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Green Party: This Is No Stimulus Package

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders said today that the $789 billion compromise stimulus bill falls drastically short of providing what’s needed to end the deepening recession, and urged the Obama Administration to renegotiate the bill to restore and expand funding to create jobs and to provide a real safety net for every American.

“The US economy needs a stimulus, but the bipartisan bill, as it stands now, fails to address the biggest emergencies — lost jobs and home foreclosures,” said Holly Hart, secretary of the Green Party of the United States. “If the bill has little effect, it means that America will plunge even deeper into recession, with even more jobs down the drain.”

“Public works projects, dismissed by many Congress members as pork, would create jobs and get America working again. Tax breaks for the wealthy, Democratic leaders’ biggest concession to Republicans stuck in a Herbert Hoover mentality, will stimulate the economy only minimally,” added Ms. Hart.

Greens said that bipartisan compromises reduced or eliminated funding for school construction, urgent relief for states (necessary to provide Medicaid and other essential services), health care for the unemployed, extended unemployment, Head Start, food stamps, public transit, retrofitting housing, greening federal buildings, watershed rehabilitation, and fire departments — all of which would create and protect jobs, benefit millions of Americans, and help restore financial stability. The removal of caps on executive pay further limits the bill’s effectiveness as a stimulus.

“Democrats caved in to the highway construction lobby when they diverted funding that should have been used for public transportation, thus sacrificing one of the most valuable items of the Obama agenda. With the world facing potentially catastrophic climate change in the coming decades, we don’t need more highways, we need more public transportation and less car traffic. We need to convert our economy from an auto economy to a green economy. Over $25 billion in vital green programs, which would have created countless new jobs, was cut from the stimulus under the compromise,” said Fred Vitale, Michigan candidate for state representative and state chairperson of the Green Party of Michigan.

Greens called the bill a missed opportunity for the kind of investments needed to make the US a truly green economy, moving the US away from dependence on foreign oil and other carbon fuels within the next ten years, as former Vice President Al Gore has recommended. Party leaders cited an ABC News report on new jobs created by the rise of wind farms in the Midwest (http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=6823005&page=1). Greens expressed relief that pressure from environmentalists killed a $50 billion loan guarantee for nuclear plants, a major victory for safe and clean energy.

The Green Party has also recommended enactment of a Single-Payer national health care program to relieve the costly burden on business of providing health benefits to employees (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=158).

See also “Greens offer six big steps for economic recovery”, Green Party press release, December 10, 2008 (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=152). In September, 2008 Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney published a ten-point list of solutions in response to the Wall Street meltdown, titled “Seize the Time” (http://votetruth08.com/index.php/learn/mckinney-messages).

“The stimulus bill demonstrates how ‘bipartisan’ means the damage caused by two-party politics, and how ‘moderate’ means too beholden to corporate demands to effect real change,” said Mark Dunlea, former chair of the Green Party of New York State. “It’s the Rahm Emanuel ideology — the chief function of Democrats is to capitulate to Republicans and corporate campaign contributors.” (Mr. Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff, has led negotiations on the stimulus bill.)

“If bailout and stimulus money went directly to threatened homeowners, both homeowners and the banks would benefit,” said Mr. Dunlea. “The result of the stimulus will probably be all too similar to last year’s taxpayer-funded $700 billion bailout for the financial industry, which passed with support from both Obama and McCain, with no conditions on how the money was spent. It’ll mostly wind up in the bank accounts of a few wealthy people while doing little to jumpstart the economy, create or save jobs, or provide financial security for working Americans.”

Ronald Hardy

12 Comments

  1. 3 Republicinas doesn’t make it a bi-partisan bill.
    How is just spending more money better than helping people and the businesses that employ those people keep more of their own money. If you look at the bill, $12.00 extra a paycheck is not ‘alot of tax cuts’.

  2. Wow, I was reading some of your articles and if your upset with Obama now, just wait until the day he declares himself King of America.
    People are supid to think that any one human can ‘change’ things.
    And you comments about clergy and religion, just like YOU AND YOUR GROUPS there is some good and bad. Get over yourselves.

  3. Perhaps it’s Connie should get over herself. Inflamatory or purely derogatory remarks are not going to help anything. At least the author of this article had some constructive criticism to go along with their complaints.

    I happen to agree that giving the billions to distressed homeowners would have been a better solution to the rampant foreclosures, helping not only the homeowners but the banks as well. Look at how some of the handouts to the banks have been used already. Millions in bonuses to 6 figure executives on Wall Street? AND THEY THINK THEY DESERVED MORE!!! Yeah, that’s what the money was intended for, my tax dollars!!! I THINK NOT!!!!!

    I disagree with the portion of the article about improving our highways. While a move away from individual to public transportation is desirable, I don’t believe the goal is acheivable within 10 years.

    For one, it would most likely double commute times for 90% of working americans, something they are not likely to tolerate.

    Second, all of our goods including groceries are shipped over the highways by truck, if not entirely, at least from railhead to endpoint. Did you know, that your local grocery store probably turns over it’s entire inventory wthin a week and without restocking at least three times a week there would be instant shortages.

    Third, much of our infrastructure (highways, dams and bridges specifically) is over 50 years old and is in need of repair to some extent.

    Fourth, there are 100’s of thousands, if not millions of people employed nationwide, building and maintaining that infrastructure.

    I do also agree that the “bi-partisan” package has been severly depleted trying to get the republicans onboard and if it has suffered this much and gained only 3 republican votes, I say f**k the republicans. If they can’t see the reasoning and necessity behind this action we need to be rid of them.

  4. I’m green to this whole Green party thing, pardon my candor, but upon briefly touring this site it would appear that the Green Party is fairly far left of center….. no? Perhaps as far left as Obama?
    So far I don’t see much difference between the Green Party and your run of the mill mid-to-far left Democrat. No disrespect intended but, What gives……what’s up with that?

  5. Bob,

    You consider Obama “left of center”?

    How would you describe a run of the mill mid-to-far left Democrat? Clean coal? Nuclear power? War in Afghanistan? No Child Left Behind? Patriot Act?

    You can learn more about the Green Party at gp.org

  6. One big difference between Greens and Democrats/Republicans is that Greens don’t accept corporate money.

    Of course, I could list a few other differences too… how many hours do you have?

  7. Is there any sense out out there anymore? the sooner we get away from democrat, republican, green, blue, red. divisions, divisions, divisions. we are at a very critical point in our exsistance. I hope people realize how precarious our situation is as a country. just blocking something for political points can really mean severe suffering for someone. that is going set us back every time it is done. now maybe the stimulus isnt perfect but it is certainly better than nothing. give it a chance ,work together, help each other. keep as much of your commerce local as you can. that can shift this terrible energy of us against them that is poisoning our very being. please be kind to one another no matter what he or she believes. if enough of us do that we can shift the energy to a more positive level.

  8. If they were to give every adult in this country 40,000.00 it would fix the economy overnight and create jobs. People in foreclosure could save their homes. Others could start business, buy new cars, maybe go to collage. But it will all go to the rich. We are their wage slaves.

  9. Our mentality must shift if we are to move forward. Obama is too liberal for republicans and not liberal enough for greens… Why don’t we as a people abolish the party system and vote on the merits of the idea/candidate. We hold ourselves back from making good decisions because we have bought into this team mentality. How about a country mentality that looks out for our future and the future of our children, not the select ideals of our political parties. If Obama’s plan fail’s it fails, but until that day does or does not come we should be supporting our new president. After 8 years of non support our country’s status on the world stage has been diminished as well as our integrity amongst our allies. Let us stand behind something instead arguing about nothing.

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