Anyone who reads my blogs knows that I put much of the blame for the current recession on bankruptcy reform in the middle of the last decade and the reform's author, Virginia's 8th District Congressman Jim Moran. I will not be supporting Jim this year and feel that to do so would be to endorse his actions and their result.
Voting for the Republican is not an alternative. Patrick Murray does not seem to have an economic thought of his own - as his web site rather faithfully echoes the Republican Promise to America (which would only make things worse and would certainly not lead to the reversal of bankruptcy reform - when that is exactly what is needed to reset the economy).
This would seem to leave us between a rock and a hard place - luckily this is not the case. There is a progressive alternative - Virginia Independent Green candidate Ron Fisher. Capt. Fisher is a retired Navy submariner, who served as both a ships executive officer on four boats and in submarine logistics for Admiral Hiram Rickover. Since retirement, he has been in the non-profit world and has run a firm which does fire safety. As important to him as the election is why he is running, which is laid out on http://wethepeoplenow.org/ His main positions are laid out on the site and in the following list. Although he is not Catholic, his commitment to both peace and human dignity are very much in line with Catholic social teaching - much more so than either of his opponents - as you can see for yourself:
1. End U.S. wars and occupations, reduce annual Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) spending by 90% (about $900 billion) and have the MIC support a peaceful, Green Economy with no layoffs
a. Initiate an immediate unilateral cease fire in Afghanistan and Iraq. Halt all U.S. drone attacks, covert operations and military actions all over the world.
b. Provide massive relief efforts and implement "Marshall Plans" in countries harmed by the U.S. using in part goods, commodities, and foodstuffs produced in America to count as reparations.
c. Reprogram all current war appropriations for withdrawal and peaceful purposes. Suspend all military and financial aid to Israel. Cease all foreign military sales.
d. Close all overseas U.S. bases and facilities.
e. Bring all US troops and government contractors home, some of whom would provide support for a new WPA, CCC, Peace Corps, Americorps, go to college, return to their old jobs, serve in the State National Guards, etc.
f. Convert existing military contracts and foreign military sales to green, peaceful purposes, for example, building firefighting aircraft instead of bombers and fighter aircrafts.
2. Phase out nuclear weapons worldwide and other offensive weapons
3. End the so called "war on terror" and treat terrorist acts as criminal acts.
4. Provide public and private sector employment opportunities for all at living wages in meaningful work, mainly providing the necessities of life. This will also provide customers for all businesses and will rapidly grow the economy.
5. Reform Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and Banks
a. Enact a Tobin tax-sales tax on Wall Street now
b. Freeze all foreclosures and evictions for 5 years
c. Seize the Federal Reserve and make zero % interest loans directly to states, manufacturers and small businesses and build 1,000 hospitals, 100,000 miles of high speed and light rail, rebuild and modernize infrastructure, water and sewage systems, etc.
d. Recoup at least $5 trillion of the over $23.7 trillion provided or committed to financial institutions
e. Seize large, insolvent financial institutions and make them into government owned contractor operated (GOCO) entities
f . Outlaw trading of credit default swaps, derivatives, adjustable rate loans/mortgages, naked short sales and unregulated hedge funds.
g. Limit interest rates to 4% on all secured mortgages and loans and 6% on unsecured loans, retroactive to the origination of the mortgage or loan.
h. Re-implement the equivalent of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.
6 Provide comprehensive Medicare (single payer) health care and enhanced Social Security for all and improves the effectiveness and reduces the cost of Health Care
7 Build and operate a modern, comprehensive, nationwide, rail based transportation/transit system
8 Reform and reorganize Congress
a. End the control that corporate executives, special interest groups exercise over your public servants with campaign contributions, job offers and hoards of lobbyists.
b. End the control that political party officials and congressional leadership exercises over our public servants with funds for elections and committee assignments.
9. Protect civil rights and enforce the rule of law
10. Provide meaningful, publicly supported pre-k through college education and vocational training for all for life.
11. Enhance environmental protection
12. Reform criminal justice systems
13. Provide humane, fair and constitutional immigration policies, practices and legislation
14. Provide progressive income and property taxes on individuals and businesses with high thresholds and generous deductions for worthwhile causes. Do not extend tax cuts for the wealthiest.
15. Reform corporation legislation, policies and practices
16. Adjust government spending
17. Reform election systems