Campaign writings 9/11/08
Responding to a questionnaire
In light of escalating home foreclosures, a credit crunch and a possible recession, what role, if any, should the federal government play in strengthening the nation’s economy?
The first thing the federal government should do is prevent foreclosures, making every effort to keep people in their homes. If this means Wall St and the Big Banks have to swallow the losses, so be it. It should not be a burden on the tax payers nor on the people who tried to have a decent place to live. If we nationalize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it should be a real nationalization, with a housecleaning of the high muck a mucks and the elimination of huge salaries and bonuses. The job of these organizations should be to help people have affordable housing. The federal government should also start to build affordable housing again. There are millions of homeless people and people living in substandard housing who have been priced out of the housing market. A massive program to rebuild America would be a great place to start,. Every new building could be carbon fuel free. The federal government is already a very large player in the economy, directly and indirectly. The military industrial sector of the economy is huge and completely dependent upon government spending. The massive retooling of this sector to producing things that help people rather than kill them would go a long way to wards creating a full employment economy that was no longer a threat to our neighbors or the planet’s ecosystems.
How do you see the role America plays in the middle east changing during the next two years? How do you see it changing further in the future?
Every day the US tries to meddle in the middle east is a day that things get worse. The first thing to do is remove all American military bases from the area. Any financial aid we offer to the area should be promulgated on the basis of need and creativity, in other words funding programs that truly change the lives of the poor, and help economies by healing ecosystems. Policy focused on Israel and Palestine should be directed towards non violence. Non violence by American personnel, non violence is our trade with the area and our aid to the area. When we stop funding wars and warriors we shall be able to have a much more constructive communication with the people of the middle east.
What are your strategies to address the dual challenges of rising costs and decreasing access to quality healthcare?
The only thing that will actually get us out of this high priced mess we call the health care industry is a truly national single payer system without insurance company interference in its operations. In addition to lining the pockets of insurance companies, all levels of government in the US use the health care system as a tool of economic development in the community. There is a fundamental contradiction between using health care as a vehicle for economic growth and providing health care for all. A single payer system will also lead to dramatic improvements in community health. It will make dollars and sense to keep people and their communities healthy, something our current system seems to be unable to assimilate.
How do you propose to keep Americans safe both at home and abroad?
The best way for the US to become a safe place is to practice non violence. To stop practicing empire and military occupation, to stop selling weapons, building nukes, studying war and turning much of our economy towards it. When we stop acting the bully and occupying other people’s countries or demanding that their economy allow Coca Cola or United Fruit to dictate the rules, and using the marines to back that up, then people will quit wishing us harm. We can only feel safe if our neighbors feel safe.
Americans are concerned about rising energy prices, dependence on foreign energy and the potential damage of fossil fuels. How would you prioritize those concerns and what, if any, are your strategies to address them?
These topics are all related and must be dealt with as a whole rather than atomized. We must address the relationship between peak oil and global warming as part of the context was well. US policy in the area of energy/foreign relations has been focused on maintaining access to oil for US consumers, but even more access for US mega corporations who drill for it. Rising prices are a direct result of exploitation and that fact that the planet is unlikely to be able to provide enough oil for all that people like to do with it over the long, or even medium turn. This depletion is the driver behind global warming. Essentially the answer to all of the question is that a massive turning away from the use of military force to control oil markets and supplies, and a massive turning towards clean fuels and relocalized economies that take much better care of their communities is the approach needed.
Some economists say a growing national debt and massive looming financial commitments to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are leading us toward a fiscal crisis. Do you agree there is a crisis and, if so, what will you do to assure greater fiscal responsibility?
Social Security is essentially solvent, and the Medicare/Medicaid crisis is simply the result of our crazy health uninsurance scam. National health care, and the unplugging of the healthcare as the driver of a growing economy would insure fiscal sanity for our health care and national workers pension storm.
Do you believe the federal government has a role in protecting the environment? If so, what are your policy priorities?
The federal government remains a key player in protecting the environment except when it sells out to the corporate lobby. The first priority has to be to free the EPA and other government agencies that help protect the environment to actually do their jobs. Key areas that need more work include global warming, clean water, clean air, forest protection, soil erosion, and toxic chemicals in the environment
Do you believe abortion should be limited? If so, to what degree?
In many human societies women have passed on knowledge that helps them prevent or abort unwanted pregnancies. When men demand the right to intervene it is trouble. A woman and here health care provider should be the only people required to be involved in the discussion and decision as to whether to carry a pregnancy to term or to end it. The only limitations should be to limit practices to those that maintain the health of the person seeking medical attention or advice.