June 25, 2003

Max Proposes

Max Sawicky proposes that Kucinich would enhance his chances by narrowing the focus of his campaign to these three areas:

Just to get the juices flowing, I will suggest three areas for emphasis. On the surface, they are obvious enough. The difference is in how they are handled.

War. George Bush has committed impeachable offenses in the conduct of foreign policy. Lies the likes of which have never been seen were used to justify the Iraq venture. I go back to my maximalist anti-war position: it doesnít matter what WMDs Saddam has, or had. He was not a threat to the U.S., nor was he implicated in anti-U.S. terrorism. The other side of the problem, now emerging in daily episodes of fatal U.S. casualties, is the Administrationís incapacity to determine whether Iraq would be governable, and if so, to effectively plan to govern.

Taxes. We need an explicit shift in tax burden from the non-rich to the rich, basically reversing what the regime has done since 2001. Only a new regime (leadership of Congress, and the presidency) will do this. Among other motives, raising employment requires a basic reconfiguration of the tax cuts, in the direction of more progressivity, equal taxation of investment and labor income, and much less backloading.

Health care. There are two problems with health care, not one. Itís not just access; itís also cost containment. In the latter regard, single payer has profound implications for wages, the fiscal condition of state and local governments, and long term fiscal solvency. The problem is not profit, per se. Itís fragmentation in the context of privatization. In principle, a single, regulated business firm could provide national health care, though that would not be my preferred solution. Profit is not a moral problem in health care; itís an artifact of an organizational problem.

Now, none of this makes me want to jump on the Kucinich bandwagon but, as Max says, these should get the juices flowing and by narrowing the focus of the campaign debate the challengers will avoid confusing supporters and potential converts.

I think his first point is right on as it stands. The latter two need to be on the table and in clear contrast to the Bush positions but, depending on the candidate, may be couched differently then here.

The second, point, taxes needs a lot of work. Certainly the flagrant abuses of the Bush cuts need to be fixed. But, more importantly, the entire tax code needs to be fixed which should include reducing it to the size of a 20 page pamphlet.

The health care is more comple then just the insurance side and note that Max clarifies the above confusing health care point in an update to the post.

Posted by Steve on June 25, 2003
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