MOSHE & THE ISSUES
Promote the platform and values of the Green Party
Our campaign supports legislative actions and democratic reforms that comply with the Green Party platform and values including: ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, and non-violence.
We represent and advocate for the 10 Key Green Party Values.
Here are our positions on important issues affecting the United States of America:
America’s farmland is being destroyed by drought, soil erosion, chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, monoculture farming, and more. Our ranches and animal farms are facing the drying up and overuse of limited freshwater sources and grass burn ups, with animals often facing inhumane treatment in confined torturous conditions (the Humane Slaughter Act is not enforced). We need to empower the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reverse these trends and encourage individual and corporate farms to become sustainable through laws and regulations, but also incentives and rewards.
It is time to revolutionize America's agricultural community through: organic regenerative farming, permaculture forestry, conservation grazing and ethical animal farming, agroecology, marine aquaculture, and biodiversity. We need healthier food in our grocery stores, schools, and restaurants. Let’s develop food forests and more locally owned organic family farms (rather than large multinational ag corporations with a history of environmental degradation and exploitation) producing a much greater variety of fruits and vegetables. Our meat and poultry industries are polluting our beautiful waters including the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes. Let's replace the massive amounts of land in the USA and around the world deforested and burned down to grow soy, corn, and other crops just to feed the animals we ultimately eat with open and free range grasslands and forests that use rotational animal grazing to regenerate the soil rather than destroy it. This practice leads to healthier animals and more nutritious meat.
We must enforce the ethical treatment of animals, food waste control (40% of all food in America is wasted, totalling a shocking $408 billion annually), and the strategic use of composted manure (including animal and human). We can incentivize the agriculture, food and restaurant organizations to alter their production techniques, the types of food produced, how they are produced, and the logistics of how they are ultimately delivered to achieve a more balanced lifestyle and healthier diet for the majority of Americans.
And we need to combat climate change via our agricultural system nationwide through: reforestation, permaculture farming, massive seagrass plantations, mangrove renewal projects, cover crops, polyculture farming, food forests, restoration of coral reefs and marine ecosystems and more.
The foundation of any democratic society is the guarantee that each member of society has equal rights. Respect for our constitutionally protected rights is our best defense against discrimination and the abuse of power. Also, we recognize an intimate connection between our rights as individuals and our responsibilities to our neighbors and the planet. The Green Party strives to secure universal and effective recognition and observance of the principles and spirit expressed in the United National Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an international standard that all nations must meet.
Our campaign will fight against any form of discrimination, including race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, age, gender, gender identity, veterans status, or sexual orientation. We must recognize America’s historic sins against the Native American peoples (theft of land, murder, disease, etc.) as well as the Africans brought here as slaves (400+ years of bondage, abuse, and terror). Injustices must be compensated for and reparations paid to their descendents until justice is served. States, in cooperation with the federal government, can decide on the types of reparations including, but not limited to: cash disbursements to descendants (at least one confirmed, traceable ancestor who was enslaved), education scholarships, home down payment grants, new and existing business grants, medical payments or health debt reimbursement, auto loan payoffs, and more.
We call for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, a long overdue constitutional recognition and protection for women.
U.S. Economy, Labor, & Welfare
America's economy was founded on the basis of a free market and locally owned farms and businesses in rebellion against the royal charters of the King of England and aristocratic landed gentry and nobility laws.
However, the USA today has become similar to the colonial usurpers and the very same evils it fought so hard for freedom against. We now have a small percentage of corporations and individuals owning and controlling the vast majority of our wealth.
The wealthiest 1% of Americans own 31% of our economy, the next 9% own 37%, the next 40% own 29%, and the final 50% only own 3%. The wealthiest 10% of Americans now own 89% of all U.S. stocks held by households, a record high that highlights the stock market’s role in increasing wealth inequality.
We have reached a dangerous tipping point, whereby the masses of laborers who do the actual working, are waking up to the economic injustices and unfairness of the system. They want their fair share. These same companies spread their form of wealth and resource hoarding around the world, leading to global inequalities, poverty, environmental degradation, and ultimately anger and opposition against America around the world.
The concentration of wealth is unfair and unjust and has led to increased poverty, homelessness, hunger, a reduction in life expectancy, mental health issues, unsustainable national (and some state) debt levels ($31 trillion in Federal debt), and ultimately default and bankruptcy. Inequality is a drag on economic growth and fosters political dysfunction. Concentrated income and wealth reduces the level of demand in the economy because rich households tend to spend less of their income than poorer ones. Reduced opportunities for low-income households can also hurt the economy and result in lower growth.
All Americans who work should have representation to promote their rights and job quality of life. Labor unions and other forms of employee groups can facilitate these benefits. We can no longer allow the business owners, managers, or few shareholders to treat their employees or contractors with disrespect, abuse, and lack of fair pay. Every employer or contractor must have a right and the availability to join a company, county, or state based labor union to protect his or her rights.
America should focus on the goal of 100% employment for those who are able and prepared to work. We cannot rely on private companies alone to employ everyone, and must build public-private partnerships to utilize the best of both communities for the benefit of all American workers. Each state and the federal government must set out to create new public works projects to reach full employment. These projects, similar to what FDR did in the New Deal, will be Green but also help society at large. The benefits from tax dollars and economic growth and productivity will pay for the program itself and actually yield a net positive return on investment.
For those who cannot work for any legitimate reason, we will have a welfare safety net, covering housing, food, and basic expenses.
There will be no more homeless Americans. Everyone will have a bed to sleep in and food to survive.
The education of all Americans is critical to shaping the minds of future generations, preparing people of any age for a career or trade, teaching the tools necessary for students to become self-learners, and enlightening our citizens and residents about the world and all aspects of America's success as a leader in the global community. We must recognize that while we have built world-class schools from elementary through graduate school throughout the USA, the Internet and new technologies are changing the face of education. We must adapt to this new education system, and implement change in all communities, all locations, and all ethnic and socio-economic groups.
The Green Party supports equal access to high-quality education, and sharp increases in financial aid for college students.
