Jill Stein, the Green Party’s 2012 presidential candidate yesterday condemned the recently released Obama 2014 budget proposal, issuing the following statement:
The President’s budget proposes $400 billion in Medicare and other health care cuts, partly through requiring seniors to increase Medicare payments or reduce their coverage. Obama also calls for “means testing” Medicare, making it a benefit only for middle class and low income seniors rather than for everyone over age 65. This is a time-tested strategy to reduce public support and set a program on the road to virtual extinction –as was done to welfare under Clinton.
For the President – and his Republican and Democratic accomplices in Congress – to impose these austerity cuts on the American people is absolutely unjustified. Considering the economic meltdown that so many Americans are facing, it is unconscionable. The core problem of the American economy is not the budget deficit. This is simply a symptom of the bigger disease: the recession (caused by Wall Street malfeasance) which led to the massive 2008 drop in tax revenues. The deficit was further aggravated by Wall Street bailouts, the Bush/Obama tax giveaways for the rich, private medical insurance inflation, and the disastrous $6-trillion dollar military boondoggles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The real solution to the recession is to jump start the economy through a massive job creation program – like the New Deal that sparked the recovery from the Great Depression. Within the first few months of the FDR’s New Deal, millions of jobs were created, and within a few years, over 12 million people were back to work.
An alternative to the grim Grand Bargain is offered by the Green New Deal, a package of emergency reforms proposed by the Green Party. This approach would end both the economic crisis and the climate crisis in one fell swoop. It would create 25 million jobs in green energy, sustainable agriculture, public transportation and infrastructure improvements – as well as jobs that meet our social needs, including teachers, nurses, day care, affordable housing, drug abuse and violence prevention and rehabilitation. It would be funded by scaling back the oversized military budget to year 2000 levels, adopting a Medicare for All insurance system that would save trillions of dollars, requiring Wall Street gamblers to pay a small (0.5%) sales tax, taxing capitol gains as income, and taxing income more progressively. These key provisions of the Green New Deal enjoy majority public support in poll after poll.
The Green New Deal addresses the concocted deficit/debt problems by solving the bigger, underlying crises of an unraveling economy and accelerating climate catastrophe. The enormity of these threats compel solutions of equal magnitude.
The draconian budget being presented by the Obama White House is a sobering sign that that the corporate-sponsored political establishment is incapable of delivering real solutions to the nation’s critical problems.
One thing is clear – the clock is ticking on our imperiled economy and climate. More than ever, it’s time to put our voices, our bodies, and our votes behind real solutions for a peaceful, just, green future for us all.”
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GREEN NEW DEAL: