By Webster G. Tarpley
January 21, 2008
- Stop all foreclosures immediately for at least five years and for the duration of the depression by means of a compulsory federal law carrying criminal penalties. No foreclosures on homes, family farms, factories, public utilities, hospitals, transportation and other infrastructure. Outlaw adjustable rate mortgages.
- Raise the federal minimum wage immediately to a living wage of at least $15 per hour, with the short-term goal of attaining a federal minimum wage of at least $20 per hour.
- Immediate enactment of a securities transfer tax (STT) or Tobin tax of 1% to be imposed on all financial turnover in all financial markets to include the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, the Amex, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the market in federal securities, the foreign exchange market, the New York Mercantile Exchange, and all other financial markets. This tax will be paid by the seller. This tax will be extended to the notional value of all derivatives, including over-the-counter derivatives, exchange traded derivatives, structured notes, designer derivatives and all other financial paper. Derivatives will become reportable under penalty of law. It is conservatively estimated that the securities transfer tax will yield approximately $5 trillion of new revenue in its first year of application. This new revenue will permit a stabilization and consolidation of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and will permit the expansion of Head Start, the Food Stamps program, WIC, the Veterans Administration hospitals, while extending unemployment insurance up to an initial total of at least 52 weeks, to be prolonged as needed. Provide revenue sharing to deal with the looming deficits of states, counties, and municipalities.
- Using the new revenue obtained from the securities transfer tax on Wall Street financiers, provide comprehensive tax relief for all small businesses, thus permitting them to pay the new living wage. Small business will also be aided by the provision of national single-payer health care, as described below.
- Implement Medicare for all in the form of a single payer, universal coverage, publicly administered system to provide healthcare for all. No rationing of care will be permitted under any circumstances. Cost-cutting will be achieved through eliminating exorbitant corporate profits, through administrative reform, and above all through a federally-funded crash program, on the scale of the Manhattan Project, of biomedical research designed to discover new and more effective treatments and cures for the principal diseases currently afflicting humanity.
- Simultaneously, enact comprehensive income tax relief for working families, raising the standard deduction for married filing jointly and the personal exemption to at least $25,000 each. This would mean that a family of four would pay no federal income tax on their first $125,000 of income. Expand the earned income tax credit (EITC) to approximately 4 times its current level, with at least $150 billion paid out. Increase EITC payments to persons living alone as well as to families with children. Make all college tuition and fees expenses deductible, and remove the limits on the Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits. Return to the FDR-Ike-JFK 90% top marginal rate for unearned income – capital gains, interest, dividends, royalties, etc., not wages or self-employment – of taxpayers with federal adjusted gross income over $25 million. Roll back the scandalous Bush tax cuts for the rich. Favor progressive taxation over proportional and regressive taxation at every level. Phase out the most regressive taxes, like the poll tax and the sales tax.
- Nationalize the Federal Reserve System and establish it as a bureau of the United States Treasury. The current privatized status of the Federal Reserve System constitutes a violation of the United States Constitution. The size of the money supply and interest rates will henceforward be decided not by cliques of private bankers meeting in secret, but rather by public laws passed by the House and Senate, and signed by the President. Use this authority to immediately issue an initial tranche of $1 trillion of new federal credits at 1% yearly interest rates and maturities up to 30 years, to be repeated as needed. Consider credit as a public utility. Make this initial credit issue available on a priority basis to states, counties and local governments for the purpose of infrastructure modernization. Distribute credit to the private sector for high-technology re-industrialization in plant, equipment and jobs, manufacturing, mining, farming, construction, and other production of tangible physical wealth and commodities only. Aim at the creation of 5 to 7 million new productive jobs at union pay scales per year to achieve full employment for the first time in decades.
- Federally-sponsored infrastructure projects will include a new nationwide network of magnetic levitation railways, as well as light rail systems to facilitate commuting in all urban centers. These economical and attractive light rail systems will allow a large portion of the vehicle miles by private automobile using internal combustion engines to be phased out of use in daily commuting. Launch a public works program of highway and bridge reconstruction, water management systems, electrical grids, hospitals, schools, cultural facilities, and public libraries.
