Watch the clips of Dennis Kucinich's AMAZING address to Congress (about
30 minutes total) or read the text below, and note that under this
system taxes at all levels of government will be REDUCED SUBSTANTIALLY.
PLEASE forward widely and take it to the streets. This is the moment.
First a short introduction from Elizabeth Kucinich to America,
This remarkable speech was given by my husband, Dennis Kucinich, last
night in Congress. It includes such topics as poverty in America and the
defense of the middle class, security, diplomacy, Syria, Libya, war,
peace, jobs, infrastructure, and what is possible with REAL monetary
policy reform in the form of legislation he is about to re-introduce
called the National Employment Economic Defense Act (the NEED Act)
You can watch part one of the speech byclicking here
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hukgub2Y100> or on the links which
follow and read it in full below. -- It truly is worth reading to the
end. It explains so much of what has been going on in recent years and
how we can move forward as a strong, prosperous and vibrant nation.
C-Span footage: Kucinich Addresses Congress Part 1
C-Span footage: Kucinich Addresses Congress Part 2
C-Span footage: Kucinich Addresses Congress Part 3
*US Congressman Dennis Kucinich's Remarks to the United States House of
Representatives on September 7, 2011:*
Tonight I wish to speak to this Congress and to my fellow Americans
about international policy and its relation to the domestic economy. I
will advocate a new direction America must take in the world so that we
can meet the needs of our people here at home.
For the past decade we have relied on the force of our arms to make
America secure while our economy has rotted from within. America has
lost its focus. America has spent more time concentrating on reshaping
the world than on reshaping our economy.
We have created hundreds of thousands of jobs for military contractors
all over the world, while we just learned that we created zero jobs here
in the United States in the month of August as unemployment continues to
stay above 9%.
Come home America. We must begin to focus on things here at home and
stop roaming the world looking for dragons to slay. We have a right and
an obligation to defend our nation. That includes working for peace
abroad and seeking peaceful resolution of conflict, a capacity that, at
our peril, we have not fully developed: I call it strength through
peace. It involves the pursuit of what President Franklin Roosevelt
called the "Science of Human Relations," actually engaging those with
whom we disagree most to attempt to find a way to co-exist peacefully.
As Dr. Martin Luther King said at a commencement address at Oberlin
College in 1965:
"We must find some alternative to war and bloodshed... I do not wish to
minimize the complexity of the problems to be faced in achieving
disarmament and peace. But we shall not have the courage, the insight,
to deal with such matters unless we are prepared to undergo a mental and
spiritual change. It is not enough to say we must not wage war. We must
love peace and sacrifice for it. We must fix our visions not merely on
the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of
peace. We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, far superior
to the discords of war."
I believe the American people have the capacity to 'undergo a mental and
spiritual change' that Dr. King spoke about. People are about that work
in their own private lives everyday. The question is does our government
and those who lead it have that capacity. Are we willing to look,
recognize that the path we are on leads only to destruction and poverty
and are we willing to embark courageously on a new path. To those who
say that this is naïve, I ask has the strategy of military intervention
which took us and keeps us in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya made us any
safer? The muscle-bound "with us or against us" mindset which passes for
statecraft has placed us on a march of folly that in the past decade has
left America with thousands of dead young soldiers, over a million dead
innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the surrounding region, a
new generation of terrorists and trillions upon trillions of dollars in
debt. As poverty and war are twins, so are peace and prosperity.
Mindful of the disaster of spreading war and being an eyewitness as to
how easily our country seems to be drawn into conflict, I traveled to
Syria this year, to personally urge their leader to stop the violence,
respect human rights, and begin a transition toward a democratic state.
I traveled to Lebanon afterwards to hear the concerns of leaders who
also believe that the violence in Syria must stop and are concerned that
if radical fundamentalism results in the overthrow of the government of
Syria, the same fires will consume their own nation which developed a
fragile political and social consensus after years of civil war.
I opposed the war in Libya, not only because it was unconstitutional,
but it was and is unconscionable for America to precipitate or take
sides in a civil war, spending perhaps billions in an ongoing war while
we have so many pressing needs here at home. We went in because we were
told a massacre could occur, yet civilian casualties in Libya mounted
after the U.S. and NATO attacked. In order to please the West, Libya
cooperated with the CIA, got rid of its WMD program in 2004 and
privatized its economy, resulting in massive unemployment. It was moving
through to reform even as the West moved to bomb it and, inexplicably,
the West moved to take up the cause of elements of Al Qaeda spurring the
We learn today from CNN that the rebels and fighters aligned with them
are looting weapons warehouses across Libya, where as many as 20,000
surface to air missiles had previously been kept under lock and key.
