To the people of the 10th Congressional District of Pennsylvania:


During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke of the “forgotten man.” That’s precisely how many of my neighbors and friends in the 10th congressional district feel about our politicians in Washington today, most of whom are completely beholden to the special interests, particularly the deep-pocketed wizards of Wall Street. Unlike Roosevelt, who took the idea of promoting the “General Welfare” seriously, our politicians today bail out the banks and give us austerity in return. They refuse to tax the rich yet pummel the poor by mercilessly slashing unemployment benefits, food stamps and home heating assistance. They have no earthly clue about jump-starting an economic recovery.  The Republican idea of a jobs plan is a devilish blueprint for creating a third-world economy — or worse.  My own party admittedly could be much more creative in its approach to reviving our stagnant economy.  We need bold and imaginative ideas in Washington.  We need a dynamic and forward-looking economic program that will work for the citizenry and industry alike.

The American people are hurting, and they're hurting badly.  As citizens, we need — now more than ever — to assert ourselves and demand better, much better, representation from those we send to Washington.  As your congressman, I will fight for all of the long-suffering, forgotten men and women in this district.

If one closely examines the current economic conditions in the 10th District, they would find a struggling population with a median household income of approximately $35,000 annually — some $16,000 less than the median household income in the United States and about $2,000 less than the relatively impoverished state of Mississippi, which ranks dead last in the nation in terms of median income. They would also find a transportation and infrastructure system in desperate need of repair, coupled with a potentially dangerous and unproven energy resource resulting in obscene billions in profits for the hydraulic fracturing industry and comparatively little for those whose land and environment is being exploited and destroyed. On top of that, the 10th district has an “official” unemployment rate in the district of 6-9% — the real jobless rate, of course, is much higher than that — and that’s not taking into account seasonal workers, or the thousands who have given up looking for employment altogether.

We can do so much better.

For starters, we can begin by immediately putting the citizens of the 10thcongressional district back to work at union-scale wages by rebuilding the district’s crumbling infrastructure. We can also protect our most vulnerable citizens — those dependent on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, LIHEAP and emergency extended unemployment benefits, etc. — through the implementation of a Wall Street Sales Tax. Revenue generated from a relatively minuscule tax of .5 to 1% on all qualified financial transactions, shared equally between the federal government and the states, would go a long way to fill the coffers of badly-depleted federal and state treasuries and allow our lawmakers to fund and expand these desperately-needed programs. What could be more fair? After all, working families in Pennsylvania pay a sales tax of at least 6% on virtually every purchase they make, yet financial speculators — the same rapacious Wall Street casinos that U.S. taxpayers generously bailed out and continue to heavily subsidize after they destroyed our economy in 2008 — pay absolutely no tax on an estimated $5 quadrillion (5,000 trillion dollars) on trades of derivatives, futures, stocks, bonds and other securities on U.S. exchanges annually.

A small tax on financial speculation would raise trillions of dollars annually, erasing the federal deficit and creating a surplus almost overnight while enabling cash-strapped state governments, such as Pennsylvania, to balance its budget and adequately fund its public programs, including its growing public pension and health liabilities for retirees.

In addition to solving our fiscal woes through a Wall Street Sales Tax, we can also fund a robust economic recovery by Nationalizing the Federal Reserve and making it work for the common good. Instead of serving as a cash-cow or lifeline for ravenous financial institutions on Wall Street, providing one bailout after another in the form of “Quantitative Easing,” the Fed should serve as a badly-needed federal credit facility.

In its newly-defined role as a kind of Third National Bank of the United States — a concept originally championed by Alexander Hamilton, Robert Morris and some of our other enlightened Founding Fathers — the Federal Reserve would be mandated by Congress to issue interest-free “Century Bonds” with a coupon rate of zero percent and 100-year maturities to help state and local governments finance the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure while putting millions of Americans back to work at decent, union-scale wages. If, month after month, the Federal Reserve is willing to continue providing steeply discounted credit to the large “zombie banks” responsible for the country’s sharp economic downturn more than five years ago, then it ought to be willing to provide the same sort of cheap public credit to the struggling victims of this seemingly never-ending crisis of Wall Street’s making.