You couldn’t help but notice two new signs today that, no matter its long-term effects, the “Occupy” movement –- in both its rhetoric and its message –- may be making its mark.
The New York Times recently chronicled the many ways that the movement’s slogan -- contrasting the “99%” of Americans with the wealthiest "1%” -- have seeped into the lexicon. And today, in his speech in Kansas, President Obama invoked the slogan as well:
I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules.
Those aren't Democratic or Republican values; 1% values or 99% values. They're American values, and we have to reclaim them.
Also today, in New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders said they had agreed on a tax deal that will, among other things, raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents and cut taxes for the middle class. What’s striking is that this deal is a marked reversal for Cuomo, a Democrat who campaigned just last year on a platform against tax increases.
So what changed? Could it have been all the recent attention to income inequality highlighted by the mother of all “Occupy” protests, Occupy Wall Street, which just so happens to be taking place in the Governor’s very own state?
Just asking, but you could place the odds at, oh, about 99 to one.