A great challenge facing the people of the United States is to educate ourselves to build a just, sustainable, humane and democratic future, and to become responsible and effective citizens of the local and global communities we share. Greens believe every child deserves a public education that fosters critical and holistic thought, and provides the breadth and depth of learning necessary to become an active citizen and a constructive member of our society. We do not believe our public school system, as it presently operates, helps us reach that goal.
Today, America’s public school system faces a different set of challenges. For the first time in this country’s history, students of color represent the majority of the PK-12 public education student body. Additionally, now more than half of all school children are classified as “low income.” Even more critical is the fact that now nearly 35 percent of all public school students have some specific learning disability and are receiving special education services. Given these factors, in order for America’s schools to truly become effective in teaching our students to think critically and to respond to life challenges, districts, schools and teachers must develop a new consciousness toward students that includes cultural competency, the understanding of the impact of poverty on school performance, asset-based engagement and how to create stable, nurturing school environments that will help students thrive and succeed.
The United States has a high-energy-consumption economy based mainly on fossil energy. The extraction, refining, and combustion of fossil fuels have proved extremely harmful to the environment, and supplies are rapidly being depleted. Over the past century, the infrastructure of our civilization has become utterly dependent on plentiful oil, coal, and natural gas: vast land, air, and sea transportation networks; increasing dependence on imported goods; industrialized food production dependent on fertilizer and biocides; and sprawling, car-dependent neighborhoods and workplaces. Our electric grid depends on fossil fuels for two-thirds of its energy.
We must move decisively to an energy system based 100% on solar, wind, geo-thermal, marine, and other clean renewable energy sources. The development of Earth-gentle, sustainable energy sources must be a cornerstone of any plan to reduce reliance on conventional fossil fuels.
Our enormous investment in highways, airports, cars, buses, trucks, and aircraft is almost completely dependent on oil, and it will be significantly handicapped by higher fuel prices, and devastated by actual fuel shortages. The electrification of road-based vehicles is a must and will require at least two decades to fully deploy and we must move to Earth-gentle electricity generation to charge the vehicles. Meanwhile, existing private automobiles must be put to use more efficiently through carpooling, car-sharing, and ride-sharing networks.
The Green Party advocates for a rapid reduction in energy consumption through energy efficiency and a decisive transition away from fossil fuel power toward cleaner, renewable, local energy sources. Toward these goals, we advocate for: energy conservation, a transition to 100% renewable sources, the elimination of dirty and dangerous energy sources, decentralization of the grid, re-localization of the food system, electrification the transportation system, major investment in new technology, and educating the public for the new green economy.
U.S. Environment, Pollution, & Climate
Climate change is the gravest environmental, social and economic peril that humanity has ever met. Across the world, it is causing vanishing polar ice, melting glaciers, growing deserts, stronger storms, rising oceans, less biodiversity, deepening droughts, as well as more disease, hunger, strife and human misery. It is a tragedy unfolding in slow motion.
Greenhouse gasses warm the Earth by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Much of that heat is initially absorbed by the ocean, creating roughly a 30-year delay in the impact of that heat at the surface of the planet. To return to a safe level of greenhouse gasses in Earth's atmosphere, we must reduce atmospheric greenhouse gasses as quickly as possible to levels that existed before 1980, to 350 ppm carbon dioxide or less. And then we must continue to reduce CO2 levels until they reach a balanced state between 250 and 350 parts per million.
Greens support science-based policies to curb climate change. We have an ambitious plan to make drastic changes quickly to avert global catastrophe. We will expend maximum effort to preserve a planet friendly to life as we know it by curtailing greenhouse gas emissions and actively removing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere. We should:
Enact an emergency Green New Deal to turn the tide on climate change, revive the economy and make wars for oil obsolete. Initiate a WWII-scale national mobilization to halt climate change, the greatest threat to humanity in our history. Create 20 million jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, conservation and restoration of critical infrastructure, including ecosystems.
Implement a Just Transition that empowers those communities and workers most impacted by climate change and the transition to a green economy. Ensure that any worker displaced by the shift away from fossil fuels will receive full income and benefits as they transition to alternative work.
Enact energy democracy based on public, community and worker ownership of our energy system. Treat energy as a human right.
Redirect research funds from fossil fuels into renewable energy and conservation. Build a nationwide smart electricity grid that can pool and store power from a diversity of renewable sources, giving the nation clean, democratically-controlled, energy.
End destructive energy extraction and associated infrastructure: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, natural gas pipelines, and uranium mines. Halt any investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, including natural gas, and phase out all fossil fuel power plants. End all subsidies for fossil fuels and impose a greenhouse gas fee / tax to charge polluters for the damage they have created.”
The strict, comprehensive protections of the Clean Air Act must be maintained and enhanced if we are to keep in place effective federal programs that deal with urban smog, toxic air pollution, acid rain, and ozone depletion. State and local clean air initiatives should advance and improve national efforts; for example, moving forward with stricter clean air standards and the conversion of all American vehicles and fleets to clean electric energy.
U.S. Families & Youth
We call for social policies to focus on protecting families. The young— our citizens of tomorrow— are increasingly at risk. Programs must ensure that children, who are among the most vulnerable members of society, receive basic nutritional, educational, and medical necessities. The Green Party supports and seeks to expand Head Start and Pre- and neonatal programs. A Children's Agenda should be put in place to focus attention and concerted action on the future that is our children. A universal, federally funded childcare program for pre-school and young school children should be developed. Family assistance such as the earned income tax credit, available to working poor families in which the parent supports and lives with the children, should be maintained and increased to offset regressive payroll taxes and growing inequalities in American society. A living family wage is vital to the social health of communities. The actuarial protection of social security is essential to the well-being of our seniors, and maintenance of the system's integrity is an essential part of a healthy community. We oppose privatization of social security, call for the program to remain under the aegis of the Federal Government, and seek to expand its effectiveness. We support the leading-edge work of non-profit public interest groups and those individuals breaking out of "careerism" to pursue non-traditional careers in public service.
We must create new opportunities for citizens to serve their communities through non-military community service. Alternative community service to the military should be encouraged. We advocate the formation of a Civilian Conservation Corps, with national leadership and state and local affiliates, to spearhead efforts to work on the tasks of environmental education, restoration of damaged habitats, reforestation, and cleaning up polluted waterways. Providing land and resource management skills will challenge young people while encouraging social responsibility.
