Top 5 Media Myths to Debunk this Thanksgiving (courtesy of MoveOn.org)
MYTH #1: The congressional Super Committee failed because both sides refuse to
REALITY: The Super Committee failed because Republicans' number one, non-negotiable priority is to protect
millionaires and billionaires from paying even one more penny in taxes.1 Democrats repeatedly offered to
make deep spending cuts—far deeper than most progressives would like—in exchange for raising taxes on the wealthy
and closing corporate loopholes, only to be refused again and again.2
So even though the vast majority of
Americans say they want to protect Social Security, Medicare, and
Medicaid benefits, and raise taxes on the rich and corporations,3
that won't happen until Republicans put aside their extremist stance.
MYTH #2: Nobody knows what Occupy Wall Street is about.
REALITY: Occupy Wall Street may not have a formal list of demands, but anyone who's been paying attention
understands the core problems that occupiers are protesting—that corporations have far too much power in our political
system, that Wall Street banks crashed our economy but were never held accountable, and that the richest 400 Americans
have more wealth than half of all Americans—156 million people—combined.4
MYTH #3: Occupiers should stop protesting and just get a job.
REALITY: As anybody who's looked for a job in the last few years knows, there just aren't jobs out there.
That's a big part of why occupiers are protesting. In September, there were four times as many unemployed people as
job openings.5 And for those who are lucky enough to find a job, median wages today are lower than they were a
decade ago.6 (And for the record, a higher percentage of OWS
are currently employed, as compared to percentage of Tea Party
MYTH #4: Occupy Wall Street is intent on provoking violence, especially against
banks and the police.
REALITY: Occupations across the country have committed themselves to nonviolent protest, in the greatest
traditions of protest movements. Some of their protests have been met with acts of police violence—tear gas, pepper
spray, rubber bullets7—but in many cases, protesters have reminded police that the police officers are part
of the 99%, too.8 And in the few cases when people have shown up at Occupy demonstrations and committed acts of
vandalism, other protesters have even repaired their acts of vandalism.9
MYTH #5: The biggest crisis facing our country is out of control government spending.
REALITY: The two biggest drivers of our deficit—by far—are the economic crash and the Bush
tax cuts.10 We have millions of people out of work, corporations hoarding cash, and factories sitting idle. If
we put all those people back to work—rebuilding infrastructure, educating our children, and researching new technologies—it'll
shrink the deficit and make our economy stronger for the long haul. And we can easily afford it if we make sure the rich—who
are taking home a larger percentage of income than any time since 191711—pay their fair share.