Green Party: Stimulus bill falls short

Emailed to contact.ipr@gmail.copm, and posted at, On The Wilder Side, and Green Party Watch. Posted to IPR by Paulie.


For Immediate Release:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

“The First 100 Days: What Would a Green Administration Look Like?” (video and text)

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders said today that the $789 billion compromise stimulus bill falls drastically short of providing what’s needed to end the deepening recession, and urged the Obama Administration to renegotiate the bill to restore and expand funding to create jobs and to provide a real safety net for every American.

“The US economy needs a stimulus, but the bipartisan bill, as it stands now, fails to address the biggest emergencies — lost jobs and home foreclosures,” said Holly Hart, secretary of the Green Party of the United States. “If the bill has little effect, it means that America will plunge even deeper into recession, with even more jobs down the drain.”

“Public works projects, dismissed by many Congress members as pork, would create jobs and get America working again. Tax breaks for the wealthy, Democratic leaders’ biggest concession to Republicans stuck in a Herbert Hoover mentality, will stimulate the economy only minimally,” added Ms. Hart.

Greens said that bipartisan compromise reduced or eliminated funding for school construction, urgent relief for states (necessary to provide Medicaid and other essential services), health care for the unemployed, extended unemployment, Head Start, food stamps, public transit, retrofitting housing, greening federal buildings, watershed rehabilitation, and fire departments — all of which would create and protect jobs, benefit millions of Americans, and help restore financial stability. The removal of caps on executive pay further limits the bill’s effectiveness as a stimulus.

“Democrats caved in to the highway construction lobby when they diverted funding that should have been used for public transportation, thus sacrificing one of the most valuable items of the Obama agenda. With the world facing potentially catastrophic climate change in the coming decades, we don’t need more highways, we need more public transportation and less car traffic. We need to convert our economy from an auto economy to a green economy. Over $25 billion in vital green programs, which would have created countless new jobs, was cut from the stimulus under the compromise,” said Fred Vitale, Michigan candidate for state representative and state chairperson of the Green Party of Michigan.

Greens called the bill a missed opportunity for the kind of investments needed to make the US a truly green economy, moving the US away from dependence on foreign oil and other carbon fuels within the next ten years, as former Vice President Al Gore has recommended. Party leaders cited an ABC News report on new jobs created by the rise of wind farms in the Midwest ( Greens expressed relief that pressure from environmentalists killed a $50 billion loan guarantee for nuclear plants, a major victory for safe and clean energy.

The Green Party has also recommended enactment of a Single-Payer national health care program to relieve the costly burden on business of providing health benefits to employees (

See also “Greens offer six big steps for economic recovery”, Green Party press release, December 10, 2008 ( In September, 2008 Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney published a ten-point list of solutions in response to the Wall Street meltdown, titled “Seize the Time” (

“The stimulus bill demonstrates how ‘bipartisan’ means the damage caused by two-party politics, and how ‘moderate’ means too beholden to corporate demands to effect real change,” said Mark Dunlea, former chair of the Green Party of New York State. “It’s the Rahm Emanuel ideology — the chief function of Democrats is to capitulate to Republicans and corporate campaign contributors.” (Mr. Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff, has led negotiations on the stimulus bill.)

“If bailout and stimulus money went directly to threatened homeowners, both homeowners and the banks would benefit,” said Mr. Dunlea. “The result of the stimulus will probably be all too similar to last year’s taxpayer-funded $700 billion bailout for the financial industry, which passed with support from both Obama and McCain, with no conditions on how the money was spent. It’ll mostly wind up in the bank accounts of a few wealthy people while doing little to jumpstart the economy, create or save jobs, or provide financial security for working Americans.”


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One thought on “Green Party: Stimulus bill falls short

  1. Ed

    By Michael Cloud

    Mainstream Opinion Leaders told us that the Mortgage Meltdown triggered the Wall Street collapse.

    “DE-REGULATION!” – many of them said – caused the Mortgage Meltdown.

    De-regulation? Is that what they call tax-funded, government-guaranteed, high-risk home loans?

    Is that what they call government-backed loans to un-screened borrowers, to NON-credit worthy individuals, in excessive amounts – with profits going to reckless and irresponsible lenders – with taxpayers forced to cover losses?

    If all mortgage risks, liabilities, losses, and profits had been borne by private buyers and sellers – how many of these mortgage loans would have been made?

    Because small government means private enterprise: private risk and liability, private loss and profit.

    Big Government means reckless and irresponsible lending and borrowing. And the financial meltdowns they ignite.

    Independent Institute published a revealing research report on the Mortgage Meltdown.

    The report shows:

    * NO difference between foreclosure rates of prime and sub-prime loans.

    * “The main driver of foreclosures was Adjustable Rate Mortgages, both prime and sub-prime.”

    * Mortgages requiring smaller down payments and NO income verification – “no documentation loans” and “liar loans” – were the ignition points of the meltdown.

    What’s the small government solution?

    First, let’s put the problem in proportion.

    “Nearly 40 percent of all residential properties in the United States, owner-occupied and rental units, are not mortgaged but are owned free and clear,” revealed a 2001 joint research project by the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Of the 60% of homes that do have mortgages, somewhere between 6% and 8% of this 60% are in default or foreclosure. 3.6% to 4.8% of all homes are in default or foreclosure. Over 95.2% are paid for or current on their payments.

    Second, do NOT punish the innocent. These 95.2% of buyers and owners did NOT cause NOR contribute to the mortgage problems of those who made bad borrowing choices. Nor did the tens of millions of home and apartment renters cause or contribute to the mortgage problems of the 3.6% to 4.8% of borrowers. They should NOT be taxed to cover the losses of reckless and irresponsible buyers and lenders.

    Third, there is NOT one big mortgage foreclosure problem shared by 300 million Americans. There are 3 million to 4 million separate and individual mortgage problems – each problem shared by the mortgage lender and the borrower. Each mortgage can be re-negotiated, compromised, liquidated, or worked out by the creditors and debtors.

    Fourth, mortgage companies and investment companies that own these defaulted and foreclosed mortgages will need to sell off their assets for their current market value — and take a loss. Between 2000 and 2002, those who over-invested in over-valued

    companies lost over $1 trillion – and Americans were NOT taxed to cover the losses. Today, those who over-lent or over-borrowed or over-invested in over-valued homes — need to take their own losses, and NOT tax prudent, cautious, and responsible home-owners and renters for being sensible.

    Fifth, hundreds of thousands of street smart buyers and sellers are already snapping up foreclosed and abandoned homes. Bargain hunters are buying good homes at great prices.

    What’s the small government solution? End ALL government loans, loan subsidies, and loan guarantees. Each mortgage lender and borrower must be 100% responsible and liable for their loan. They alone will be at risk.

    Millions of free and responsible men and women can and will work out millions of micro-solutions to the mortgage problems. Because the small government solution is private enterprise solutions.

    by Frederic Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt

    Some people succeed by re-inventing the wheel. Governments usually fail by re-inventing the flat tire.

    Let two free market writers show you the fallacy behind government ‘stimulus spending.’

    “What is Seen and What is Not Seen” by Frederic Bastiat.

    About 7 minutes reading:

    ‘Economics In One Lesson’ by Henry Hazlitt.

    Read the preface, Chapter 1: ‘The Lesson’, and Chapter 2: ‘The Broken Window.’

    About 8 minutes reading:


    When you’re done reading, why not come up with a small government proposal of your own and try it on a few friends?

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