Who Will Pay?

Article excerpt

Tensions are ratcheting up around Occupy Wall Street. Here's what it will mean for all the major players.

While the populist protest movement is forcing politicians in Washington into awkward positions, it's

up to City Hall to figure out how exactly to handle the encampments. New York's Michael Bloomberg led a middle-of-the-night raid on the city's activists. "The public is scared," Hizzoner said

last week. Even progressive Portland, Ore.'s Sam Adams took similar measures. Perversely, the drastic sweeps may have given the protesters a perfect chance to declare victory.

Want to see a Democrat turn into a pretzel? Ask her about Occupy Wall Street. When Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren claimed credit for "the intellectual foundation" of the movement, opponents pounced, trying to hang Occupy's scattered violence around her neck. President Obama will need to channel the anger and at the same time avoid appearing angry.

After riding the Tea Party wave, Republicans are on the defensive as the movement draws attention to income inequality--an issue that the GOP has done little to address. If Occupy continues to stoke public anger against the wealthy, Republicans could see a favorable election forecast quickly turn against them.

The movement isn't just for debt-ridden graduates anymore. …