Comedian and citizen-activist Randy Credico, who recently qualified for New York’s Democratic mayoral primary ballot, is looking to extend his candidacy beyond the hotly-contested September 10th Democratic primary by running in November as the nominee of the Tax Wall Street Party, a newly-organized political party that plans to expand nationally during next year’s mid-term elections — and beyond.
As a first step in creating a national alternative to the corrupt, Wall Street-dominated duopoly, Credico will need a minimum of 3,750 valid signatures on his nominating petitions by the August 20 filing deadline, but the long-shot candidate hopes to collect two or three times more than required from an aroused citizenry tired of politics of, by and for the same “too big to fail” financial institutions largely responsible for the country’s current economic crisis.
Any registered voter in the state can circulate Credico’s nominating petitions, but the signatures must be obtained from registered voters within the city. Party affiliation doesn’t matter; any registered voter in New York City can sign.
Credico, who proudly describes himself as a “New Deal Democrat,” has been an outspoken critic of the nation’s recently-enacted austerity measures, including sequestration, championed by Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan-funded Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill. These mean-spirited fiscal policies, he says, have put New York City’s most vulnerable citizens at greater risk than before.
While the investor class prospers like it’s the “roaring twenties,” federal, state and local budgets are being cut to the bone — and the worst is yet to come. New York City is no exception.
Credico, a restless spirit and fiery populist, believes that Wall Street should pay for the country’s current economic predicament — and he’s right.
According to the Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, published last June, American households lost a median 39% of their total wealth between 2007 and 2010 — a period in which the assets and profits of the twenty largest U.S. banks returned to their pre-crash 2007 levels.
Moreover, the current financial crisis wiped out 18 years of gains for the median U.S. household, dropping total family assets from $126,400 in 2007 to barely $77,300 in 2010 — the same level as in 1992, according to the Fed’s report. Things haven’t improved much since then for the vast majority of Americans. For many, in fact, things have only gotten worse.
It’s time for the financial oligarchs to pay the piper for their misdeeds, says Credico.
Working closely with the United Front Against Austerity (UFAA), a nationally-organized pressure group founded in New York City last October, the longtime political satirist-turned-politician is campaigning for a one-half percent Wall Street Sales Tax that would swell the city’s coffers by an estimated $60 billion per year, enabling the cash-strapped city to shore up and strengthen its increasingly imperiled social safety net while improving the lives of its impoverished and working-class citizens.
A modest Wall Street Sales Tax would also provide the means for Mayor Credico and the next City Council to implement several other planks in his extraordinarily bold and ambitious platform, including free college education at public institutions of higher learning (CUNY) for New York City students, free public transportation, and a much-needed citywide Medicare-for-All program while simultaneously preventing the closing of local hospitals and neighborhood fire stations.
“Make Wall Street pay,” he says over and over again on the campaign trail, repeating the UFAA’s mantra.
Aimed at curbing financial speculation — the kind of reckless casino-like activity that led to the current economic crisis — the vast majority of individual households in the city’s five boroughs would be protected from the Wall Street Sales Tax through a $1 million annual exemption. Except for the most affluent, few, if any, 401(k) plans or IRA’s would be subjected to the relatively modest tax.
Credico’s platform, which closely mirrors the UFAA’s emergency economic program, includes massive infrastructure spending to be funded through the issuance of zero-coupon “Century Bonds” by the Federal Reserve — the same quasi-private banking entity that propped up the global financial markets to the tune of $29.6 trillion in the form of loans and loan guarantees to some of the world’s largest financial firms in the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown.
According to last month’s U-6 figures, the measure of unemployment which takes into account discouraged workers and is most similar to the standards for measuring joblessness in Europe, New York City’s real unemployment rate — five years into this seemingly never-ending economic crisis — exceeds a staggering 15 percent. Those are Great Depression-type numbers.
Focused on rebuilding and improving the city’s deteriorating infrastructure, Credico’s FDR-style jobs program would create tens of thousands of productive and meaningful jobs for unemployed and underemployed city residents at union-scale wages.
Coupled with his proposal to substantially raise the city’s minimum wage to $12.50 per hour and his steely determination to end the city’s controversial and racist “Stop and Frisk” policies, which disproportionately target young African-American and Latino males, the colorful mayoral aspirant — a longtime civil libertarian and civil rights activist — believes that his candidacy could shake up the mayor’s race in November and pave the way for a nationally-organized anti-Wall Street party to seriously challenge the Democratic and Republican parties at the ballot box in the near future.
Asked if he could win on a third-party ticket, one of Credico’s campaign volunteers smiled, saying quietly, “They won in 1776, didn’t they? Anything’s possible in this dreary political environment.”
That’s music to the ears of the fledgling Tax Wall Street Party organizers.
“We’re really excited about Randy’s candidacy,” said spokesperson Daniela Walls, one of the new party’s founders. “We’re hoping his candidacy will be a springboard for a serious third-party movement in 2014 and 2016. New Yorkers can help make it happen.”