks? At least then the government budget can begin to be in balance. Stop taxing the income on savings (until withdrawn) and the middle class will develop its own pool of lendable capital.

Herman Cain and 9-9-9 are nowhere.

Oct. 10 2011 10:21 AM
tom from manhattan

You demean occupy wall street by constantly paralleling them with the so-called tea party. occupy wall street is a glorious direct-democracy mess, grassroots; the tea-party was a well-funded koch-brothers-financed astroturf piece of puppetry.

Oct. 10 2011 10:20 AM
Joy from Manhattan

Am glad to see the protest moving toward definitive actions that punish bad banks and bolster local banks and credit unions e.g. the "Bank Transfer Day" idea. In short, moving all your monies out of big banks by November 5. It was encouraged last year in France. Now it's in the USA. I moved my money last month.

Oct. 10 2011 10:20 AM
sammy from nyc

major reason why people are angry is because of income inequality and concentration of wealth

Oct. 10 2011 10:19 AM
john from office

Defining crusties:

Crusties are distinctive for their unkempt appearance. They are associated with anti-capitalism,[2] road protests, squatting, raves and begging.[3] Typical dress styles involve dreadlocks, piercings, tattoos and dirty clothing (generally second-hand or army surplus).[4]

Oct. 10 2011 10:18 AM
teresa from Manhattan

At least this movement is bringing the country to a common talking point. Maybe this could be the force to get congress to actually do something for the country, to move forward from this stalemate.

Please keep the religious aspect minimal, or not at all. Again, keep church and state separate. Let the Tea Party be extreme with religion.

Oct. 10 2011 10:16 AM
john from office

This "movement" is not going anywhere, it is losing the middle. Too many of the "crusties" are showing up.

Oct. 10 2011 10:15 AM
Kate from Washington Heights

The energy behind OWS is the same energy that got Obama elected. We thought he could do it for us, and the summer's insane, bogus debt ceiling debacle has convinced me at least that the right is impossible. No matter how much Obama does what we elected him to do, which was to forge a purple America, the crazy right (as opposed to the tiny remnant of sane right) is absolutely willing to destroy our democracy in order to grab even more wealth.

Oct. 10 2011 10:11 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Jobs Bill" ???
This isn't a jobs bill, and WNYC and the lamestream media should end their collusion with Obama's team by refusing to call it such from this day forward.
They should call it what it is....."Stimulus Three".....another one year band-aid plan of temporary gimmicks and hand-outs that will have the same zero effect on recovery....which is why we aren't in one.

Didn't anybody read in the NYT today that median income has fallen TWICE as much in the past two years of "recovery" than it did during the actual recession?

What will it take to make New Yorkers re-think their support of the Democrats?
Herman Cain 2012.

Oct. 10 2011 10:04 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.