U.S. Fiscal Responsibility
The US federal government has spent more than it raises (annual deficits) via taxes and duties for the past 50 years (except for the Clinton years). We now face a total debt of $31.5 trillion which is owed to investors, other nations like China & Japan, Social Security, US federal pensions, and others. The annual interest alone on this debt is now $475 billion. Our spending on the military is now over $850 billion per year. Programs such as Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are running out of funds. America is on a path towards bankruptcy and default.
Ever since World War 2, when Europe sent its gold to the US for safekeeping, America and its US dollar became the world's reserve currency. However, that US dollar (a Federal Reserve note, US banknote, or legal document of debt owed by the US government) abandoned silver in 1900 (Gold Standard Act), decoupled from gold in 1934 (Gold Reserve Act), and finally from foreign gold redemptions in 1971 (Nixon Shock). Essentially, this means that the US dollar has no backing (fiat, or non-redeemable), has no intrinsic value, and is subject to the mercy of the semi-independent Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury printing press. And that press printed three times the money supply over the past 5 years. So it is no wonder that we have inflation rising rapidly in this country. We must move towards a 100% green and clean new digital US or global currency. Cryptocurrencies have no government or official recognition, but can provide the technology necessary for such money. And due to the fact that government officials cannot be trusted to manage said money supply, we must back up our new digital currency with real precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, and palladium) that are in storage or mined using clean technologies, from EPA regulated mines, which are then restored to full environmental sustainability.
Time is running out. Other nations such as China and Russia have realized that the US dollar hegemony is nearing its demise, and are stockpiling gold. Once the US dollar loses its status as the global reserve currency, America will face a major economic collapse.
We only have three paths ahead of us as it pertains to our financial system:
Inflate away our debt: The Treasury keeps printing massive amounts of US dollars, making the value of those dollars 50-80% less then they are today. Our debt will then be easier to pay off. This path also taxes the wealthy, as they will lose the most from such a massive inflationary adjustment (unless they hold real assets such as land, homes, buildings, some stock/bonds, etc).
Default on our debt: America officially goes bankrupt like Argentina and Lebanon, losing its top bond rating, and position as the global economic leader.
Run huge annual surpluses: We become fiscally responsible and reduce our debt ($31.5T) to 50-60% ($12.7-$15.3T) of GDP ($25.5T in 2022) in 20 years. We have to eliminate $16.2-$18.8T in debt which will not be easy.
We can cut $500B a year from military spending, raise $500B more per year by closing tax loopholes, shrinking the tax gap (cracking down on tax avoidance), and enacting a higher and minimum corporate tax rate, and save $500B annually through our new universal healthcare system (increased tax revenue, lower negotiated pharmacy prices, reduced hospital in-patient and out-patient cost of care). We can also raise the age for Social Security eligibility to 70 (Americans are living longer) and increase the upper limit on wages subject to FICA (or remove the payroll tax cap completely) to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund finances far into the future. And as our debts are paid off, the interest on that debt (now at $500B a year) will disappear.
One of the reasons why the U.S. Senate, and therefore the full Congress, cannot properly address our financial troubles and other laws, is due to the rules of unlimited debate, cloture, and the filibuster. Essentially, this turns what should be a simple majority vote of Senators elected by the people into a required 3/5ths majority (60 rather than 51). This is not true democracy, and the Greens will advocate for its removal. Let's bring back the Senate's original rule of cutting off debate with a simple majority vote (which was done away with by Aaron Burr in 1806).
U.S. Foreign Policy
As one of the initiators and primary authors of the United Nations Charter, the United States is obligated to conform to the stipulations of the U.S. Constitution, which identifies all such agreements as treaties that hold the authority of U.S. law. The U.S. government is pledged to abide by its principles and guidelines in the conduct of foreign relations and affairs.
We recognize our government's obligation to take disputes with other nations or foreign bodies to the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly forum for negotiation and resolution. The U.N. and international laws, treaties and conventions that the U.S. has signed are the framework that controls U.S. military actions abroad.
The U.S. must recognize the sovereignty of nation-states and their right of self-determination.
We recognize and support the right of the U.N. to intervene in a nation-state engaged in genocidal acts or in its persistent violation and denial of the human rights of an ethnic or religious group within its boundaries, and the right to protect the victims of such acts.
The U.S. is obligated to render military assistance or service under U.N. command to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The U.S. must recognize and abide by the authority of the U.N. General Assembly to act in a crisis situation by passing a resolution under the Uniting for Peace Procedure when the U.N. Security Council is stalemated by vetoes.
We urge our government to sign the International Criminal Court agreement and respect the authority of that institution.
Our defense budget has increased out of all proportion to any military threat to the United States, and to our domestic social, economic and environmental needs. The United States government must reduce our defense budget to half of its current size or less. The 2022 defense budget exceeded $780 billion, and that does not take into account military expenditures not placed under the defense budget.
U.S. Health Care
America must have a universal healthcare system, covering all citizens and residents from cradle to grave including hospital, doctor, nursing, diagnostic, dental, vision, nutrition and holistic medical care. Health is a right, not a privilege. And we will in the end save money and have a healthier, more productive, and happier society.
The Green Party supports single-payer universal healthcare and preventive care for all. We believe that health care is a right, not a privilege. Our current healthcare system lets tens of thousands of people die each year by excluding them from adequate care, while its exorbitant costs are crippling our economy. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national health care system.
Under a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health care system, the administrative waste of private insurance corporations would be redirected to patient care. If the United States were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer plan, as in Canada and many European countries, the savings in administrative costs would be more than enough to offset the cost of additional care. Expenses for businesses currently providing coverage would be reduced, while state and local governments would pay less because they would receive reimbursement for services provided to the previously uninsured, and because public programs would cease to be the "dumping ground" for high-risk patients and those rejected by health maintenance organizations (HMOs) when they become disabled and unemployed. In addition, people would gain the peace of mind in knowing that they have health care they need. No longer would people have to worry about the prospect of financial ruin if they become seriously ill, are laid off from their jobs, or are injured in an accident.
