Congressman Serrano Voices Support for Occupy Wall Street
This week, Congressman Serrano spoke out in support of the basic economic message of the Occupy Wall Street protests. The protests, which began in mid-September, are expressing opposition to an economic system that has eroded working people’s economic security while simultaneously greatly enriching a small segment of society, and to a political system that has failed to address those concerns.
“I’ve been watching the growing attention that the Occupy Wall Street protestors are garnering and have to say that I couldn’t agree with their economic message more,” said Serrano. “For years, many of us have been talking about the squeeze on working families and the favoritism toward the rich that has infected our national policies, but these protestors have helped spread that message to new and bigger audiences. This is a very welcome development. They have hit on a simple truth—the economic policies that our nation has enacted over the past several decades have made it harder and harder for the vast majority of the population to live a decent, stable life. Working families have the right to be outraged and fed up, and I believe these protestors are channeling that justified indignation.
“We just spent a very long spring and summer in Washington listening to a debate about severe cuts to government spending—spending that supports working families. Meanwhile the jobs situation was blinking red the entire time. Poll after poll showed that people across the nation cared far more about job creation than government spending, but to hear the Washington discourse it would have seemed to have been the exact opposite. Now we’ve wasted months on the outlandish debt debate and done nothing to support job creation. No wonder there is such frustration.
“The protesters ask why we are focused on rebuilding roads and bridges and schools in Afghanistan and Iraq when we have out-of-work workers, crumbling bridges, roads and schools right here at home. I take it a step further and ask why we are spending money to occupy these nations and to support a hugely bloated military budget. We should bring the troops home, and redirect a significant portion of the defense budget to social and infrastructure spending here in our nation.
“The protestors have done our nation a great service in restarting a conversation about the skewed economic priorities of some politicians and the nation’s wealthy who they seem to represent. I am of the firm belief that we need a fundamental re-shifting of our nation’s economic policies and tax code to ensure that they help the vast majority of Americans, and not just the wealthy few. We need to invest in our future through schools and social spending. We need to favor ordinary people, not the powerful moneyed interests. I applaud what the Occupy Wall Street protesters are doing, and I add my voice to theirs as they ask Washington to focus on the real needs of working families.”