WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party candidates, officeholders, leaders, and state delegates meeting at the party's 2011 Annual National Meeting in Alfred, New York, said that the Budget Control Act of 2011 should be the final straw for many voters, and encouraged Democrats and Republicans angry at their parties to vote Green in the 2012 election.
Greens attending the meeting called the budget deal a surrender by Democratic and Republican Party leaders to the most extreme elements of the GOP.
Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for Common Councillor of Syracuse, NY; 2010 Green candidate for Governor of New York: "The budget debate should have been about how to create more jobs and financial stability for Americans suffering through the recession. Greens have promoted the Green New Deal, with a plan to create new Green jobs with public works programs in conservation, new energy technologies, reengineering towns and cities and retrofitting homes and buildings for energy efficiency, and expanding public transportation. FDR put millions of people back to work with his New Deal. Republican presidents like Eisenhower once understood that public sector projects would generate prosperity for the middle class. Instead of 1950s projects like building the interstate highway system, Cold War defense, and the space program, we have new priorities in the 21st centurywe need Green jobs in a Green economy." (More on the Green New Deal: http://www.greenpartywatch.org/2010/08/11/62-green-candidates-endorse-green-new-deal)
David Doonan, Mayor of Greenwich, NY (Green): "The focus on the deficit has eclipsed more immediate problems: job loss, the widening gap between rich and poor, home foreclosures, huge handouts and tax cuts for favored corporations, and multiple endless wars that have cost $3.7 trillion without the raise in taxes necessary to pay for them. When Congress and the White House called it a deficit crisis and talked about the debt ceiling and cutting Social Security and Medicare, they gave Tea Party extremists the upper hand. A new, unconstitutional joint committeea 'Super Congress'will determine the target of $1.5 trillion in budget reductions to valuable social services. The result will be further job loss and deepening economic insecurity for working Americans, and more economic and political power for corporate elites. Electing Greens, who take no corporate contributions, will be the first step in changing the direction of our country. We look forward to 2012 as the year we place some Greens in Congress."
David Strand, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: "It's unfair and immoral to ask ordinary Americans to suffer cuts to services and loss of jobs while the rich and top corporations get to keep their tax cuts. The radical rightwing of the Republican Party proved that they're bent on shutting down the infrastructure of our republic. Moderate Republicans and Democratic leaders proved they're ready to appease the rightwing at every step. President Obama satisfied the demands of his top financial sector contributors, the powerful Wall Street and Big Insurance lobbies that want the White House and Congress to privatize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We need to make the budget deal the final chapter in the history of two-party rule, a history littered with wrongheaded bipartisan agreements: endless wars, the USA Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, warrantless surveillance of US citizens, the Wall Street bailout, monster military budgets, the War on Drugs and record incarceration." (See "Twelve Corporations Pay Effective Tax Rate of Negative 1.5% on $171 Billion in Profits; Reap $62.4 Billion in Tax Subsidies," Citizens for Tax Justice, June 1, 2011, http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2011/06/twelve_corporations_pay_effective_tax_rate_of_negative_15_on_171_billion_in_profits_reap_624_billion.php and "The Fed Audit," report on $16 trillion in financial subsidies for top financial institutions and corporations in the US and foreign countries, revealed in a GAO audit of the Federal Reserve, Bernie Sanders, US Senator for Vermont (Ind.), August 5, 2011, http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e73-4be2-a753-62060dcbb3c3)
Anita Rios, Green candidate for City Council in Toledo, Ohio: "Medicare is the solution, not the problem. Medicare for All, with 3% overhead, would save $400 billion a year compared to the current system, in which private health insurance overhead at 31% is one of the major drivers of skyrocketing health care costs. Cutting Medicare is fiscally irresponsible, Medicare For All is fiscally responsible. The Green Party supports Medicare For All. Blacks and Latinos have been hit especially hard by the economic downturn, with loss of jobs and health care that have pushed many of us out of the middle class. The budget deal and attacks on Medicare and other programs have only made the situation worseand enraged many people against President Obama's readiness to abandon us."
Tamar Yager, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States, 2011 Annual National Meeting coordinator: "The bipartisan deal was a vicious defeat for working people. We encourage voters to learn about the Green New Deal and compare Green Party ideas to the Democrats' capitulations and the Republicans' descent into irrationality and fraud. The job-killing austerity program in the debt deal will make future deficits and debts worse, because the stagnant economy caused by the deal will generate smaller tax revenues. The two established parties offer no vision of how they will restore financial economic security for Americans. Let 2012 be the year voters wake up and go Green."