While Wall Street and the Bush Administration try to blackmail Congress into a $700 billion bailout for corporations that have shown zero concern about the plight of the American people through the last decade, I have been working on a comprehensive alternative. Today, I am releasing a plan for economic recovery that will provide not only economic stimulus, but also fairness for everyday people on every “Main Street” in America. The plan is detailed below, and it will also be available on the campaign website www.kucinich.us.
Of course, this is a plan that has not only economic implications, but also moral and spiritual implications as well. The social, economic, and political divisions in our nation must be healed. We can make a new beginning, seizing this moment of crisis and transforming it into a moment of rebirth for our nation. I hope you will take the time to read it, consider it, and share it with your friends. I welcome your comments and your support.
Kucinich’s Main Street Recovery Plan
1. Health Care for All: Insurance companies make money not providing health care. As the co-author of HR 676, a universal, single-payer, not-for-profit health care system, Medicare for All, I understand millions of Americans want health care that is accessible and affordable.
Medicare for All will help businesses large and small, create jobs as well as save the jobs of thousands of people including those of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who are currently leaving medicine because it is run by the insurance companies. $1 in every 3 dollars of the $2.4 trillion spent annually in America for health care goes to the insurance companies. If we take that money ($800 billion in unproductive wasteful spending) and put it directly into care, we will have enough money to cover everyone. We are already paying for Medicare for all, but not receiving it. HR 676 changes that!
2. Prescription Drug Benefit for Seniors: HR 6800 is the MEDS Act, which provides a fully paid prescription drug benefit, under Medicare, for all seniors. I wrote this bill to help alleviate the economic pressure that comes from the high cost of prescription drugs. We can pay for it by letting the government negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies as well as by permitting re-importation.
3. Stop the Oil Companies’ Price Gouging: As you know, I was the first one to step up to challenge of the corrupt price gouging and market speculation of the oil companies by proposing a windfall profits tax, on oil and natural gas companies, with revenues put into tax credits for the purchase of fuel-efficient American-made cars. However, it may be that nationalization is the only way to put an end to the oil companies’ sharp practices.
4. Protecting the American Homestead: As Chairman of the Domestic Policy Oversight Subcommittee, I am working to protect your basic right to have a roof over your head, whether as an owner or renter. I have investigated and helped to expose the manipulation of mortgage markets, and I am crafting a new federal policy so that neighborhoods with the highest number of foreclosures get the most help.
5. Jobs for All: Congressman LaTourette and I have co-authored the bi-partisan New Deal-type jobs program, HR 3400, “Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure.” It will create millions of good-paying new jobs rebuilding our roads, bridges, water systems and sewer systems.
6. American Manufacturing Policy: I am drafting the American Manufacturing Policy Act, which for the first time, will state that the maintenance of U.S. steel, automotive, and aerospace industries are vital to our national economic security and must be maintained through integrated public-private cooperation, new trade policies, and investment.
7. Works Green Administration: I am also drafting plans for a green New Deal jobs program, in which the government creates millions of jobs by incentivizing the design, engineering, manufacturing, distribution and maintenance of millions of wind and solar micro-technologies for millions of homes and businesses, dramatically lowering energy costs and reducing our dependence on oil.
8. Fair Trade: The U.S. has lost millions of good-paying jobs, and more jobs have been out-sourced. As you know, I have helped to lead the way in opposition to trade giveaways. I strongly urge repeal of NAFTA. We must include workers’ rights, human rights and environmental quality principles in all trade pacts. We must also protect the Great Lakes’ water resources from the reach of multi-national corporations.
9. Education for All: I know families need help with the rising cost of day care. That is why I introduced HR 4060, a universal pre-kindergarten program to ensure that all children ages 3-5 have access to full-day, quality day care.
10. Protecting Pensions: I am working to change bankruptcy laws so pensioners’ claims will be first, ahead of banks, and that corporate executives who misuse workers’ pension funds are subject to criminal penalties. I want to fully fund the Pension Benefit Guarantee Board.
11. Social Security: From my first moments in Congress, I have exposed Wall Street’s efforts to privatize Social Security and attacked it in the Democratic Caucus when it was being proposed. Can you imagine where seniors would be today if Social Security had been turned over to the stock market? Social Security is solid through 2032 without any changes.
12. Protect Bank Deposits: I will work to make sure the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has sufficient funds to provide for insurance of deposits up to $200,000 at all banks and savings and loans. This is an urgent matter since so many banks are said to be vulnerable.
13. Protect Investors: Bring back strong regulation to Wall Street. As Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, I challenged the Wall Street hedge fund speculators as a threat to small investors. I intend to keep active watch over the machinations on Wall Street.
14. Strength through Peace: You’ll remember when I led the effort against the ill-conceived Iraq war, which has now cost more than 4,100 US soldiers’ lives, cost U.S. taxpayers between $3 trillion and $5 trillion, and resulted in the deaths of more than a million Iraqis. We must bring our troops home and end the war. We must engage in diplomacy. We must reduce the military budget, and we must stop outrageous cost overruns by the likes of Halliburton.
15. Safety in America: I am proud of my work for peace. In July 2001, I introduced a bill, which today is HR 808, that for the first time creates a comprehensive plan to deal with the issues of violence in American society, particularly domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, gang violence, gun violence, racial violence, and violence against gays by establishing a Cabinet-level Department of Peace and Restorative Justice. This proposal has sparked a national movement and when implemented will save tax payers millions of dollars.
16. Monetary Policy: It is long past the time that we looked at the implications of our debt based monetary system, the privatization of money created by the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, the banks fractional reserve system and our debt-based economic system. Unless we have dramatic reform of monetary policy, the entire economic system will continue to accelerate wealth upwards. I am currently working on drafting legislation for an ‘American Monetary Act’ to address these and other issues in order to protect the economic wellbeing of America.
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