The Green Party supports a wide range of health care services, including conventional medicine, as well as the teaching, funding and practice of complementary, integrative and licensed alternative health care approaches. Greens recognize that our own health is also intimately tied to the health of our communities and environment. To improve our own health, we must improve the quality of our air, water and food and the health of our workplaces, homes and schools.
The U.S. needs a complete overhaul of its immigration laws, procedures, and programs. Our current situation has created extreme social injustice. Millions of people are living and working in the U.S. with no legal status, making them subject to extreme exploitation and abuse. Immigration raids are terrorizing the immigrant community. Families are being broken up. Employer abuses of undocumented workers are rampant. Immigration policies such as separating families at the border, kids in cages, and the Title 42 program which allows the United States Border Patrol and U.S. Customs to prohibit the entry of persons who potentially pose a health risk (a racist policy to fast track deportations and prohibit refugees to seek asylum on U.S. soil) must immediately cease.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), local police, and for-profit/private prison corporations such as GEO Group and CoreCivic have taken advantage of the increase in anti-immigrant legislation and created a symbiotic relationship. ICE’s mission, “To protect America from cross border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety. This mission is executed through the enforcement of more than 400 federal statutes and focuses on immigration enforcement and combating transnational crime,” subscribes to the belief that every Latin American citizen is a criminal. Mass incarceration fuels the proliferation of for-profit prisons while for-profit prison corporations encourage policies that increase the number of people behind bars. With various states implementing anti-immigrant legislation, setting up detention centers has been an easy contractual agreement with the “incentive” that they must meet 80% to 100% fill capacity for payment. ICE reports they have paid $85,000 per incarcerated individual and a total of $807 million to 19 for-profit detention centers.
Racist policies must be abolished. Undocumented immigrants boost America’s economic growth and raise the general productivity of American workers by providing much-needed skills. Immigrant workers allow important sectors of the economy to expand, attract investment and create employment opportunities for native-born Americans, contribute more in tax revenue than they collect, reduce American firms’ incentives to offshore jobs and import foreign-produced goods, and benefit consumers by reducing the prices of goods and services. Economists estimate that legalization of the undocumented immigrant population would increase the immigrants’ earnings and consumption considerably, and increase U.S. gross domestic product.
U.S. Mental Health & Substance Abuse/Addiction
To address America's mental health crisis, we will:
Prioritize the expansion of mental health and rehabilitation services through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. This will be a national effort, with state implementation.
Create a national dementia strategy to adequately fund research and supports to treat the disease
Fully fund all mental health services via the new U.S. Universal Healthcare System and reduce wait times for mental health programs and treatments.
Establish a new funding program to create new peer-led LGBTQI2+ mental health programs and counseling.
Ensure Indigenous Peoples receive the health care they require without any bureaucratic delays, and create Indigenous-led healing programs using traditional knowledge systems.
Fund more mental health services in rural and remote areas.
Look into climate-change related mental illnesses – caused by natural disasters, extreme weather, displacement, etc. – and fund ways to address both the diseases and their cause.
Treat the opioid crisis as a health-care issue, rather than a criminal issue.
Mobilize mental health organizations to prevent illness and suicide caused by anxieties surrounding social isolation, expensive housing, the climate crisis, the rise of white ethno-nationalism, etc.
Create a Guaranteed Livable Income program to ensure no one goes homeless while their mental illness is being treated.
U.S. Guns, Police, & Prisons
The United States has the highest incarceration and recidivism rates of industrialized countries, while our nation's criminal justice system in general is too often inhumane, ineffective, and prohibitively expensive. Our law enforcement priorities place too much emphasis on drug-related and petty, non-violent crimes, and not enough on prosecution of corporate, white collar, and environmental crime. The majority of prisoners are serving terms for non-violent, minor property and drug addiction crimes, or violations of their conditions of parole or probation, while the poor, the under-educated and various racial and ethnic minorities are overrepresented in the prison population. The negative effects of imprisonment are far-reaching. Prisoners are isolated from their communities and often denied contact with the free world and the media. Access to educational and legal materials is in decline. Prison administrators wield total authority over their environments, diminishing procedural input from experts and censoring employee complaints. Our priorities must include efforts to prevent violent crime and address the legitimate needs of victims, while addressing the socio-economic root causes of crime and practicing policies that prevent recidivism. Greens oppose the increasingly widespread privatization of prisons. These prisons treat people as their product and provide far worse service than government-run prisons. Profits in privately-run prisons are derived from understaffing, which severely reduces the acceptable care of inmates. Greens believe that greater, not lesser public input, oversight and control of prisons is the answer.
Gun violence has become a national emergency in the United States. The Green Party is outraged that the US Congress has failed to act on the issue of gun violence that targets average citizens in our schools, entertainment venues and shopping centers. It's time to repeal the 2nd Amendment, put the NRA and gun lobbyists out of business, and remove all guns from our society. Even law enforcement should only use non-lethal weapons when necessary to maintain the peace.
U.S. Political System & Voting
To achieve genuine citizen participation, citizens must share in the power of governing. Greens seek to bring vibrant grassroots democracy to every part of the United States.
Greens seek to repair the U.S. electoral system, from how elections are financed, to conducting them in more fair and representative ways, to ensuring accountability and transparency on all levels of government. In particular, Greens believe that the U.S. winner-take-all voting system is fundamentally flawed, resulting in low voter participation, little choice or competition in countless elections, and far too few women and minorities in elected office. It's time for every state to implement Rank Choice Voting in local, county, state, and federal elections (currently only Maine & Alaska have implemented RCV).
The failure to fulfill the promise of democracy leaves millions of people in our country too discouraged to vote and others who choose to vote seemingly trapped among false and limited choices. A system that promotes full and fair representation would draw millions of people in the United States into civic life and could revive democracy in this country. In the 2020 Presidential elections, for example, 33% of eligible voters did not vote, or 80 million people, and the numbers can be higher in state and local elections. We must make voting easier (online, mail-in, reduced wait times for in-person) and more accessible.
