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Howie Hawkins promotes Green New Deal at Troy Labor Day celebration

Chris Fitz Gerald of the Troy Record gave extensive coverage to New York Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins in an article entitled “Labor Day picnic serves food, purpose”:

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for New York State governor, touted the ‘Tax the Rich for a Green New Deal’ program.

“Democrats are still living off the legacy of the New Deal,” Hawkins said. “They’re not new Democrats; they’re old New Deal Democrats. We need to take a new direction here.

“We shouldn’t have state workers and the general public taking on this deficit,” Hawkins continued. “If the rich paid their fair share, we wouldn’t have this deficit. In the program I propose, we’d have a $25 billion surplus and then we could create jobs … and have money for schools and such.”

The Green New Deal plan’s objectives include:

‘Full employment’ — Where “Government should be the employer of last resort … with the formation of a locally planned, state funded WPA-style program to employ unused labor to meet unmet community needs in public works and services.”

‘A sustainable Green economic recovery’ — A “public investment in a green industrial policy. A state-owned bank and public power for wealth and job creation in green industries, including renewable energy, mass transit, green buildings, clean manufacturing and organic agriculture.

‘A Living Wage for the Minimum Wage’ — “Raise state minimum wage to at least $12 an hour.”

‘Single Payer Health Care’ — “And an expanded and improved Medicare for all systems providing comprehensive, quality health care for every New Yorker, No copays or deductibles. Everybody is in, nobody out.

‘Fully Funded Public Schools.’

‘Free Tuition at SUNY, CUNY and community colleges.’

Supporters of the Green New Deal claim “Tax breaks for the rich cause state budget deficits. Stop rebating $16 million to Wall Street!”

“The state collected $16 billion last year from the Stock Transfer Tax, rebated it back to Wall Street, and declared a state fiscal crisis,” supporters said in a release. “(Andrew) Cuomo and the Republicans blame the deficit on state workers and the general public that uses public services like schools, roads and public transit.”

Hawkins claims that the Green Party “has a better plan — make Wall Street and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. We could raise $34 billion more: $16 billion in more revenue from the Stock Transfer Tax, $8 billion by going back to the 1970s progressive income tax system (which would give a tax cut to of 95 percent of us), and $10 billion from a 50 percent Bankers’ Bonus Tax (which we paid for trillions of dollars of taxpayer bailouts.

“After we take care of the $9 billion deficit projected for next year, that leaves $25 billion for the Green New Deal.”

Hawkins, a member of the Teamsters Local 317 who unloads trucks for UPS in Syracuse, is touted as the only union member running for statewide office.

“Cuomo has evaded telling the voters how he would have resolved this year’s budget deficit and is continuing to avoid providing specifics on how he plans to resolve next year’s $9 billion deficit,” Hawkins said. “The next governor will have to propose a budget a little than two months after Election Day.

“I have laid out specific numbers on how I plan to balance the budget and increase investment in schools, renewable energy, job creation and education. I challenge my opponents to do the same and to debate their proposals with me in public.”

Dave Schwab

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