Dems, GOP Are 'Waging War' on Working People, the Jobless, Students, and Veterans, Says Green Party

Washington, DC - The Democratic and Republican parties are waging economic war on working Americans, the unemployed, students, and veterans, said Green Party leaders and candidates on New Years Day 2014.

Greens hoped that 2014 would be the year that Americans realize that the two corporate-money parties are causing the erosion of the middle class and driving poor people into destitution and desperation.

Green Party leaders said that a new bill sponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to reinstate the unemployment extension for three months was a necessary stopgap measure, but strongly criticized the eagerness of both parties' legislators to place safety-net programs on the table during budget talks.

Quotes from Greens:

• Howie Hawkins, working Teamster, Green candidate for Governor of New York in 2010, candidate for the 2014 Green gubernatorial nomination in New York:

"The recent bipartisan votes in Congress to slash food stamps, unemployment benefits, and veterans' pensions showed special cruelty to the nation's neediest. President Obama's proposed job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership, Social Security cuts, and inadequate minimum wage hike are evidence he has little understanding of the economic difficulties people are facing. Democrats and Republicans measure the health of the economy according to Dow Jones, the GDP, and corporate profit margins. Greens judge the economy according to how many Americans have secure jobs with livable wages and good benefits, and how many Americans are getting lifted out of poverty. Let 2014 be the year that voters wake up to the reality that no real change is possible as long as the two parties of war and Wall Street remain in charge."

• Darryl L.C. Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States:

"Austerity is the bipartisan belief that working Americans should pay the bill for the criminal recklessness and greed of the financial sector. Five years after the economic meltdown, Wall Street is posting record gains while most of us are still struggling to make ends meet on the low wages that make such gains possible. The top One Percent have enjoyed 95% of the economic gains since 2009 and now own 35% of all stock value, the wealthiest ten percent own 80%, capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than most middle-class income, and many top corporations pay no taxes at all. Washington has abandoned the promise that anyone who works a full-time job should make enough to live on and provide for a small family. Democratic and Republican leaders no longer believe that all Americans should share in the country's prosperity. The new guiding principle is that capitalism doesn't work for everyone and shouldn't work for everyone. It's inevitable that a White House staffed with Wall Street operatives and a Congress that takes marching orders from corporate lobbyists will side with the One Percent."

• Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for President in 2012

"Greens care about students and veterans, and we're proud that many students and veterans are Greens. We call for a jubilee to alleviate the crushing student-debt burden and a lowering of student loan interest rates. We advocate a 'Green New Deal' that would provide jobs for young people, including summer jobs for people still in school and new full-time jobs for those graduating from high school and college. We demand an end to the mandatory sentencing, zero tolerance, the War on Drugs, and other schemes used to warehouse young black, brown, and poor Americans in the corporate prison system. We oppose public-school privatization, which emphasizes constant testing and uncritical obedience instead of preparing students to be well-informed citizens living in a democracy. We support making higher education free, as other countries have done. Greens demand deep cuts in the bloated military budget -- but no cuts in pensions and services for veterans. The promise we made to young people when they enlisted is more important than the boondoggle contracts meant to enrich arms manufacturers."

• Mike Tanis, co-chair of the Green Party Youth Caucus

"Democratic Party politicians and apologists worship at the altar of bipartisanship and insist that they must compromise with an increasingly extremist GOP. Two-party politics has given Democrats a perpetual excuse for seeking deals with Republicans, competing with the latter for the favor of corporate contributors, and disregarding the well-being of most Americans. The rise of an alternative party like the Greens will alter this dynamic. Dems will have to compete for votes with Greens, not just with Republicans. As long as legislatures remain the exclusive property of the Ds and Rs, the U.S. will keep sliding further to the right, towards more wealth and power for corporate plutocrats and less financial security for ordinary Americans, until people stop saying 'The only choice on Election Day is Democrat or Republican.'"

• Laura Wells, Green candidate for Controller in California

"Green candidates like public banking advocate Ellen Brown, running for California Treasurer, and myself are using our campaigns to inform the public about Green solutions to the lingering economic crisis: A livable wage and a stronger social safety net, which will stimulate the economy by reversing the redistribution of wealth to the top One Percent. A tax on stock trades, especially short-term speculation. Restoration of Glass-Steagall and enactment of strict regulations on trading, especially on risky securities like derivatives and hedge funds. A progressive tax system that requires the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share and relieves working people. Break-up of too-big-to-fail banks and conversion to state and municipal banks -- like North Dakota's successful state bank. A reduced military budget, an end to unprovoked military attacks on other countries, and redirection of such funding into human needs. Conversion to a Green economy that will provide millions of new jobs, as outlined in the Green New Deal. A single-payer national health care system. A halt to foreclosures -- a top priority of elected Greens like Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, California, who is leading her city in using eminent domain to stop banks from seizing the homes of many of her constituents.