U.S. Poverty & Welfare
Poverty in America is widespread and our current social programs do not eliminate poverty; they treat and perpetuate poverty. We must end systemic poverty by revolutionizing the system. The US is among the richest countries in the world. We have the resources and talent to create a truly just society. America's social safety net was developed over 50 years ago. It is time for the next major innovations – Universal Healthcare and Guaranteed Liveable Income. We can eliminate poverty and create a healthier, stronger America. The current poverty band-aid system encourages an underground economy to avoid the claw back of poverty payments. We need to shut down the underground economy and ensure proper taxation. It will cost far less than we pay now to maintain densely bureaucratic social systems and cover the many other costs poverty imposes on our society.
We need to modernize our social safety networks. And we need to do it now, before automation, artificial intelligence and the gig economy decimate traditional labor markets.
Poverty is a problem we can fix. Here’s how:
Establish Guaranteed Livable Income to ensure each American can live with dignity and independence.
Implement a National Housing Strategy to provide every American with a place to call home.
Create a culturally sensitive Housing First approach to provide immediate support for those experiencing chronic homelessness.
Increase access to social housing for Indigenous peoples living on and off reserve.
Invest in the co-operative housing sector to invigorate the new, affordable housing market and sustain existing co-ops facing liquidation.
U.S. Social Security & Seniors
The purpose of the social safety net is to provide a floor below which a citizen in America should not suffer economic deprivation. Our social safety net provides assistance to persons who are elderly; disabled; economically poor; and in families with very young, sick or special-need children. Since its inception in 1936, the Social Security System has been an essential asset to elderly Americans. However, in the last two decades these funds have been used to reduce the federal deficit. Middle and low income workers who have paid disproportionately more of their wages into the system will not receive their due upon retirement.
In the next decade, millions of disadvantaged and disabled people, as well as single and divorced parents, who have depended upon this support system will be removed from local, state and federal roles. Recipients will be forced into "workfare" for minimum wages or less without health, safety and union protections, displacing current workers and pushing down wages for everyone. Single parents forced into taking jobs without provisions for childcare will have to choose between economic destitution or neglecting their children and losing them to foster care.
The premise of so-called "welfare reform" is that there are enough jobs that pay a living wage, when indeed there are not. In actuality, so-called "welfare dependency" is caused by a lack of affordable child care, higher education, housing and medical care.
The Green Party calls for a reliable social safety net with benefits sufficient to meet basic necessities:
Recognize Social Security as a human right as stated in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights - everyone has the right to a secure retirement.
Separate Social Security from the federal budget. Social Security funds must be handled independently and for the benefit of the people they are meant to help.
Stop cuts in social security. Benefits should be tied to actual increases in the cost of living, which should be determined by committees of consumers. This would avoid the danger of the consumer price index being manipulated to justify decreasing benefits.
Retain the safety net for senior citizens who rely upon it to cover medical benefits in addition to subsistence benefits. They should not be forced to liquidate their assets for long term health care.
The Green Party supports defense technology transfer towards a peacetime technology-based economy, particularly new industrial applications and developments in the areas of advanced communications, alternative energy, non-toxic battery technology and waste management.
Advanced telecommunications technologies (many of which came originally from defense applications), such as fiber optics, broadband infrastructure, the Internet, and satellite communication hold great promise for education, decentralized economies, and local control of decision-making. We believe we must move toward decentralization in these efforts, carefully protecting our individual rights as we go forward.
Open-source software is necessary to achieve personal, cultural, and organizational security in the face of technological threats brought by corporations and individual criminals.
Nanotechnology—the science of manipulating matter at the molecular level—is poised to provide a new industrial revolution with vast social and environmental consequences. Like nuclear science and biotechnology, nanotechnology is being pursued largely outside of public debate, risking great harm and abuse in its use and application.
We recognize the dangers of artificial intelligence and robots one day potentially taking over the Earth and attempting to annihilate the human species. We will tightly regulate all new humanoid robotics.
U.S. Tax System
Our current tax system is outrageously unjust. It is riddled with loopholes, subsidies and dodges for corporations and the super-rich. Most working people pay too much in taxes compared to corporations, multi-millionaires and billionaires. Many of our biggest and most profitable corporations pay little or no tax. Much investment income is taxed at less than the rate workers pay.
We can afford to cut taxes for most people if we make corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share. Then we can cut them even more when we halt our nation's wasteful spending on wars, weaponry and militarism.
We call for progressive taxation, shifting tax from individuals to corporations, taxing "bads" not "goods," taxing unearned income at the same rate as earned income, taxing speculation on Wall Street, and cutting corporate tax giveaways.
We will institute comprehensive tax reform to simplify the tax system. We will eliminate loopholes and other exemptions that favor corporate and wealthy interests over tax justice.
Small business, in particular, should not be penalized by a tax system which benefits those who can "work" the legislative tax committees for breaks and subsidies. We support substantive and wide-ranging re- form of the tax system that helps create jobs, economic efficiencies and innovation within the small business community. We will end "corporate welfare." Smaller businesses are the U.S.A's great strength. Greens believe the government should have a tax policy which encourages small and socially responsible businesses.
Political democracy remains a distant promise without economic democracy. A principal instrument for achieving economic democracy is our tax system. Taxes are the means whereby we fund our public services. They can also help create equity, justice, health and sustainability.
The Green Party supports a transportation policy that emphasizes the use of mass transit and moves towards the full electrification of automobiles, trucks, trains, and airplanes using zero emission energy. We call for major public investment in mass transportation, so that such systems are cheap or free to the public and are safe, accessible, and easily understandable to first-time users. We need ecologically sound forms of transportation that minimize pollution and maximize efficiency.
Surfaces impermeable to rainwater, polluted storm run-off; paved over or polluted wetlands, the heat island effect, air pollution, and acid rain are all directly related to a transportation system run amuck.
We will create a smart, clear National Transportation Plan:
Reinvest in our national rail network
Restore quality bus service to rural and remote America and purchase electric buses
Increase federal funding for pedestrian, cycling and car-sharing infrastructure in towns and cities
Reinvest in public transportation infrastructure to make it convenient, safe, comfortable and affordable
Offer greater rebates for purchasing energy efficient and electric vehicles, and within 10 years ban the purchase of new internal combustion engine vehicles
Mandate energy retrofits for all buildings by 2030, and move towards 100% renewable energy for all urban buildings and areas by 2045.