Western officials, perhaps the same geniuses who knowingly helped Libyan
rebels with ties to Al Qaeda overthrow the Libyan government, are now
worried the surface to air missiles and other weapons will get into the
This lawless interventionism spurred on by an unaccountable NATO which
violates United Nations Security Council resolutions with impunity, this
attempt to use force to bring others to subjection in the name of
democracy actually has become a device for control over the wealth of
other nations and the squandering of our own wealth and the spreading of
poverty here at home.
Did our government just wake up one day and discover that 14 million
Americans are out of work and that we need a massive program to put them
back to work? No. It has known that for some time. War has become our
great distraction. It has given those who have little or no ability to
construct a fair economy an opportunity to pretend to leadership at the
expense of those brave men and women who serve and at the expense of the
American economy and the expense of the American taxpayers. We can no
longer afford participating in this "war game of nations".
I opposed the war in Afghanistan, and have brought Congress to confront
it several times because the U.S. has spent one half a trillion dollars
trying to democratize a tribal nation while failing to spend sufficient
resources to protect our democracy here at home.
The latest report is that we may be in Afghanistan through 2024, at the
request of the Afghanistan government. This will cost us hundreds of
billions, even trillions more. Doesn't it make more sense for America to
come home, at the request of and for the benefit of the American people?
I led opposition in this Congress to the war in Iraq. Nine years ago I
warned this Congress that there was no reason to go to war against Iraq.
I was asked at that time whose side I was on, America's or the murderous
dictator Saddam Hussein. Opposing that intervention was seen by some as
coddling a murderous dictator. No matter that Hussein had opposed Al
Qaeda. No matter that there was no proof that Iraq had anything to do
with 9/11 or Al Qaeda's role in 9/11; no matter that Iraq did not have
the intention or capability of attacking the United States and that no
one had been able to show that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I
wasn't "for" Saddam Hussein. I was for the truth. And for peace.
America pursued the war anyway. America put the lives of its sons and
daughters on the line. America will spend over three trillion dollars
for this war that was based on lies. And even today we find our
government will not bring the troops home as promised, but instead will
continue to spend billions on this stupid and corrupt war in Iraq while
our own nation is falling apart. Money for war, but no money for jobs?
Am I advocating isolationism? Certainly not. We need to strengthen the
United Nation's peacekeeping ability and blunt NATO's war making
capability. We must stop NATO from going rogue. We need a
counter-terrorism strategy which brings people to justice, not which
dispenses justice from 10,000 ft., with the help of Predator Drones. It
is the predatory interventionism which must stop. We must stop
intervening for the benefit of oil companies or other corrupt corporate
We cannot be the policeman of the world and lay off police and firemen
in our own nation. We cannot continue to bomb bridges in other countries
and say we do not have the money to build bridges here in America. We
must stop pretending that America can solve all the problems in the
world when we can't solve our own problems here at home. How can we
bring democracy to other nations when we are losing it at home? We
cannot tell other people how to live when we have people here at home
who are having difficulty living. We should look to the wisdom of
Proverbs where it was written: "He who troubleth his own house shall
inherit the wind" (Proverbs 11:29) and we must work to set our own house
There were no weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. But there are weapons
of mass destruction here in America. Unemployment is a Weapon of Mass
Destruction. Poverty is a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Homelessness is a
Weapon of Mass Destruction. Inadequate education is a Weapon of Mass
Destruction. Lost pension benefits are Weapons of Mass Destruction. Poor
health care is a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
Yet despite the obvious needs domestically, the Pentagon budget now
consumes over 50% of our discretionary spending. And the Pentagon budget
has grown alongside the war budget. Just this year the wars and the
Pentagon budget will consume close to $1 trillion in taxpayers' money. A
trillion dollars! Do you have any idea how many jobs a trillion dollars
can create? Stop the wars and trim the bloated Pentagon budget and use
the savings to put America back to work. The American people want work
Can we see any clearer example of the danger of endless war? We are
supposed to be impressed with the strength of our leaders who, in the
name of America wield awesome weapons against states a fraction of our
size while when it comes to the economy and jobs, the same leaders lack
the ability to confront Wall Street, which is destroying jobs on Main
While spending trillions for unnecessary wars, the government bailed out
the banks for $700 billion, refusing to link the bailout to mortgage
modification which would have helped millions of Americans stay in their
