"In the United States today, the middle class continues to decline, while 95 percent of all new income created since the Wall Street crash of 2008 goes to the top 1 percent.
Today, we continue to have the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country on earth. The top 1 percent owns 37 percent of all wealth, while the bottom 60 percent owns all of 1.7 percent. One family, the Walton family of Walmart, owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent — and the gap between the very rich and everyone else grows wider and wider.
Today, real unemployment is 12 percent while youth unemployment is 20 percent. The federal minimum wage remains a starvation wage of $7.25 an hour, and women receive only 78 cents for every dollar a man earns.
Today, while millions of families are unable to afford health care or a college education, one out of four major corporations pays nothing in federal income taxes, and we lose about $100 billion a year as corporations stash their profits in tax havens like the Cayman Islands.
Today, the threat of climate change is worse than ever, with scientists telling us that there is now only a short window of opportunity to transform our energy system, cut carbon emissions and reverse global warming.
That is some of what is happening in the real world, the world that affects millions of Americans.
And then there is the political world, with a very different reality.
A recent Gallup poll tells us that 64 percent of Americans cannot even name the parties that control the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. Political scientists project that, in the coming November elections, some 60 percent of Americans will not vote, which means that 70-80 percent of low income workers and young people will not be voting.
And, while most Americans have become turned off by politics in this off-presidential election, there is a group of people who are very well attuned. And that is the billionaire class. As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the Koch brothers, the second wealthiest family in America worth over $80 billion, are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates whose main function is to make the rich even richer. And they’re not alone. Other billionaire families are also spending freely to make certain that the Republican Party captures the U.S. Senate and retains the U.S. House.
And, if we don’t stop them, they may succeed.
Republican control over the U.S Congress will be a disaster.
As a member of the U.S. Senate, let me tell you what a Republican Senate will mean for America.
Are you concerned about campaign finance law, and the ability of billionaires to buy elections? Well, not one Republican in the Senate voted in support of a recent effort to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. In fact, many Republicans now want to eliminate all restrictions on campaign spending.
Are you concerned about global warming and its threat to our planet? Well, the new Republican Chairman of the Environmental Committee may be Sen. Jim Inhofe, who recently wrote a book calling global warming a “hoax.”
Are you concerned about the need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage? Well, the new Republican Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee which has oversight of labor issues may be Sen. Lamar Alexander. He has stated publicly that not only should we not raise the minimum wage, but that we should eliminate the concept of the minimum wage — which means that workers in high unemployment areas could be working for $3 or $4 an hour.
Are you concerned about income and wealth inequality? Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans want to completely eliminate the estate tax, providing a huge tax break for millionaire and billionaire families.
Are you concerned about women’s rights and pay equity? The vast majority of Republicans in the Senate do not believe that a woman has the right to control her own body, and there is almost no Republican support for pay equity for woman workers.
Are you concerned about poverty in America? The vast majority of Republicans want to make major cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and nutrition programs, and balance the budget on the backs of some of the most vulnerable people in our country."