The Green Party calls for a complete transformation of the US military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, & National Guard) into a much smaller defense and peacekeeping force, drastically cutting our federal military budget in order to free up funds to invest in combating climate change and meeting other domestic needs such as education, infrastructure and housing. We can use technologies such as drones, satellite imaging, digital weapon scanning tools, and elite strike forces to root out terrorist cells (America's main enemy in the 21st century).
The US spends more on its military than the next 9 countries combined. The military is not an entitlement program with a revenue source (like Social Security & Medicare). US defense spending is a major source of our debt and precarious federal fiscal situation. It contributes to injury, death, an attitude of militarism globally, an image of confrontation, and the proliferation of weapons around the world.
Here were the top ten military budgets of 2021:
United States — $801 billion
China — $293 billion
India — $77 billion
United Kingdom — $68 billion
Russia — $66 billion
France — $57 billion
Germany — $56 billion
Saudi Arabia — $56 billion
Japan — $54 billion
South Korea — $50 billion
Let's start by drawing down our military budget to $350 billion per year by 2028 and increasing our Peace Corp funding from $518 million per year to $50 billion annually.
The Green Party believes the defense budget has little to do with protecting the country from invasion but more to do with using dominant military might to advance the needs of multinational corporations worldwide. Tremendous savings would be possible if we adopted a cooperative approach based on mutual security and respect and worldwide improvements in quality of life.
The US should become the world's humanitarian superpower and make friends instead of enemies. It would be a lot cheaper than policing the world on behalf of global corporations. The world would be a much safer place. Let's invest in peace rather than war.
The lobbyists for the Military Industrial Complex successfully secure more money from Congress each year than the Pentagon even asks for. People need to stop voting for people who routinely do their bidding and instead send Peace Candidates down to Washington to manage the federal budget.
Our military spending primarily serves the needs of the military industrial contractors, not the public, as President Eisenhower warned more than half a century ago. The contractors have bought both parties in Congress with their massive campaign contributions.
Here are our positions on important issues affecting the State of Maryland:
Over the past 300 years, settlers in Maryland cleared too many forest lands to plow farms. The tree loss, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, monoculture farming, and the excessive burning of fossil fuels have affected our air quality and contributed towards pollution and environmental problems, including climate change.
My campaign will work towards reforestation (especially in riparian areas), permaculture food forests/gardens, and the improvement of farmland soil quality. We will incentivize farmers to use more cover crops and plant trees in areas no longer being used for productive farmland. We will require developers to plant more trees in new residential and commercial areas as well as offset tree loss by paying for new tree growth. Our goal is to increase forested areas by 30% statewide which will have a dramatic positive effect on our air, water, food and overall health, and act as a significant carbon sink to do our part in reducing the global rise of CO2 (the current global average is 419 ppm, but we must return to 250-350 ppm).
The Chesapeake Bay is the most important body of water for Marylanders and it is very sick. Most of the aquatic life has died. The primary culprit is excessive algal blooms (blocking sunlight) that die and feed bacteria that suck out the oxygen marine life requires, creating huge dead zones. The main causes of these algal blooms are: excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus (eutrophication), agricultural and animal waste runoff from Maryland farms and upstream sources (originating in NY & PA and flowing primarily through/over the troubled Conowingo Hydroelectric Dam), urban and suburban runoff (from fertilizers, septic systems, and other pollutants), wastewater treatment plants, and air pollutions (from cars, factories, & power plants). 82% of the Bay's tidal segents are impaired by toxic contaminants (i.e. metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organic pollutants). The overuse of chicken manure as fertilizer on the Eastern Shore leaks excess phosphorus into the Bay feeding the algae. We must move the chicken manure to other areas of the state or out of state farms. It is actually of great benefit as a natural fertilizer for farms, but not in the Bay area. Using manure as fuel is as of yet an unproven technology. The big three public chicken companies (Perdue, Mountaire, & Tyson) must require their contract farmers to compost the manure locally and then fund its transportation out of the Bay watershed area (subsidized by the state), and the soil must be regularly tested for compliance with strict fines for violations. Introducing and farming billions of additional oysters will filter and clean the Bay naturally.
Let's develop new clean water sources from clean energy, including reusing waste water and building desalination plants on the Bay & Ocean. Saudi Arabia and Israel get over 50% of their drinking water from desalination plants. Florida has 167 desalination plants, we have none in Maryland. The brine waste can be recycled into useful chemicals rather than pumped back into the sea (an environmental hazard).
Marine permaculture systems and seagrass farming may be the keys to solving the global climate crisis. Marine plant life produce half the world's oxygen and sequester more carbon than land based plants. They also feed plankton and fish, and act as the foundation of the marine eco-system. They can be used as food additives, meat replacement, medicine, personal care products, fabrics, clean fertilizers, animal feeds that reduce methane gas, biofuels, and help remediate ocean acidification. Our oceans absorb a major portion of the excess carbon dioxide we emit, which causes water acidification, shellfish deterioration, loss of coral reefs, starving fish, and the breakdown of ocean food chains. Creating and supporting aquaculture will resurrect the Bay's sea life. Introducing iron to feed phytoplankton is another approach. Let's expand upon the great work done on the Virginia side of the Chesapeake Bay here in Maryland.
Finally, we should increase our annual budget for the environment from a current total of around $1.24 billion to $2.5 billion to fund these critical initiatives until the bay is restored to full health. These funds will also support thousands of new good paying jobs for Marylanders.
Maryland Housing & Poverty
Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the nation. However, there are still 553,000 residents living in poverty, 6,360 homeless people, and 250,000 residents behind on rent. 870,000 people are on food stamps (out of a total state population of 6.26 million).
My term in the Senate will focus on alleviating poverty in the state through financial assistance programs, counseling services, and job preparation and networking events. Major environmental, agricultural, and health initiatives, with public-private partnerships, can employee tens of thousands of currently unemployed Marylanders. I will work on housing the homeless and improving rehabilitation facilities in the state for the mentally ill.