The Fed, which infamously looked the other way as the financial crisis
was building and failed to properly monitor the overexposure of top
banks, created $1.2 trillion, out of nothing and gave secret emergency
loans to some of the largest banks who helped to cause the financial
collapse through reckless investments. This secret money created out of
nothing, but backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. is going to
fuel an international financial system which siphons wealth out of the
U.S., avoids paying taxes, takes American jobs and moves them to
According to Bloomberg News the "$1.2 trillion peak on December 5, 2008
… was almost three times the size of the U.S. federal budget deficit
that year and approximates the amount of money, $1.27 trillion that is
due in unpaid principal on 6.5 million homes that are in or facing
Secret loans went to:
Morgan Stanley 107.3 Billion
Citigroup $99.5 billion
Bank of America $91.4 billion
Goldman Sachs $69 billion
And to Foreign Borrowers:
Banks of Scotland $84.5 billion
Zurich based UBS AG 77.2 billion
How is it possible that banks too big to fail still exist? We all know
that the banks will fail again. The taxpayers will again be asked bail
them out again; to preserve the wealth of shareholders, bondholders and
executives, again. The destruction of the middle class has been
accelerated by the Wall Street manipulators who brought about the
collapse of the housing market destroyed trillions of wealth built into
American homes. Risk, like taxes, is a yoke unfairly placed upon the
shoulders of the middle class.
As income and resulting wealth is being redistributed upward at a pace
not seen since the 1920s, the purchasing power of the middle class has
been seriously eroded. Americans have less equity in homes to fuel home
equity loans to keep their consumer spending up. A third of all
Americans owe more than their home is worth.
How is it possible that 120 million Americans literally have no wealth,
just debts? How did it happen that 150 million Americans have less
wealth than the top 400 individuals? How did it come to pass that the
top 13, 400 households, according to David Cay Johnston, have more
yearly income than the bottom 96 million Americans? Who created this
economy where welfare for the wealthy creates a system where a person
earning $4 billion a year managing a hedge fund pays a lower tax rate on
most of his income than a person who drives a truck?
In a report just released, the Pew Charitable Trust wrote: "The idea
that children will grow up to be better off than their parents is a
central component of the American Dream and sustains American optimism.
However… a middle class upbringing does not guarantee the same status
over the course of a lifetime. A third of Americans raised in the middle
class …fall out of the middle as adults."
The implications are this report are chilling. America's middle class is
being destroyed. America is headed toward a two class society. Just as
America could not survive half free and half slave, so America cannot
survive half rich and half poor.
"What happens to a dream deferred?" wrote Langston Hughes.
"Does it dry up,
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore - -
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over
Like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?"
It is democracy itself which at risk here. An economic democracy is a
precondition of a political democracy. With endless wars, without solid
jobs to sustain a middle class, a new national security state armed with
the Patriot Act, will exist primarily to provide surveillance of a
growing, bristling poverty class.
America knew this forty-four years ago, when on February 29, 1968, the
Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders or Kerner
Report pronounced: "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one
black, one white—-separate and unequal." Then the inequalities were in
lack of access to opportunities for jobs, housing, education and social
services. In 1998, thirty years after the Kerner Report, Senator Fred
Harris, said, "there is more poverty in America, it is deeper, blacker
and browner than before, and it is more concentrated in the cities,
which have become America's poorhouses." The inequalities exist today.
Just since January of 2009, unemployment has skyrocketed among African
Americans from 12.7% to 16.7%. Among, Hispanics the unemployment rate is
While intensifying among people of color, poverty today is colorblind.
Foreclosures have spread through all American neighborhoods as a
wildfire, consuming with it the hopes and dreams of millions. We had a
moral urgency to address unemployment in the inner cities, but we failed
as a society to do that.
We have learned that writ large in the fate of people who live in our
cities has been the fate of those who live in the suburbs, because the
same massive economic machinery that for generations was crushing the
hopes of millions of inner city Americans - - banks who disinvested,
insurance companies who redlined, businesses which pulled out, this same
plague is now visited throughout America. The official unemployment
figure of 9.1% conceals a much larger, more devastating picture in
America. According to a recent study by Youngstown State University: the
de facto unemployment rate, as conceived and computed by their center
for Working Class Studies, is 26.37% This figure includes individuals
who are no longer looking for work (discouraged), underemployed and
those who are marginally employed.
Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars and not hiring because
of "uncertainty," insinuating that small changes in federal regulations
or tax policy are killing jobs. Yet we know that massive changes in
federal tax policy and government regulations have taken place at
periods of great economic growth in the United States. Our economy has
not hit a rough spot in the road; it has hit a wall.
The greatest losers in today's economic system are the young. They have
been fleeced. They were promised good jobs with good pay if they got a
good education. Millions have done that only to discover that the jobs
we promised were not there. Millions of young people have moved in with
their family and friends, barely scraping by, dreading student loans
that they have to repay. The dread when those loans come due.
The major fault of the domestic economy is the failure to provide good
paying jobs for Americans. The reasons for the high unemployment and low
paying jobs are many, but two major reasons stand out: lack of consumer
demand and stagnant wages accompanying low union participation. There is
a lack of consumer demand in an economy that is 70% dependent on
There are those who say we can spur demand with more tax cuts for
businesses. This fails the test of experience. Business received tax
cuts. We still have high unemployment. Business profits are greater than
ever. Investment is less. We have learned from the past few years that
businesses will not invest while economy is in bad shape.
Since World War II, America has come out of every recession in less than
a year, but this time we have had a false recovery. The economic numbers
improved briefly, while stimulus was injected. Today we are back in
recession, a double dip recession that is destroying people's lives and
setting back our nation.
We did not have enough stimulus to begin with. As the stimulus runs out
things are getting worse. The recession is feeding on itself. In 1937, a
second round of depression surfaced as stimulus was withdrawn, requiring
another effort by the government to stabilize the economy. The parallel
between 1937 and 2011 is obvious. We need a second stimulus. It has to
be strong enough to put millions of Americans back to work.
State and local governments are forced to lay off people by the hundreds
of thousands. These layoffs are not introducing efficiency. They
undermine service and reduce the necessary role of government in the
life of a community. Massive aid is needed to all areas of government,
not because governments have spent recklessly, but because revenues are
down. Income tax revenue is down. Sales tax revenue is down. Property
tax revenue is down due to foreclosures.
We can stimulate the economy by providing revenue to rehire state and
local government employees. That is the easiest way to put hundreds of
thousands back to work. This is an obvious way to stimulate the economy
on a significant scale. State, local government, public schools, public
and private college would all have an enhanced ability to restore
service. Such a stimulus would create an economic climate where
businesses will expand their investment, utilizing their own profit.
The same thing is true in the housing area. The government must
immediately implement a new housing program. More and more properties
are becoming vacant and vandalized, while people are doubling up. We
need a full-scale program where economically troubled homeowners are
given the right to rent, at a market rate, property in foreclosure. The
government would provide a rent subsidy while the homeowners seek work.
The American people want work not welfare. There should be work for
those who are able to work. Government must become the employer of last
resort. The private sector is not providing the jobs. When the private
sector fails to provide the jobs, the government has a moral
responsibility and a practical responsibility to step forward to put the
country back to work.
As with FDR and the New Deal, the government must now put millions of
Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure. The American
Society of Civil Engineers issued a report that there are $2.2 trillion
in infrastructure rebuilding that must take place to move the commerce
It is not enough to describe the situation and to make a few suggestions
as to what could be done to take us in a new direction. There comes a
time when we need to look at some dramatic change that needs to be done
to restructure our economy. This month I am going to be introducing a
bill which will be aimed at addressing our structural economic problems
directly. It is called the National Employment Economic Defense act - -
the NEED Act. America needs millions of jobs. How can we create millions
of jobs in a time of annual deficits, long-term debt and contracting
Here's how: The Federal Reserve creates money out of nothing and it has
given it to banks. The Fed has assumed that power through an Act of
Congress. The Federal Reserve has used all of its standard monetary
policy tools. But the American economy is not getting better. Whatever
the Fed is doing, it is not working.
The reason why is perhaps best explained by the Fed itself: "The Fed
can't control inflation or influence output and employment."
The Fed has been buying Treasury and other securities to put downward
pressure on interest rates. The idea is to lower finance costs,
encourage more borrowing and nudge investors into riskier investments.
