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Monday, March 12, 2012

An Appeal to Anderson, Johnson, and Stein for a Coalition Candidacy (cc Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich)

Your campaigns are signs of defiant hope that the American government can and should be of, for and by the people. We certainly need multiple political parties to represent the ideological diversity of the American people.

The Democratic and Republican parties have largely betrayed the will and expectations of ordinary Americans and cannot be trusted to cooperate on policy making except to affirm the status quo, lowest common denominator. Their differences are largely rhetorical. Their policy actions are largely indistinguishable.

On foreign policy both parties are aggressive interventionists committed to empire building and maintenance. On economic policies, their actions are largely the same, having been bought and paid for by the same multi-nation corporations and banks. On cultural issues, they express real differences but seek no real resolutions, needful as they both are to keep these wedge issues in the game to divert our attention from more urgent problems.

The bait and switch, divide and conquer strategy of the corporate duopoly is so blatantly obvious, we need not rehearse it here. Your campaigns and parties have made valiant efforts to move us beyond status quo politics. We are hopeful that one day your voices will be heard more broadly and taken more seriously.

The goal of greater political visibility is necessary but we are sure that your ultimate goal is to change our government so that the American people can be empowered to live full lives of liberty and justice for all.
We therefore ask all three of you to give consideration to forming a coalition ticket for president and vice president in the general election.

We understand there are real and significant policy differences among the three of you, perhaps less so between Rocky and Jill.  We also recognize the need not to undermine party formation. At this point we are not recommending coalition candidacies for congressional and state offices.

The biggest obstacles to a coalition candidacy are the differences on economic policy. While a coalition candidacy would limit the scope and direction of economic reform, we believe that both progressive and libertarian economic policy can be better advanced under a coalition government than under either a Democratic or Republican administration.

To move forward we recommend these core policy commitments be at the center of a coalition campaign and government. A Green, Justice, and Libertarian platform should be committed to following 3 goals:

1.) Reducing the overall size, budget and debt of the federal government first and foremost by greatly reducing the military and homeland security budgets to what is constitutionally and reasonably needed to defend our nation from those who desire and intend to do violence against us. Other significant reductions could come from ending the drug war and corporate welfare. Some less sizable reductions can also be  achieved by consolidation of domestic departments and agencies, simplification of tax policy, increased use of smart technology and less paper work, and devolving authority either temporarily or permanently to state and local governments.

2.) Reforming our tax and tariff systems to increase revenues in ways that are more progressive, less burdensome for the vast majority of Americans, and more consumption oriented. We would urge that the present income tax system be transformed into a progressive consumption tax which exempts at least $25K of annual consumption per person and provides a progressive earned income tax credit voucher card option to replace tax deductions, exemptions, credits, loopholes and their accompanying paperwork. We also urge a gradual increase in carbon taxes, alcohol, tobacco and other newly legalized drugs and health damaging products and services. Finally we believe that tariffs on imports should be based on environmental stewardship and justice and on human, civil, labor, and consumer rights. Products and services imported from countries that show hostility or less concern for these standards should be accessed higher tariff rates, while countries with standards comparable in intent and effect to ours should have their tariffs on products and services lowered.

3.) Direct all savings from spending reductions and all revenue gains from tax and tariff reforms equally toward debt reduction and funding of state and local governments.  We believe that over 4 years not less than 5 trillion dollars of savings and revenue can and should be directed away from Washington toward debt reduction and minimally conditional funding of state and local governments. Reducing national debt by a minimum of $2.5 trillion and sending $2.5 trillion to state and local governments to spend and invest as they see fit will stimulate the economy and produce greater revenue gains which should accelerate progress towards a balanced budget and the creation of stable and well compensated jobs. We recommend that all state and local governments receiving these funds be required to report clearly, publicly and online where every dime is allocated.

We realize that Gary is likely to want greater reductions in government spending and tax reform advocate flatter, fewer, lower and consumption-oriented taxes. Jill and Rocky, on the other hand, are likely to call for greater federal investment in domestic infrastructure, education and renewable energy while increasing labor, consumer and environmental protection. No doubt, neither libertarians nor progressives will consider these 3 core agreements as the ideal means for building economic stability, increasing jobs creation and reducing national debt.

We ask for this coalition not because we think that these 3 core planks in a platform will solve all of our problems. Instead we believe that this policy platform (with perhaps a few minor adjustments) would be acceptable to all  of you and advance both libertarian and progressive agendas simultaneously to a significantly greater degree than either Obama 2 or Romney 1. In other words, a real coalition government will advance the libertarian agenda further than a Republican administration and move forward the progressive agenda better than a Democratic administration.

Finally and most importantly, a coalition candidacy has a much better chance of winning than any of you do running exclusively and separately as your parties' nominees. A temporary alliance is a necessary transitional means for liberating our nation and the world from the chains of violent corporatocracy. 5 or 10 years from now, our common adversary vanquished from illegitimate power, we can contest one another in future campaigns. However, in a present crisis, continued sectarian ideology and tribal politics will only feed the corporate beast at the expense of the 99 Percent.

We therefore encourage you to immediately form a Green, Justice and Libertarian Coalition candidacy to run in the general election race for president and vice president. If, as seems almost inevitable, Ron Paul does not form such a coalition candidacy with a progressive such as Dennis Kucinich or Elizabeth Warren, we suggest that Gary be on the ticket with either Jill or Rocky. It matters not who is at the top of the ticket as long as all three of you pledge to do everything legally possible to enact all 3 planks of this coalition platform.

We submit this appeal with the sincere hope that you will give serious and thoughtful consideration to our proposal to form a real coalition candidacy and government. We ask that you respond in a timely and prompt manner in order that the names of a coalition candidacy can be placed on the ballots of all states and territories before fast approaching deadlines.

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