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Dennis Kucinich on Budget & Economy

Democratic Representative (OH-10); Democratic Candidate for President


Must cut Pentagon spending

Q: Will your middle-class tax relief be immediate?

DEAN: The first priority is balancing the budget. What we will do is lay out a plan to balance the budget and include some sort of plan to increase corporate taxes, just as Lieberman has suggested, because corporate taxes are now at the lowest level since 1934, which means the rest of us are paying the rest of the tax burden and that's not fair.

KUCINICH: Dean takes the position that he's going to balance the budget, but he said repeatedly that he won't touch Pentagon spending. Half the discretionary budget of the US goes for the Pentagon. The solution is get out of Iraq, cut the bloated Pentagon budget by 15%, and stop the tax cuts that are going to the wealthy.

DEAN: There are an enormous number of needs in defense that aren't getting met: special operations, an anti-terrorist task force, human intelligence; cyber intelligence; soldiers aren't paid properly. What I will do is leave the Pentagon budget alone.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

WPA-type program will create jobs and rebuild America

Q: Do you agree that the economy is recovering?

A: The truth of the matter is that we should have a full-employment economy. With the government, the employer of last resort, there ought to be jobs, enough jobs for all who want to work. And as president, I will create a full-employment economy by sponsoring a WPA-type program, which will rebuild America's cities and rural communities, new bridges, water systems, sewer systems, new energy systems, put millions of people back to work.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Social cuts redistribute wealth upwards

Q: Each of you has said you would reverse the Bush tax cuts for the so-called rich. How much money do people have to make before you consider them rich?

KUCINICH: When you consider that a steelworker who's making $40,000 a year has virtually the same tax burden as someone who's making $400,000 a year, you see that there are inequities. This administration has used the tax code to accelerate wealth to the top. Most of the tax breaks have gone to people in the top bracket.

And what does that mean? That means that we have a diminishing capacity to take care of needs here at home. Look what's happened with this budget the administration has just submitted. They're cutting funds for job programs, for veterans, for health care, for education, for all the real social needs. So the wealth continues to be redistributed upward. We need a tax code that's fair. But we need to cancel the Bush tax cuts that go to people in the top bracket.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

$435B trade deficit is critical to economy

I'm frankly surprised at my Democratic colleagues that they won't take a firm stand and recognize that NAFTA and the WTO have hurt this country. It's not a choice between trade or no trade. You return to bilateral trade, conditioned on workers' rights, human rights and the environment. There's a $435 billion trade deficit. Unless you address that issue all of these other [economic issues] won't mean an awful lot.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Steel, automotive, and shipping are critical to US economy

Q: Let's talk about the economy.

KUCINICH: The following steps need to be taken in order to begin to help the American economy recover. First of all, when you consider that we've lost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs since July of 2000, it's shocking but the US does not have a manufacturing policy, an economic policy which states that the maintenance of steel, automotive, aerospace and shipping is vital to our national economy and our national security. We will have a policy when I'm president.

Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico Sep 4, 2003

Cut the runaway Pentagon budget to save the economy

Q: How will you balance the budget?

A: The only way to meet pressing social needs and be fiscally responsible is to cut the runaway Pentagon budget, which now almost equals the military spending of all other countries in the world combined. My Administration would eliminate the Star Wars National Missile Defense system, the profligate F-22 and Joint Strike Fighter and other expensive, unworkable and unnecessary weapons systems. Plus, I would ban weapons in space.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Dennis Kucinich on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts