CHRISTI PAUL: Let’s talk to Jill Stein. You’re part of the lawsuit you’ve brought against the Commission on Presidential Debates. I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s look at some of the issues right off the bat. Stocks are tanking, stock market down eight percent in the first couple weeks of 2016. How do you fix the economy? Dr. Stein, can you hear me?
JILL STEIN: Sorry. I couldn’t hear you for a second. Can you repeat that question?
PAUL: I’m wondering, with stocks tanking right now, how would you address the economy, how would you fix it if you were president?
STEIN: Yes, thank you. The economy is not working for most Americans now. We’ve had a huge surge in part-time and temporary jobs. Wages, average for workers, are barely above the poverty level. Household wealth has crashed by 40%. Racial disparities make all this much worse. We have an entire generation of young people who are locked into debt. So we really need an economy that works for everyday people, and we have two political parties who have been managing that economy that are basically controlled by corporate interests and the super-wealthy. So my priority is to create an economy that works for everyone, that puts people over profit instead of profit over people, which is the way it’s going. So specifically, I will create a Green New Deal which is an emergency program like the New Deal that got us out of the Great Depression. The Green New Deal would create 20 million new jobs that would green our economy, green our energy, our food and our transportation systems. By creating 20 million jobs, these are full-time living wage jobs, it would revive our economy. It would turn the tide on climate change and make wars for oil obsolete. In addition, I would bail out the students. We bailed out the bankers. We need to bail out the students who are the victims of that waste, fraud and abuse on Wall Street.
PAUL: Who had student loans at the time —
STEIN: Yes, to basically cancel their loans, exactly.
PAUL: I want to move in to national security. Obviously ISIS has been in the news and it’s frightening an awful lot of people. How would you move forward militarily and how would you handle the national security?
STEIN: That’s a great question. Because what we see the other two parties and virtually all their candidates doing is essentially repeating the mistakes of the past and in fact intensifying them. For 14 years we’ve been conducting a war on terror. It’s cost us $6 trillion, which turns out to be $75,000 per household. We have lost tens of thousands of American soldiers, either killed or maimed, and we have killed over a million people in Iraq alone. It’s no wonder this has been throwing gasoline on the fires in the middle east. We need to really change direction here because it has only made terrorism far worse. All of the terrorist forces, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and now ISIS and their spinoffs. We’re calling for a peace offensive to stop the flow of money and weapons and to focus on what are truly the threats to American lives and well-being, and that is deaths from poverty, from lack of health insurance, homelessness and gun violence.
PAUL: Real quickly, I want to ask you about this lawsuit brought against the Commission on Presidential Debates, seeking fair and equal debate time for all candidates, not just Democrats and Republicans. What is the biggest obstacle you find being in a third party? What do you want the lawsuit to gain?
STEIN: Exactly. I think you put your finger on it. As third parties, it’s not just the candidates that are locked out, it’s really the voters who are locked out. Polls show now that 50% of voters don’t identify anymore with either Republicans or Democrats. Way more of them than Democrats or Republicans. We need to open up the debates. That’s what we’re looking to do through this lawsuit. I encourage people to go to my website and become a part of this because it’s up to us as citizens to open up our democracy so it represents us, and we have more choices and more voices.
PAUL: Dr. Jill Stein, we appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.