Additionally, certain areas of Maryland have homes of poor quality. I will aim to assist residents in purchasing a home or renovating their existing property. I will also work with investors and developers in an environmentally responsible manner to assist with the purchase, finance, rehabilitation, and construction of real estate in the blighted areas of the state such as parts of West Baltimore and the City of Frederick.
Maryland is in the midst of a housing crisis, with a deficit of 132,000 affordable rental units, and a dire need for affordable new residential apartments, townhomes, and single-family communities. We have vast areas on the Eastern Shore and Western part of the state that can be developed in an environmentally responsible manner. With the popularization and transition to remote online work (due to Covid), these new lower-cost residential properties can be a realistic option for a diverse community. Maryland homebuyers also need 100% home financing options, with the state providing recourse loans for down-payments.
Maryland Prisons, Police, and Gun Control Laws
Maryland has the highest incarceration rate for African Americans in the nation. African Americans make up almost 30% of the state populated, yet they compose 71% of its prison population. This can be attributed to excessive sentences for nonviolent drug crimes and a system that has been termed the "school-to-prison pipeline". Students in Maryland schools come into the criminal justice system through that pipeline by breaking school rules and then become involved in the criminal legal system shortly thereaft. We should end mandatory minimum sentencing, allowing judges to craft individualized sentences that include more community service and environmental cleanup projects.
America is tired of watching its paid and armed police force murder minority residents after minor traffic stops and other non-lethal infractions. America has also seen a tragic rise in school and other mass shootings. Maryland citizens watch in horror at what is happening in other states. While we have passed relatively strong anti-gun laws, there is room for improvement. We should enact safe storage laws, increase local authority to regulate firearms, and create microstamping requirements.
From a broader perspective, we need to rethink (and ultimately repeal) the 2nd Amendment. What if Americans were forbidden from owning deadly weapons? Would our society be a safer and more peaceful place? Hunting and sport guns could be rented on site only. Police could still be armed, but primarily with non-deadly weapons such as stun guns, pulse projectiles, and lasers. All guns in circulation could be tracked via a chip and collected immediately if obtained by non-military personnel. We can no longer afford to lose so many citizens to gun violence.
Maryland and America's Political Party System
America was founded as a democracy in a rebellion against British monarchy and aristocratic rule. However, today our country, and state of Maryland in particular, is run via a two-party duopoly system. Only two parties (Democratic & Republican) receive state and federal support and funding. We believe a healthy democracy promotes alternative views and beliefs, and supports multiple parties. Israel, a much smaller nation, has over 13 parties with a wide variety of viewpoints, while Kenya has over 22 parties representing many ideologies. We must encourage new parties to form in Maryland and across the USA, and provide the basic support necessary to run effective campaigns. A multi-party system expands the decision making process to include a wider respresentation of diverse opinions and interests, enhances electoral transparency, leads to coalition governments serving the interests of more voters, prevents autocratic rule (e.g. the Trump fiasco), and ensures an abundance of program and policy choices that is more catered to individual positions.
Additionally, ranked-choice voting (RCV) should be encouraged, leveling the playing field for all candidates.
Maryland spends over $18 billion on education annually (elementary, secondary, and higher education). The Blueprint for Education, based on the Kirwan Commission, called for an additional $3.8 billion in annual education spending over the next 10 years. Governor Hogan decided not to fully fund Baltimore City and Prince Georges County public schools where the majority of students are from minority communities (but he did create a lockbox for casino dollars, which seems wrong going to public schools). We need to do better. Sometimes, throwing money at an issue as important as education, does not make it better. In fact, there were over 6,000 ghost students in Baltimore City who never appeared in school in 2021. We are currently paying over $17,300 per Maryland student per year ($19.9K in Germantown), but are students receiving the best education, facilities, technology, and programs that we can offer?
All public schools should offer free healthy breakfast and lunch to all students as California is doing for the first time this year. This helps lower income families and the students stay focused.
Can we create a better education system, possibly at a lower cost? Can we broaden curriculum to include more arts, music, environmental studies and programs, and even more community events and volunteer activities that make a real impact on our communities, poverty, and the environment? Are our higher education students really ready to compete in the global competitive business environment, ready to make Maryland stand out on a global scale with new businesses, creative technological solutions, and eco-friendly initiatives? Our youth must be part of the solution to our problems.
Maryland Fiscal Responsibility
Maryland has the highest median income of any state in America ($84,805 in 2022). However, Maryland state and local governments carry over $60 billion in debt ($31B in state debt, $29B in local government debt) and are in a $39 billion financial hole. We received a Grade D from Truth in Accounting, ranking 37th out of 50 states (with an $18,200 tax burden per taxpayer). In 2022, we had total annual revenues of $62 billion and $22 billion in assets. The current administration touted a successful $2.5 billion surplus due to their efforts. A simple review of the financial statements reveals that $25 billion of that revenue came from the Federal government, off the Treasury printing press, adding more to our $30+ trillion in Federal debt. These federal grants are not guaranteed for Maryland's future (in fact, $6 billion was transferred for pandemic assistance, a one-time event). We must plan our financial future, independent of the federal government's precarious fiscal house, and pay down our debt especially as interest rates rise rapidly (the cost of borrowing goes up). Over the next 4 years, we can get our financial house in order, but it will require more honesty and transparency from the Comptroller and financial agencies. We must also create and fund a state treasury, holding at least $5 billion in real money, precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, & palladium) sourced from mines strictly regulated by the EPA, in a secure vault. This will back up our fiat currency as the country faces a rising tsunami of inflation.
Maryland State Employees
The elephant in the room in terms of the Maryland budget and debt is our unfunded liabilities for state employees. We have $22 billion in unfunded retirement benefits (out of a total state pension of $70B) and $17 billion in unfunded healthcare benefits for government employees. While we honor the service of government employees, we must remember that they serve the taxpayers, not the other way around. Retired state employees can do wonders as volunteers or paid part-time contractors to help restore Maryland's environment and lift the less fortunate out of poverty.
