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Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Expanded Debate

Last night I took time to watch the 3-hour Expanded Debate on Democracy Now!, which allowed Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson to participate with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Here are some highlights you may have missed if you watched just the corporate debate.

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President said under both parties we have continuing deregulation for Wall Street, tax breaks for the rich, and dirty energy. She talked about how the top 1% has 40% of the wealth, and the bottom 50% has 1% of the wealth. She said that Obama's "Race to the Top" is based on teaching-to-the-test. She talked about $800 billion in bank bailouts under Bush and $4.5 trillion under Obama. Stein supports the "Robin Hood" tax on Wall Street speculators. While Obama would increase top tax rates to Clinton's levels, Stein would consider increasing them even more, to Eisenhower's levels of about 90%. She said Obama's Simpson-Bowles policies are like the ones in Europe that have put people out on the street searching for food. She mentioned the Cayman Islands and voodoo economics. She said both parties are proposing about $700 billion in Medicare cuts. She would raise the cap on Social Security and end the Medicare Part D giveaway to pharmaceutical companies.

Stein attacked Dodd-Frank as inadequate in cracking down on Wall Street, with Goldman-Sachs and others "too big to fail." She said that Larry Summers brought us derivatives under Clinton, and he was back under Obama. She talked about Fed fraud and abuse under Timothy Geithner, and criticized Fed Chief Ben Bernanke. She supports state and municipal banks.

As a doctor from Massachusetts, Stein was especially critical of Romneycare, saying it has not reduced premiums or brought down costs for people making between $20-40,000. Administrative costs are still high. She also wants to fight chronic disease by improving the food supply.

On civil liberties, Stein talked about the National Defense Authorization Act and how the Bush abuses have been codified under Obama. She praised the activist effort which stopped the Stop Online Piracy Act. And in her closing statements, she advocated free tuition for higher education.

Rocky Anderson, the Justice Party candidate for President, sounded just as good as Stein, and added many important points. He mentioned the Works Progress Administration, so-called free trade, prosperity vs. austerity, Cheney's deficit hypocrisy, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for buildings, and how working people are the real job creators. He explained how Glass-Steagall kept banks out of the stock market, and said the repeal of Glass-Steagall was an act of Democratic and Republican collusion. He described Single Payer and Medicare for All. He criticized credit default swaps. He mentioned Ayn Rand and the imperial presidency.

The debate starts about 30 minutes into the attached link. If you've already seen the corporate debate and just want to catch up on Stein and Anderson, you can skip to the following times: 38:43, 60:42, 73:45, 87:40, 116:00, 127:30, 144:10, 154:40, 162:20, 167:50, and 174:20. Jill sounds like she has the sniffles but I think that's just nerves.



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