Green Party leaders respond to Obama's State of the Union speech
GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, cell 202-904-7614, firstname.lastname@example.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, email@example.com
Green Party LIVESTREAM: Greens discuss the speech during tonight's broadcast, 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus
Greens on solving the deficit: end the wars, cut the military budget, tax the rich. Greens on solving the health care crisis: enact Medicare For All. Greens on jobs: a 'Green New Deal' with massive public investment in green jobs and clean energy.
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party leaders offered comments on President Obama's 2011 State of the Union speech to Congress and the nation, scheduled for Tuesday, January 25. The Green response covers major issues the President will discuss in his speech, as well as topics he won't address.
The Green Party will air an online livestream with party members discussing the State of the Union, beginning at 9 pm ET, 6 pm PT, and running concurrently with the speech. Viewers can watch and participate on the Green Party Livestream channel (http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus). Call-in comments will be accepted on Skype after the speech ends.
"There’s a lot of talk about Democrats and Republicans 'reaching across the aisle' during the State of the Union. What about the gap between Washington and the rest of the country, much wider than the aisle between the two Titanic parties?" said Carl Romanelli, 2006 Green candidate for the US Senate in Pennsylvania.
Should the Democratic health care reform bill be repealed? Yes, say Greens, and replaced with a Medicare For All plan -- legislation for single-payer national health care, covering everyone regardless of ability to pay, age, or prior medical condition, while allowing freedom to choose one's physician and hospital. Medicare For All reduces costs dramatically by enabling price controls and because Medicare's overhead is only about 3%, while the for-profit health insurance bureaucracy -- the real "death panels" -- pad costs by up to 30% for administrative overhead, executive bonuses, and profits for investors. Medicare For All would help business and stimulate the economy by relieving employers of the burden of providing health benefits.
Obamacare and the Republicans' effort to overturn it demonstrate that the leadership of both parties care more about profits for the insurance cartel, Big Pharma, and other corporate interests than high-quality low-cost health care for everyone. The Obamacare mandate (originally a Republican idea from the 1990s) forces people who can't afford it to purchase defective, inadequate coverage from private insurance companies, while doing nothing about skyrocketing costs.
The narrow Democrat vs. Republican debate on health care, which refuses to allow even the argument for Medicare For All, proves the need to get Greens elected to Congress and state legislatures.
There are millions of jobs waiting to be created in alternative energy, retrofitting of buildings and other forms of conservation, and expansion of public transportation to reduce car traffic, say Greens, but this can only happen with a 'Green New Deal' with public investment in these ideas at national, state, and local levels. All of the Green New Deal proposals have become vitally necessary in the century of global warming. See "Fast Forward to Renewable Energy" by Cecile Lawrence (http://www.greenpapers.net/?p=58).
Such measures face a huge political obstacle: opposition from Republicans and "moderate" Democrats who insist -- contrary to all evidence -- that the best way to stimulate the economy is to reduce government spending (by $100 billion, according to the GOP), slash taxes on the highest income brackets, privatize essential public services and resources, and send taxpayer-funded bailouts to reckless Wall Street firms.
The White House and Congress can reduce the deficit drastically by ending the wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, cutting military spending and the number of US bases on foreign soil, and taxing the wealthy so that they pay their fair share. Future meltdowns can be averted by breaking up the "too big to fail" financial firms into smaller locally-based companies. The Green Party's goal of a decentralized economy, based on Main Street rather the Wall Street, will restore economic stability and security to the US.
Instead of shilling for Wal-Mart's grocery section, First Lady Michelle Obama would do far more good by promoting local produce, small farms and businesses, local banks and credit unions, union jobs with good benefits at stores like Walmart, extended compensation for the unemployed, and aid for people dealing with home foreclosures, said Greens. Ms. Obama's promotion of Walmart coincides with efforts by the chain to open four department stores in Washington, DC, over the objections of many local residents and merchants.
On the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision upholding the legal status of corporations as person under the US Constitution, Green Party leader Sarah 'echo' Steiner announced that she intends to take the Supreme Court at its word and honor her marriage when she finds a suitable candidate. See "First Ever Marriage to a Corporation Contemplated by Single, Female, 39" (Jan. 18 press release, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=384), as well as an interview and other links on the Green Party's home page (http://www.gp.org).
The decision, which abolished limits on corporate spending for political campaign ads, severely damages the integrity of US elections and caused a flood of misleading and offensive corporate-sponsored ads in the 2010 election season.
President Obama and some other Democrats initially criticized the Citizens United ruling but have taken no further action. Greens have urged the President and Congress to recognize that the growing power of corporations threatens democracy, economic stability, and human rights and freedoms in the US and abroad. The Green Party, along with Move To Amend (http://www.movetoamend.org), supports passage of an amendment that limits constitutional rights and protections to humans and makes corporations accountable to their own charters and to the public good.
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