Let's create a public-private agency to manage state employee retirement funds. Those funds can be invested in green projects in the state such as renewable energy, seagrass and oyster farming, electric vehicles, sustainable agriculture and animal farming, and more with matching state funds to provide a more manageable annual accounting expense rather than unknown future liabilities in the billions of dollars. We should divest state pension funds from companies that do not incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social, & Governance) principles, contribute to pollution, environmental damage, and/or the excessive emission of greenhouse gases.
We can also remove the healthcare liability from our liabilities, if we move to a single-payer system. Retired Maryland state employees will of course be included in automatic resident coverage for life.
Maryland expects to receive $1.2 billion from fuel taxes and $2.25 billion from transporation revenues in 2023 (of which $1.3 billion is coming from the federal government). Yet, we are planning to spend over $5.6 billion ($1.4B on roads, $1.3B on mass transit, $167M on the DC metro system, $222M on airports, and $331M on water ports). The Hogan administration used $500M for transportation infrastructure projects, but completed only 85% of the necessary highway improvement projects and not all of the necessary bridge repair works.
Our public transportation system is still primarily based on dirty fossil fuels. We need to transition to 100% clean and renewable electric energy for private and public transportation. While Maryland cannot control the global car manufacturers who are far behind schedule on their electric fleets, we can incentivize the auto companies to move faster with credits and tax breaks. We must have more options for electric and hybrid car buyers and lessees for under $35k, and build out the electric charging infrastructure. People are not willing to wait hours for a full charge or even 30+ minutes for a fast charge; this technology must improve to 5 minutes or less. Let's invite the American manufacturers (Ford, GM, etc.) to build one or two large electric automobile manufacturing facilities on the Eastern Shore (tax credits are only available for electric/hybrid cars assembled in the USA, along with their batteries). We can also incentivize Uber/Lyft drivers to go electric with discounts and credits. Tires are a major source of toxic pollutants. We must transition to tires with eco-friendly raw materials, low rolling resistance, that can be recycled via the process of devulcanization of cured rubber.
Maryland passed the Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act in 2021. All new buses purchased for the state public system must be emission-free, and 50% of the MDOT MTA fleet must be electric by 2030. Montgomery County is switching all public school buses to electric by 2030 and we can be a model for the rest of the nation.
The Purple Line electric light rail from Bethesda to New Carollton is many years overdue and way over budget ($1.4B over estimated cost, and $3.7B over projected 30 year price). It was a good idea to reduce traffic and car use, but turned out to be a major headache for all involved, including numerous federal lawsuits. A new environmental study was supposed to take place, but never did.
Maryland must move to 100% clean, renewable energy. The best sources of renewable energy are solar (including photovoltaic or PV and concentrated solar thermal power or CSP), wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower. Currently, Maryland is still almost 80% dependent on non-renewable and dirty (pollution causing, and carbon emitting) sources of energy including: coal, natural gas, motor gasoline, distillate fuel, and jet fuel. Much of our electricity comes from other states, primarily from non-renewable sources.
There is a debate about nuclear energy, but it is much cleaner than fossil fuels. It is zero-emission, takes up a small footprint, and leaves very little waste. Nuclear energy has the highest capacity factor of any energy source (92%), it is extremely efficient. We prefer that Maryland add to its nuclear power generation (possibly expanding the Calvert Cliffs facility or building other nuclear power plants such as Small Modular Reactors or SMRs) rather than using dirty fuel sources (coal, gas, oil). We can force the reactor operators to reprocess used fuel. The US has 90,000 tons of nuclear waste sitting dangerously above ground near human centers, and Calvert Cliffs is no exception. If the Yucca Mountain Nevada storage site does not move forward, we must develop alternative safe storage solutions immediately. Currently, 41% of Maryland's electricity comes from nuclear power (over 80% of our carbon-free power) and 38% from natural gas. We should also consider creating additional hydro-electricity generating facilities. Finally, we must ensure that the current complete ban on fracking in Maryland, continues to be the law of the state. The science shows that fracking threatens the air we breathe and the water we drink, while also worsening climate change.
Maryland has an innovative all-payer Total Cost of Care Model (TTCM) hospital rate regulation system which sets global budgets for hospitals and has lowered overall healthcare expenditures. However, over 350,000 residents of the state are still uninsured. Maryland spends over $19 billion per year on healthcare, and yet the system is not working. Unforeseen medical emergencies and bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy and financial distress. Many residents avoid necessary medical care due to the fear of surprise high medical bills from uncovered or only partially covered procedures (doctors rarely inform patients of the full financial details of their services, as they are part of the current private insurance scheme).
Currently, Maryland (private and public) is paying a shocking $65 billion annually on healthcare (Medicaid - $14B ($10B from federal, $4B from state), Medicare ($10B from federal), state funded ($5B), and private insurance ($5,730 annually per individual or $35B total). What if we can cover every Maryland resident (now costing $10,800 per year) at a total cost of only $55 billion (or $9,140 per resident annually) with better overall care, saving Maryland $7B and the US federal government $3B each year?
We must do better and move towards a single-payer universal healthcare system, covering every Marylander cradle to grave, including medical, dental, vision, mental health, and holistic health coverage. Learn more about the Green Party's Single Payer Healthcare system platform here. Its goals are to insure all Americans, lower healthcare costs, reduce administrative waste, promote complementary, integrative and licensed alternative health care approaches, and improve the holistic health and wellness of our citizens. For those afraid of state controlled healthcare, we can create a quasi-independent health agency that manages the process, from fee schedules for services, to overseeing performance, and following up with patients.
Pharmaceutical drug prices have skyrocketed, and many Marylanders are not covered or only partially covered for the costs of necessary treatment. We must implement a plan to reduce overall drug prices, or provide payment for the uncovered portions, while transitioning to full universal coverage, which will cover 100% of all prescription drugs fees.
We should also reform the medical malpractice system which is plagued with problems including frivolous lawsuits and exorbitant malpractice insurance fees for medical professionals. Let's cap non-economic damage awards from runaway juries, reduce attorney fees putting the ambulance chasers out of business, and implement a no-fault enterprise liability insurance system.
© 2023 Campaign to Elect Moshe Landman