Clear Campaign Choices
Delaying a decision is possible, (as our congress is so apt to do!) but the costs of doing so are adding up quickly.
Our grandchildren are standing beside us, waiting for us to show them the way.
The industrial growth economy has brought Americans extensive riches and freedoms. The material progress, science and engineering advancements of the last 200 years are a wonder. I was born in 1950, at the start of a most prosperous time in a most prosperous state. Michigan embodied the best of the growth economy: a strong industry, good wages for most, good civic infrastructure and up north was just a few hours away.
But that prosperity is diminished and all kinds of problems are arising. The two national parties are devoted to extending the growth economy and are distinguished only by the methods they would use. One side argues that the market will resolve our problems and the other urges more government intervention. Both parties ignore the realities facing the growth economy: more debt is irresponsible, less energy and more expensive energy are already stifling growth and the waste of the industrial economy is accumulating quickly and in unexpected ways.
I joined the Green Party two years ago. I didn’t join because they had any magic answers that others could not see. I joined because the Green Party has accepted the reality that our Earth cannot support the growth economy any longer. The limits of the industrial economy have been reached. The Green Party sees the need to adapt, [something humans can do if forced!] and is willing strike out down the road that is less familiar.
Come join us. It is going to be hard and challenging, but our grandchildren are waiting.
America faces a multitude of problems to solve, and I have selected three that I judge to be most pressing.
- Reform our government
- Repay our debt
- Restore our environment
1.Reform our government
Washington’s inability to tackle the debt problem and the other major issues we face is a result of a fundamental disruption of the plans envisioned in the constitution. The 3 branches of government have been corrupted by a new fourth branch, the lobbyists. With their legal, but illegitimate, donations to our politicians they gum up the work of Congress. The will of the funders has usurped the will of the voters. In 1970 there were 165 lobbyists registered in Washington. In 2010 the number had ballooned to 35,000.
I fully support the "Move to Amend" . It will create law that states Corporations are not people and money is not free speech. We need to return to a grass roots democracy that strives to express the will of the people.
2.Repay our debt
This is the issue that drove me to run for congress. I am appalled that we are leaving our grandkids with a mountain of debt that could forever dim the American dream. The prosperity of the past 20 – 30 years is an illusion. All of it is really based on the borrowing of future wealth to maintain the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed. We have a moral duty to repay these funds and to pass on the opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Until now, every generation of parents has wanted their children and grandchildren to have the chance for a better life. What kind of ancestors will we be? Selfless or selfish?
Alexander Hamilton suggested that 10% of our GDP would be a logical target for debt in our country. I will propose a 7 year plan of spending cuts and revenue increases to get us to that goal. The sacrifice to achieve this goal will be severe, but it is the right path for us to pursue.
3.Restore our environment
Our environmental legacy, while better than it once was, still views nature as a resource to be plundered, not husbanded. Nature’s bounty is not simply an input to economic growth. If we continue to pursue the economic growth of the last 200 years, we will exhaust the life of the planet and doom our grandchildren.
Peak Oil and Climate Change are driving significant changes in our world. We can either resist changing and hope to overpower nature, or we can embrace nature's way and move to a steady state economy.
The Bottle Bill Challenge
One of the signature accomplishments of the Michigan legislature was the passing of the Bottle bill in 1976. Our .10 deposit, the highest deposit in the nation, has resulted in a return rate of over 96%. According to www.bottlebill.org, the benefits of bottle deposits are: preventing litter, promoting recycling, reducing waste, producing recycled materials, encouraging producer and consumer responsibility, assigning costs fairly and creating jobs. While we grumble about the chore of returning cans to the store, Michiganders know that we are doing what is right for the environment and we are accomplishing that task in an efficient, fair manner. 1976 is a long time ago. A Nationwide bottle bill has been offered in Congress, but it has never come close to becoming law. Why is that?
No National Bottle Bill has passed because the Beverage companies [pop and beer companies primarily] don’t want to take responsibility for the containers of their product. They are not against recycling, they just want to shift that responsibility and cost to curbside recycling plans. That way local government can assume the cost of recycling and subsidize the beverage companies. It is no matter that curbside recycling has been proven to be far less effective than bottle deposits. By shifting that cost to local governments the profits of beverage companies are improved at the expense of the taxpayer and to the detriment of the environment. Do you think there is a connection between their contributions and the fact that a good Michigan law has not been adopted nationwide in nearly 40 years? Here is the challenge for Rep. Camp, the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means committee.
Baby size challenge: By November 2012, pass the Michigan bottle bill exactly as it is worded. Adult size challenge: By November 2012, pass the Michigan bottle bill with the inclusion of the water, juice and energy drink containers that now avoid the deposit law. If you accomplish the adult size challenge, I will drop my campaign and support your re-election. Will you use your power for the good of the voters of Michigan’s 4th district and the good of the citizens of this country? Or will you use that power to guard the special interests of your campaign contributors?
Why Vote Green
I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats who support pragmatic solutions in Michigan. Sadly, today both parties have too few candidates who fit that description.
Politicians support an orthodox belief in their party’s view even when the remedies of the other side have proven effective. Current politics seem to focus on public opinion, power and appearances, not on problem solving, governing and results.
Here is a partial list of serious problems that the two parties have managed to let fester:
- Our dependence on foreign oil [since 1973]
- Our increasing national debt [since 1960]
- Climate change [since 1958]
- Immigration reform [since 1992]
I have lost faith in the two main political parties to resolve important issues. Our Congress is broken and we need new political thinking to address and solve the issues confronting our country. I believe that the leadership and energy to tackle these issues lies in our smaller parties; The Green Party, The Tea Party, The Progressives, The Libertarians, The Occupy Movement, The Conservatives. And there are probably other parties starting or yet to be born. America needs a re-birth of our democracy.
I have joined the Green Party, guided by the four pillars. These pillars are simple, clear and full of promise. They are aligned with the promise of our Constitution and with the needs of our times.
- Grassroots democracy - direct, active participation by all people in the decisions that affect their lives.
- Ecological wisdom – recognizes the connection between all systems on the planet and encourages balance in our relationship with nature.
- Nonviolence – Nonviolent consensus leads to stronger community and improved decisions.
- Social Justice – Expanding the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all.
The Green Party will look for the best solutions to a problem from any point on the political spectrum. I pledge to help identify and implement those solutions which will have the most positive impact on the many problems we face.