UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 1, 2009

A GREEN PARTY FIRST 100 DAYS

How would a Green Party administration handle its first 100 days in office? Longtime Green activist John Rensenbrink offers these suggestions:

Initiate a one-trillion dollar community-based grant-in-aid program from the national government to local communities. These funds will be channeled though collaborative arrangements between state and local governments and require maximum feasible participation in governance by all parts of each local community receiving these grants. Also required is a 5% matching grant from each participating local community. The purposes of the grants are for sustainable community development and community empowerment.

The grants include funds for renewable energy, conservation, work-force housing, small business development coupled with apprenticeship programs to hire the unskilled, open space, extra support for teachers and for ecologically informed education, college scholarships, food and water security, public works, public transportation, regional cooperative projects, support for neighborhood policing programs, and support for the arts. This replaces the "bailout from the top" scheme initiated in late 2008 called the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Substantially lower the income tax and combine this with a carbon tax of $250 per ton to be phased in at the rate of $25 per year from 2009 to 2020 - the carbon tax to be offset at each step of the way with a matching reduction in income tax. This is advocated by Lester Brown of "State of the World" fame and is designed to discourage fossil fuel use and to stimulate investment of renewable sources of energy.

Extend Medicare to the entire population; in other words, a single payer health care program for all.

Establish a financial transactions fee. Economist Dean Baker estimates that a very small fee – ranging up to, say, 0.25% will yield $100 billion or more annually. The fee would be placed on the sale or transfer of stocks, bonds, and other financial assets, including the great variety of exotic and speculator-driven financial instruments so much in the news lately.

Initiate a reparations program for dispossessed African American and Native American peoples.

Initiate a constitutional amendment for the election of President and Vice President by popular vote.

Pressure state and local governments to institute instant run-off voting in elections and to develop pilot programs for proportional representation.

Push for laws and administrative rules in military and civilian life that provide support for gay marriage and gay families.

End the drug war, decriminalize cannabis, and support growing hemp for industrial use.

Initiate a constitutional amendment affirming that the word "person" in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States applies to real persons and not to corporations.

Initiate -- through collaborative diplomacy -- Peace, Justice, and Sustainability Summits, starting with summits engaging respectively the governments in the Americas, in Europe, in Africa, in the Middle East, and in the Asia-Pacific region, leading to a World Summit on Peace, Justice, and Sustainability within two years.

Promote in these summits a worldwide program for collective security; renewable energy; and community-based sustainability programs in food, water, energy development, education, transportation, and local self-reliance, with guaranteed participation by all sections of the local community.

Promote in these summits plans and provisions to end the trade in arms, the trafficking of women, and the militarization of space.

End the war and the military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Promote equally the security and rights of both Israel and Palestine.

Develop a plan to close American military bases throughout the world, phasing out the bases in step with collaborative actions to provide the affected countries with alternative collective security arrangements.

Take leadership in promoting a worldwide financial transactions fee, the funds raised to be directed primarily to solar power development in developing countries.

Institute a world-wide carbon tax, proceeds to be used to lower taxes that burden small businesses.

Create a World Environmental and Labor Protection Organization alongside the World Trade Organization -- or expand the WTO to include protection of the environment and labor.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these things have been supported by Nader who in 2004 spent a lot of time and money defending "Green" challenges to his ballot inclusion. For myself, I doubt I'll ever trust them again.

February 1, 2009 4:54 PM  
Blogger JayV said...

I agree with Anonymous.

Hell, I can make up what I'd do
within 100 days, too. What the Greens don't realise is that
their president would have to
deal with Congress to achieve their "programs."

February 1, 2009 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reparations?
come on.

otherwise... fine..
but reparations discredit the entire party.

that and pushing Ralphie out.
way to lose your momentum guys!!!

February 2, 2009 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All these things have been supported by Nader who in 2004 spent a lot of time and money defending "Green" challenges to his ballot inclusion."

That's complete horseshit. It was the Democrats who spent millions trying to keep Nader off the ballot in 2004. Some of Nader's more sectarian supporters are willing to say anything about the Greens.

February 10, 2009 11:52 PM  

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