This provides breathing space but little else.
Consumers already over their heads in debt and they aren't going to
borrow more. Neither will producers, when sales are slack. Higher
default rates are widening spreads. Many investors will still prefer to
make a small gain on government securities rather than risk taking losses.
Reality beats theory. The reality is that not enough people have enough
money. Why is this? Where does our money come from? Why isn't it coming?
The Fed doesn't create money we use in our bank accounts. The banks do.
Most of this money is created when banks make loans. This is why the Fed
can't control inflation or influence output and employment.
Output and employment depend on demand. Demand depends on how much money
people have, or can borrow. Because banks create this money, they
control demand. If banks aren't lending or borrowers aren't borrowing,
new money isn't being created to replace the money removed when bank
loans are paid, so the money supply shrinks.
The Fed can only put more money into the economy by buying assets from
non-banks. No money goes into the economy when the Fed buys their
assets. It's just a swap of one asset for another, called reserves.
Banks can't lend reserves into the economy.
The non-bank sellers of assets are mainly large institutional investors.
They don't spend much of the money they receive, they reinvest it in
other assets - - that is their business. But this churning of assets up
in the stratosphere doesn't "trickle down" to earth. The real economy of
families, shops and small businesses of roads and schools is bypassed.
We know this.
The money is not getting to where it is needed. Until it does, things
can only get worse. None of the current policies work because of the way
the current system is set up.
Here is how we fix it. We have to reclaim our Constitutional power to
issue money into the economy, unburdened by debt. Last Congress I
introduced legislation to do just that, and I am reintroducing it next
week. Here is what the legislation does:
1. It ends the Fed's unaccountability by putting it under Treasury.
2. It ends fractional reserve banking, ending banks' ability to control
demand in our economy.
3. It empowers our nation to issue money directly into the economy to
create jobs to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, unhindered by debt
and interest payments - - creating millions of new, good paying jobs. It
gets the money to where it is needed the most. It gets the economy going
and keeps it going.
It avoids debt and deficits. It primes the pump of the economy. It
enables us to regain control of our destiny as a nation.
This plan would not create inflation because it would reduce
infrastructure costs. Lower costs means prices can go down. Lower prices
do not define inflation. Real wealth will be created with the new money.
Infrastructure is enduring wealth, unlike the "financial wealth" of the
If government borrows money created by banks for infrastructure it is an
interest bearing debt, paid for over a long time. But if government
creates money for infrastructure and spends it into circulation, there's
no debt or interest costs. The same amount of money is created in either
case, adding to the money supply by exactly the same amount.
This is also a way to save the free enterprise system from
self-destruction. The American people know what is going on in our
economy. It is run by Wall Street for Wall Street. It is run by banks
for banks. Unless we look at serious structural reforms we are headed
for a two class society.
The ability to coin or create money is an inherent power under Article
I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. The NEED Act would
enable the government to invest in America.
This coming Sunday we will observe the 10th anniversary of a terrible
blow to our nation's sense of security and confidence. We will never
forget September 11, 2011. But we also need to remember the enduring
capacity of our nation to bounce back from tragedy. We need to remember
what this country is made of. America is made of vision and courage. The
courage and vision of Washington, Jefferson and Adams to put lives,
fortune, sacred honor on the line for the purpose of freedom and
We are the country of FDR and the New Deal, of John F. Kennedy and the
New Frontier, of LBJ and the Great Society. We are a nation of
charismatic leaders like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, who, agree with
them or not, inspired a sense of optimism and confidence in America.
We need to remember who we are. And in the act of remembering we will
regain our confidence, we will regain our economic strength, we will put
people back to work, we will help millions save their homes, we will
protect the retirement security of elderly Americans, we will ensure
that our children will be able to obtain a college education and a job
when they graduate. We will restore our public institutions and the
services they provide.
We can do all of this and more. But we must ask that those who operate
the engines of finance abandon their recklessness, their selfishness and
pledge allegiance to our nation and its people. We must demand that
corporations pay a fair share of the taxes. We must end the off-shoring
of jobs and profits.
While some our leaders, with trembling hands and nervous eyes have
focused abroad, our country is falling apart from within. America was
never meant for decline. America was always meant for an upward, uplit
path. We now must correct our course. We must move away from trying to
determine the fate of nations around the globe and focus on the fate on
the one nation that must matter to us more than all others -- The United
States of America!
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