Paula Bradshaw is the Green Party candidate for congress in Illinois’s 12th congressional district. Paula Bradshaw is a nurse and Green Party activist. The Democratic candidate is Bill Enyart who is a retired Army Major General, former State Adjutant General, and attorney. The Republican candidate is Jason Plummer who is a lumber company executive and the 2010 Lt. Governor nominee for the Republican party in Illinois. Paula Bradshaw is a legitimate candidate because it is extremely difficult to even get on the ballot in Illinois for a Third Party or Independent candidate. The state of Illinois requires signatures from 5% of the number of people who voted in the previous election in that district. That means you would need upward of 5,000 to 10,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify for ballot access.
The following is from an interview by quadrust.com political reporter David Flatt with Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw.
1. How would you help create new jobs?
FDR put 4,000,000 people to work in 2 months in 1933, the equivalent of 12,000,000 today. They brought electricity to rural areas, planted trees to combat the Dust Bowl, built parks, bridges and trails, painted murals, put on plays, built numerous buildings and created many other social goods. There is no reason that we can’t put people to work today, when we have so many needs to be met. I call for a Green New Deal, which would bring renewable energy to citizens, build sustainable transportation, refurbish housing, plant trees, provide health and education for our citizens, and provide for other social needs. The Humphrey-Hawkins bill of 1978 provides that the federal government step in and provide employment when the unemployment rate goes over 3%. Why is this law being ignored?
2. What would you do for the long-term unemployed who need a job?
See above answer. All people who need work would be able to work, not just those who already have a job.
3. How would you go about reducing the deficit?
The deficit was created by the 2001 tax cuts, combined with 2 unfunded wars. It seems obvious that we reduce the deficit by repealing the Bush/Obama tax cuts, but also the Reagan tax cuts, which led, in the 80’s, to the biggest deficit this country had ever seen until now. Then we add a financial speculation tax, which would raise money, and discourage the rampant speculation which brought the world economy down. We need to cut the military budget in half, to the 2000 level, which would still leave US military spending far more than any other country. If we cut our military budget in half, it would still be 2 1/2 times more than the next in line, China, a country of over a billion people.
4. What is your view about the level of federal regulation on the economy?
Federal regulation is to protect workers, consumers and the environment. Honest businesses welcome regulation, because, if the regulators do their job, it makes the playing field level. Businesses who subject their workers to danger, who produce dangerous products, or who dump toxins into the environment, should not prosper over more responsible businesses.
5. Who should pay more in taxes and who should pay less in taxes?
The one percent should pay more. Corporations should pay more. In the 50’s, corporations paid 27% of the taxes. Today, Two out of three corporations paid NO federal income taxes from 1998 to 2005. And some were given rebates! Individuals paid 58% of the taxes in the 50’s. Now we pay 85%, even as wages have stagnated since 1975.
6. What is your position on tax deductions and tax credits?
Deductions and credits are no way to run an economy. Clearly, they don’t work, as unemployment remains high. They lead only to complicated tax returns, and tax cheating.
7. Is it the job of the Department of Energy to lower gas prices?
No. We need to change our transportation and building practices to get off fossil fuels, not to burn more.
8. In what ways do you plan to rectify inequalities in the workplace for woman’s pay?
Women and men should be paid equally for equal work. If corporations are not following the law, they should be fined and pay back pay.
9. How do you convince U.S. companies to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.?
Stop the tax breaks for moving our equipment offshore. Put tariffs on imported goods made by US corporations in other countries. Do not allow corporations to move American made equipment, made with American labor and resources, to other countries.
10. What would you do to reform immigration laws?
We need to enforce our labor laws, and fine employers who rely on underpaid foreign workers. We need to stop the importation of skilled workers, when American youth graduate and can’t find jobs in their field. We need to repeal NAFTA, and other trade policies which drive small farmers from their lands and into overcrowded cities, and to the US. I strongly oppose laws which target individuals, the Show-us-your-papers laws.
11. Do you want to repeal the affordable care act or do you support the affordable care act?
I want to repeal the misnamed affordable care act, which forces all Americans, for the first time in our history, to buy a product from private financial institutions. This is an outrage, and must be repealed. I support an expansion of Medicare, to cover all Americans, no matter what age. Medicare has a 3% overhead, as opposed to the 30 to 40% overhead of the profit-taking financial corporations.
12. Will benefits for Americans have to change for Medicare and Social Security to survive?
If we switched to Medicare for all, Americans would pay less for health care than we do now, and everyone would be covered. We pay far more than any other country in the world for our health care, with worse outcomes, as measured by life expectancy, and maternal and infant mortality rates.
Social Security was a pay-as-you-go system for the first 50 years, and it worked well, even though in the 50’s, when the Baby Boomers were babies, there were 98 dependents for every 100 workers. Ronald Reagan raised Social Security taxes in the 80’s, so that the Baby Boomers paid for current recipients and paid toward a “trust fund” to prepay their retirement. Now that the first Baby Boomers are retiring, the corporate candidates are announcing that it will be broke in 20 years. There is a $2 trillion surplus in the trust fund, that was meant to pay for the Baby Boomers retirements, in the next 20 years. In other words, they are now saying that Ronald Reagan’s plan is deeply flawed, even as they lionize him in their tributes. Clearly, the $2 trillion will last until 2034, as planned, and we can then go back to the pay-as-you-go system that worked so well for 50 years.
We should raise the cap on payroll taxes. It is deeply regressive to tax only up to $106,000, so that the working poor pay far more percent of their wages on Social Security.
13. What role has your religion played on your personal views of abortion?
I believe that every child should be a wanted, nurtured child. I don’t believe that babies should be a punishment for having sex. We can’t have a decent society if we force women to bear unwanted children. Therefore, I support easy access to birth control and safe and legal abortion.
14. Was the assassination of the U.S. ambassador in Libya a massive intelligence failure?
The assassination of the US ambassador was an example of blow-back when US support and arming of militants, in order to kill thousands of Libyan citizens, ended up allowing an American citizen to be killed, also. The US, it appears, will not let this stop them from supporting and arming the same militants in order to kill Syrian citizens. It is appalling to see that the deaths of tens of thousands of Libyans by US and NATO forces, and their surrogate militants go unremarked upon, while the death of one ambassador is endlessly discussed.
15. How effective would a military strike against Iran be?
Very effective, if you plan to start another world war.
If you are referring to the latest scare mongering about Iran’s so-called nuclear weapon program, the latest in the 33 year history of US scare mongering, there is absolutely no evidence that there is a program, as pointed out during the last scare mongering in 2006, by the IEAE and the NIE put forward by 17 US spy agencies. Obama and Romney are lying, just as Cheney was, and the others since 1979.
16. Should the U.S. intervene militarily in Syria?
Syria is one of the last secular societies in the Middle East. Why would this question even be asked, if US foreign policy was rational? It is clear that Syria will be taken over by Muslim fundamentalists if Assad falls, and that there will be a bloodbath of Christians in Syria. The US and its puppets in Saudi Arabia should stop funding and arming the militants in Syria who are causing so much human misery.
17. What conditions could justify U.S. troops staying in Afghanistan?
There is no decent justification for US troops staying in Afghanistan. The US is bringing death, torture, terror and repression to the people of Afghanistan. The other reason that the US will stay in Afghanistan is to protect US corporations and to enable them to take the trillion dollars worth of rare minerals found under Afghan soil.
18. Should military spending be increased or decreased?
Decreased by half. We should spend only to defend our own soil, and not to maintain 900 bases around the world in an attempt at full-spectrum dominance.
19. What do you see as America’s role in the world?
America is the third largest country in the world. We have had an open and educated society which has produced many good things. We need to live in peace with other people’s of the world, engage in fair trade and create the kind of free society that other people will emulate.
20. What do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of the U.S.?
Global warming, which threatens our very ability to feed ourselves, as well as the threats of continued fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, which cause widespread suffering to our people. The Pentagon has recognized that global warming is a national security threat. We need people in Congress that can deal with reality instead of their preferred fantasies. As we watch Washington, DC pounded by the biggest storm in US history, we can only hope that some of that pounding will reach the minds of our representatives, and we can finally face up to the fact that we need to rebuild our infrastructure to get off fossil fuels.