- Comprehensive re-regulation of the entire financial and banking system. Regulate the current non-bank banks. Bring all the hedge funds under the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission, thus effectively ending their special outlaw status as hedge funds. Begin aggressive enforcement of all applicable antitrust and securities fraud laws, as well as all existing labor legislation, including child labor, wages and hours, etc. Repeal the Taft-Hartley law with its anti-union “right to work” provisions, re-affirm the inalienable right to collective bargaining, and revive the National Labor Relations Board as an effective ally of working people. Full Davis-Bacon Act enforcement for all federal contracts, without exception. Tax leveraged buyouts and private capital deals, including all profits deriving from them, in whatever form. End corporate welfare, and establish consumer protection. Revive Glass-Steagall to prevent nationwide banking oligopolies combining commercial banking with investment banking.
- Free college for all qualified students. Any student earning a high school diploma will be entitled to free tuition and fees at a community college or state university. High quality remedial courses to give high-school dropouts a second chance, no matter what their age. Without investment in the human capital of a highly trained work force, there can be no economic survival in the 21st century. Federal aid to raise teacher salaries through revenue sharing.
- Announce the intention of the United States to abrogate NAFTA, WTO, and all other international free trade agreements which have destroyed employment in this country, while increasing the poverty levels of the third world. Introduce a low protective tariff, starting at 10% ad valorem on manufactured commodities to prevent reckless dumping.
- Investment tax credit for purchase modern technology in the form of new physical tangible capital goods. Tax breaks for the creation of new jobs in physical commodity production. Severe tax penalties for the export of jobs to third world sweatshops.
- Immediately impeach and remove from office both Bush and Cheney, since otherwise all effective measures to deal with the Bush economic depression will be crippled by presidential vetoes. Prepare the impeachment of the RATS (Roberts-Alito-Thomas- Scalia) cabal of the Supreme Court, if they should attempt to sabotage this emergency economic recovery program under the color of judicial review.
- Protect the family farm by a program of debt moratorium for farmers, no foreclosures, 1% long-term federal credit for spring planting needs and capital improvements, Restore parity prices at 125% of parity. Rebuild farm surpluses and food stockpiles. Food for Peace for famine relief abroad.
- Keep open the options of capital controls and exchange controls if required by further deterioration of the crisis. Prepare to freeze most categories of financial debt (debt moratorium) for the duration of the crisis. Revive Defense Production Act powers to mandate production of needed commodities by private sector, as needed.
- Call an international economic conference of sovereign states to deal with this unprecedented world economic depression. The United States should take the lead in proposing a new world monetary system based on the alienable right of all nations and peoples to modern economic development and to the enjoyment of the fullest fruits of science, technology, industry, progress, and rising standards of living. The new monetary system should be based on fixed parities with narrow bands of fluctuation among the euro, the dollar, the yen, the ruble, and other world currencies, including emerging Latin American and Middle East regional currencies, with periodic settlement of balance of payments discrepancies in gold among national authorities. The goal of the new system is to promote world economic recovery through large-scale export of the most modern hightechnology capital goods from the US, EU, and Japan to the developing countries. Create a Multilateral Development Bank with an initial capital of 1 trillion euros from US, UK, Japan, and other exporters to finance investment in the poorest countries with 1%, revolving loans with maturities up to thirty years. Immediate, permanent, and unconditional cancellation of all international financial debts of the poorest countries.
- Revive international humanitarian, scientific and technological cooperation for the benefit of all nations. Roll back epidemic, tropical, and endemic diseases with an international program of biomedical research. Join with all interested nations in a joint international effort to develop new energy resources in the field of high-energy physics. Fund and expand an international cooperative commitment to the exploration, permanent colonization, and economic development of the moon and nearby planets. The spin-offs from these three science drivers will provide the new technologies for the next wave of economic modernization.
- Revive the Franklin D. Roosevelt “freedom from want” provision of the Atlantic Charter as elaborated in the Economic Bill of Rights from the State of the Union Address of January 1944 and incorporate these economic rights of all persons as amendments to the US Constitution: “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation; the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; the right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; the right of every family to a decent home; the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment; the right to a good education.”