Cloward’s coverage is below the fold.
If health care reform has no public option, Cloward will be disappointed. The United States needs single payer universal health care “like all countries in the civilized Western world.” The United States spends more than Canada per person on health care with its single payer system, so the argument that it would be more expensive is invalid, he said.
Cloward supports a total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan “as soon as is reasonably possible. Afghanistan has the right to determine how it will exist in the world, like any country.
“It’s a question of how you understand what is happening in Afghanistan. People are resisting a foreign force occupying their country. They are fighting a war of national liberation.”
Cloward said that he is not anti-military. Five of his six uncles have been in the military, as was his father. “It doesn’t make sense to be in any of those countries (Afghanistan or Iraq). It’s a potential security problem for the United States. The more people we kill, the more chance we’ll create someone who will want to harm us.”
On the question of Delta water politics, Cloward said that he would support farmers and agribusiness in general. He opposes the Peripheral Canal. “I don’t think more of our water should be going to southern California.” The infrastructure for the Delta does need to be addressed. He supports the federal government working with the state.
On civility in civic discourse, Cloward said, “I don’t remember a time where I’ve seen public forums, where people are not nice to each other, especially on health care. People are outright rude, and don’t always let others speak, especially in the past three or four months.” Many are upset with the idea that they would lose their right to private health insurance, if there were a single payer plan. But that’s not what is in Congress. It’s a reformation of health care, not a radical change, he said.
Asked about any adjustment to the stimulus package, Cloward said that he doesn’t think any more money should go to bail out banks. Overall, the stimulus package has been good. It helped retain teachers in their jobs and created other jobs.
The federal deficit should be reduced, since not doing so can lead to the devaluation of money. Reducing some federal programs, for example, some of the military budget, would be good to do.