Green Party on Obama Budget: Cut Military, Save Medicare

Green Party: Emerging deal on the federal budget fulfills GOP plan

to dismantle government and destroy the social safety net

Obama's retreat from promises of change led to the Democrats' sell-out and a battle to save Social Security, Medicare, collective bargaining, public broadcasting, the EPA, scientific research, and Planned Parenthood

Greens blast Obama's proposed $1 trillion cut in Medicare and Medicaid and the budget deal's 'tyrannical' policies imposed on the District of Columbia, including denial of funds for abortion

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders urged President Obama to expand his goal of raising taxes on the wealthiest tax brackets, and insisted that the key to dealing with the deficit is reversing tax cuts for the wealthy, even greater reductions in military spending, and ending the wars. Greens strongly rejected the President's proposal on Wednesday for $1 trillion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Farheen Hakeem, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: "The Green Party calls for withdrawal of troops and a halt to US military operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Iraq; an overall cut in military spending of at least 50%; and cancellation of the $900 billion in tax cuts for the rich enacted six months ago, with a requirement that corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. These actions would quickly solve the federal deficit. It's obvious that Republicans are seeking to dismantle government, to satisfy regulation-hating corporate lobbies and false populists in the Tea Party whose agenda would destroy the infrastructure of democracy. Democrats, led by President Obama, have marched into the budget debate armed with a willingness to capitulate. This pattern will continue as long as Democrats and Republicans remain each others' sole competition."

Laura Wells, 2010 Green candidate for Governor of California: "Last Friday's 11th-hour postponement agreement opened up a chance to keep the social safety net in place and maintain investments in America's future. Unfortunately, Democratic leaders are continuing to compromise with Republicans, with virtually no consideration of the effect that the budget will have on low-income and unemployed Americans or future generations. President Obama's promise of change has turned into a battle to save Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, collective bargaining, public broadcasting, the EPA, scientific research, and Planned Parenthood. Top Democrats are willing to place these necessities on the chopping block, helping the GOP make federal government a wholly owned subsidiary of the US Chamber of Commerce. By rejecting single-payer and incorporating mandates in their 'historic' health care bill, Democrats set the stage for the Republican plan to slash
Medicare and Medicaid, even before the bill would go into effect."

Audrey Clement, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: "Republicans describe the wealthy beneficiaries of their draconian budget cuts, tax giveaways, and deregulation schemes as 'job creators'. In reality they are corporate welfare addicts. In light of the GOP's attempt to abolish EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by corporate polluters, we might also call them 'global catastrophe creators'."

Greens were especially critical of language in the budget deal that would impose Republican policies on the District of Columbia, outlawing the use of federal or local funds for abortion for low-income women or for needle exchange:

Alan Page, DC Statehood Green Party candidate for At-Large City Council in the April 26 special election ( "The White House and Congress have fulfilled Newt Gingrich's dream of making the District a 'laboratory' for Republican policies. Congress has a long history of forcing unwanted laws on DC and vetoing locally passed statutes. After the 2008 election, President Obama and Democrats in Congress refused to act on their ability to end this outrage by granting DC statehood, even though the result would very likely have been a new Democratic vote in the House and two new Democratic votes in the Senate. During the past decade, while the DC Statehood Green Party and other local advocates of DC democracy demanded statehood, Democrats led by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (Ind.-Conn.) campaigned for a bill that would have given DC a single voting seat in the US House but would not have abolished federal control over DC laws, policies, and budgets. The 'DC Vote' bill served only to eclipse the far greater need for genuine self-government and an end to Congress's tyrannical rule over the District. Under the continuing resolution passed on Friday, DC residents will suffer the brunt of the Democrats' lack of political will."