Q&A with David Green, Democrat, Champaign, candidate for 13th District, U.S. House.
1. Do you favor repeal of the Affordable Care Act? If so, should Congress move quickly to approve an alternate health care program that would cover all or most Americans? What kind of provisions, coverage do you think it should include?
I do not support repeal of the ACA, which however was a betrayal of the base of the Democratic Party by President Obama. I support moving to Medicare for All as quickly as possible.
2. Would you support a "single payer" health care program?
Yes, completely. I support the passage and implementation as soon as possible of Medicare for All, a single payer and universal federal healthcare system that eliminates private insurers and would save at least $1 trillion annually while ensuring better outcomes. This would also bring the profits of pharmaceutical and medical supply corporations down to a reasonable level by better regulating confiscatory patent laws.
3. In view of the mounting federal debt, do you believe it is practical to call only for spending cuts? What share of federal deficit reduction should come from spending cuts and revenue increases? Please be specific about those shares, and about where you think cuts must be made and where revenue increases should be made?
I support spending cuts in the military by ending our wars and dismantling our empire of bases, saving at least $300 billion annually. I support largely ending corporate welfare, which includes ending both tax incentives and subsidies totaling at least $500 billion. I support a financial transactions tax on Wall Street. I support the elimination of tax havens and multinational corporate profits gimmickry that avoids taxes. I support higher effective tax rates on the top 1 percent of household, which make an average of over $1.5 million yearly. I support a wealth tax on investable or liquid assets of at least 10 percent. With all these measures the federal deficit (which by no means presents a crisis anyway in terms of the percentage of GDP that goes to pay interest on the national debt) would largely disappear. Meanwhile, the Social Security Trust Fund would no longer lend its "surplus" to the federal government. It would eliminate the payroll tax cap, disburse all collected funds, lower the payroll tax rate, and significantly increase average monthly payments to retirees.
4. Do you support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through the United States?
No. I adamantly oppose it.
5. Would you support increasing the use of nuclear power for electricity generation?
No. We need to wind down our dangerous nuclear power plants in a safe and practical way.
6. Would you support repealing the federal death penalty?
Yes. I am opposed to the death penalty in all cases.
7. Do you think there is a need to further regulate federal campaign finance laws? If so, what kind of legislation would you propose? Would you favor a constitutional amendment to regulate campaign financing?
Political campaigns should be publicly financed at federal, state, and local levels. The level of that financing should be basic, adequate, and democratically determined at each level. Dissemination of candidates' views on the publicly owned airwaves (that is, all airwaves, audio and video) should be free and required for all outlets. Minimum standards for candidate eligibility for participation and funding should be democratically set. The maximum donation of an individual to a political campaign should be $100. The maximum donation of a Political Action Committee should be $1,000. No outside campaign-related spending should be allowed.
8. Would you support a federal flat tax?
I would only support a flat tax on income at the federal level if it was accompanied by a progressive tax on wealth and an expanded estate tax.
9. Should Congress do anything to regulate the use of drones, either by the government or by private citizens?
Drones should be eliminated as an instrument of war or "security." Domestic drone use, publicly or privately, should be highly regulated to ensure constitutional standards of privacy.
10. Under what circumstances would you be willing to commit U.S. troops to foreign wars?
I would be willing to commit troops to a foreign war if the armies of that country invaded our shores in violation of international laws, and if both constitutional and United Nations procedures were strictly adhered to regarding declarations of war.
11. Do you support eliminating the estate tax?
No, I support expanding it as part of a wealth tax.
12. Is there a need to restrict the National Security Agency? How?
The NSA should be radically downsized; its unconstitutional violations of citizens' rights should cease.
13, Do you believe that federal sentencing rules for non-violent drug offenders are too harsh and that judges should have more leeway in setting sentences?
Sentencing rules for non-violent drug offenders at all levels are too harsh, they are racist, and they constitute a war on the poor. Drug use should be de-criminalized, and drug sales should be regulated in much less punitive fashion.
14, What should the United States do to revise its immigration system? Do you favor granting amnesty to illegal immigrants already here?
I support an accessible path to citizenship for undocumented workers. I support amnesty. Our immigration system needs to be reformed to reflect the needs of American workers and a humane attitude towards foreign workers and guest workers. I oppose the manipulation of immigration laws by high tech corporations looking for cheaper labor.
15. As the 13th Congressional District representative, what would you do to block disposal of PCBs and other hazardous chemicals at the Clinton landfill?
16. Do you believe in climate change/global warming, and if so would you vote for legislation that would mandate reductions in levels of global warming pollution by 2020 or 2025?
Yes, climate change presents a fundamental challenge to the survival of the species and the planet, and needs to be addressed comprehensively and immediately.
17. Is a constitutional amendment needed to define marriage as only between one man and one woman?
No. I support the right of any two consenting adults to marry each other.
18. Should the federal government continue to provide production tax credits for clean energy projects, such as wind energy?
Yes, in a larger context of research, experimentation, and taxation on fossil fuel energy.
19. Do you think the federal government has gone too far in trying to protect the United States in the aftermath of 9/11? If so, what should be done?
The federal government has not protected us. It has made us more unsafe and deprived us of our rights. We should bring our troops home and dismantle our foreign military bases. We should largely or completely eliminate the Office of Homeland Security, which will no longer be necessary (if it has ever been).
20. Are you willing to vote for an increase in the federal gasoline tax to fund more infrastructure improvements? If not, how else can we afford to pay for needed highway, mass transit, railroad and airport improvements?
A dramatically revised overall federal tax system would not need to include an increase in the gasoline tax. In any event, the federal government needs to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on transportation and infrastructure through federal, state, and local governments, putting millions of Americans to work at living wage jobs.
21. What do you think your Number One priority, as the representative of the broad and varied central Illinois district, is in Congress?
There are 20 million Americans who want a full-time job and do not have one. The federal government should provide employment at a living wage for each of them. Meanwhile, the minimum wage for all jobs should be raised to $15 per hour at a national level.