Why am I running?
I am running a "campaign of ideas" because we need new ideas. My primary idea is a , transportation and biofuel initiative, because Transportation is the second largest household expense for most Vermonters. I would begin this initiative by using my own salary as Congressman to begin financing the system. I would do this by purchasing pre -owned minivans and buses ( I have a background in mechanics which enables me to shop wisely) I would also set up a transportation co- op similar to the Rural Community Transit, to create a structure for this project. Since this would be structured as a nonprofit co-op there would not be a fare required for residents. This alone could provide a significant economic boost to the economy by putting money directly in the pockets of working people and creating more commerce throughout the state (trickle up economics).
The first vans would run in the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) as the NEK is the most remote and economically challenged region of Vermont. Another aspect of my proposal is a biofuels initiative, with the goal of producing all of the fuel for the fleet of vans right here in Vermont. On this initiative, I would work "hands on" using my own background expertise to work with the community directly to organize this as a community- based initiative. Expansion of the system could be easily funded by diverting money from boondoggle projects, such as a $183 million beltway around Burlington, or the so called "southern connector", a proposed waste of $18 million. New highway construction, such as this suck up the lion’s share of federal highway dollars ($54 million this year alone).
The key to solving the challenges of the 21st century is a clear vision with the necessary financial investment. If you believe that this is the real solution tell all your friends to vote for real change on Nov7 and tell them to tell all of their friends, and prove that word of mouth is still the best form of advertizing, far better than slick tv ads without any real solutions..
1. Yes we were "dead wrong" to invade Iraq for a myriad of reasons, starting from the initial premise that we were eliminating the threat of WMDs. This misguided and dangerous policy of global expansion of our military power is at the expense of the power of a world that is united, as was the case immediately after Sept 11. The administration ruined a great opportunity that existed after Sept 11, to use worldwide sympathy as a tool to capture terrorists. Instead, as a result of the Iraq debacle, the world is a much more dangerous place. As for troop withdrawal, this could be safely done if the administration were willing to give up the permanent military installations, including an airbase, which are the real sticking point to a negotiated withdrawal. As for a timetable, it could be set by the Iraqi people, now that they have "democracy,” by holding their own referendum on this subject.
2. Mideast policy must be more balanced if we are to reach political resolutions to the current conflicts that exist. I support Israel’s sovereignty, her right to self defense, but not the Invasion of Lebanon, which only made Hezbolla more entrenched and stronger as a political power. How counterproductive, as well as bloody and costly in material terms .We must support the rights of Palestine, as well as Israel, this is the key to reaching a political resolution to this conflict. When The United States is no longer seen as a modern day counterpart to the Roman Empire by the Arab world, American influence and Diplomatic efforts could be greatly increased. Until we change course in foreign policy, we will be stuck in the mud, or should I say "quagmire.
3. My analysis of the administrations energy policy could be stated in three words. drill, drill, drill. Obviously our nations energy policy is being run by oil interests who are not in too much of a hurry to see our nation increase our reliance on homegrown energy. This is a no-brainer. As for my "answer" I say we need to follow the lead set by Brazil (too bad we are not able to do any leading here ) which has achieved 40 percent domestic production of gasoline. Brazil achieved this in less than 20 years and so can we. Obviously we need to greatly accelerate the rate of development of homegrown fuels with a generous package of tax credits, low interest HUD loans, and grants, including microgrants. Microgrants of $1 or $2 thousand could work wonders to help farmers develop a biofuel initiative. See my platform proposal on this for more details. As for wind, we could harvest at least 10 percent of our energy from this source alone if we really wanted to. As for Vermont Yankee, It is outdated, and has a terrible safety record, so we should make a plan to replace this source, and after this we can shut it down.
4. Federal spending is out of control largely because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before we began this misadventure we did not have this problem, back in the "roaring 90s" Clinton years. Interesting! This is such a "no brainer" that even a grade school student could figure it out. Sometimes I wish a top rated grade school was running our country instead of the current gang, as I am sure that they would do a better job at using their brains in the public interest.
5. Yes, we should initiate a single payer system (which would not restrict choice of doctor). The U.S. has the most expensive healthcare system in the world, yet the World Health Organization rates us #37. There are many deficiencies in our health care system starting with the nursing shortage We must address the nursing shortage with the following solution: create an incentive package for nurses to get their teaching degree, as their is not enough nursing teachers. We must also include therapeutic massage and Acupuncture, which could greatly improve the quality of healthcare as complimentary modalities, at the same time that these therapies could greatly reduce our reliance on pharmaceuticals, and help lower healthcare costs.
6. The New York Times does not believe that a wall will work. Therefore such a wall would be a $3 billion pork barrel boondoggle built in the name of border security .Its that simple, and does not require a 300 word explanation. As for passports, We have conducted commerce and visited our neighbors to the north all these years in safety, so I do not see the need for a passport for Vermonters who travel frequently between countries. This will only inhibit the economic prosperity that we all strive for in order to make our dreams come true.
7. Yes the federal government should raise the minimum wage , after all ,the current level is worse than a bad joke, its slave labor, and should be considered unconstitutional as cruel and inhuman punishment. As for a so-called livable wage, Santa Fe has had great success with this law, and the worst fears of some members of the business community have simply not happened. This is a form of "trickle up" economic stimulus , which actually work s a lot better to create prosperity than more "trickle down" tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations . So I propose that we enact a livable wage law patterned after the Sante Fe model.
8. A sound immigration policy would seek to tax working immigrants who are already part of the labor force here and meeting the labor need of various sectors of our economy. These people are actually providing a benefit to our economy by supplying a labor pool for unskilled jobs that Americans simply do not want. This could be done by issuing temporary work visas. Let’s not forget that this is a country that was built by immigrants, and its still under construction. If we can reinvest in our country’s infrastructure instead of continuing to let it fall apart while we invade other countries in the name of defense, we could create enough quality jobs for everyone to have a fair economic opportunity.
9. I am proposing an agriculture boifuel initiative that is part of the answer to this question. Investing in biofuels would be a big part of the real solution, as opposed to temporary help. But I also believe that family farms need all the help that they can get, even if they are just stopgap measures and economic band-aids. But what farmers really need is ready access to capital, in the form of grants and low interest 1 percent FHA loans, in order to diversify as well as to be able to upgrade current operations to be more efficient and profitable. In this sense family farms are very similar to small businesses in the need for ready capital, which is not always available. I know this from my own personal experience as a small businessman.
10. Investing in our education is the best investment we can make in our country’s future economic prosperity and competitiveness on the world market. This is because investing in skills is fundamental to having a labor force that can remain competitive. Educational investment can also be an anti-crime program, as has been demonstrated in New York City's SYEP program, which I experienced first hand as the Director of youth programs for the Cherry Tree Assoc, a community group which I worked with. Education can also enhance the general quality of our cultural life (so we can have more fun in our leisure time) by providing opportunities for our students to experience new things in the arts as well as sciences. As for the Presidents so called no child left behind initiative, I wonder if the President left his brain behind, as he surely is not doing any real thinking here, just more public relations. Educational policy is not pr for politicians to use as reelection fodder. Obviously we need to expand student loan and grant programs for all to have an opportunity at the table of economic prosperity in order for " no child to be left behind.”