Response to Stein/Honkala Q&A, Washington DC 2012-07-11

This is  response to the video

“Without … having successfully won” the illegal wars. So if the military had successfully won the illegal wars, that would have been fine and the military budget would be justified to be continued at current levels, Dr. Jill Stein? So a reason not to extend an empire is lack of ability to carry it off?

Transcribing just the first question from the conference; it contains the passage I’m responding to:


In the four pillars of the plan, there is a lot of new spending, so how would you propose to pay for that; would taxes be raised, and if so, would the economy be hurt by it?


Great. As you can see, the Green New Deal represents really a whole-scale[1] re-ordering of our[2] priorities, so currently we[3] spend trillions[4] of dollars a year on wars, Wall Street bailouts, tax breaks for the wealthy, in so many words. So, a trillion dollars a year on the bloated military-industrial-security complex. We[5] see downsizing the military — it was basically doubled since the beginning of the 2000’s without having really made us[6] more secure or having successfully won [my emphasis] the very protracted and extremely expensive and illegal wars that we’ve[7] been involved in. So, we[8]’re talking about bringing the troops home, downsizing the military, freeing up hundreds of billions of dollars on that account. We[9]’re also talking about health care that more than pays for itself, so the health care is actually not an expense; it’s actually a revenue generator in that it frees up trillions of dollars over the course of the next decade. Same for student public and public higher education free, again the numbers from the G. I. bill showing that the return on the investment is about seven to one. So we[10] need to think of these as largely investments. And the biggest one is going to be the job creation, and the estimates suggests it would be about the cost of Obama’s 2009 stimulus package to jump-start this. So talking 600 some maybe 700 billion dollars. But instead of giving tax breaks basically and give-aways and big corporate subsidies, instead it would be used for direct job creation.


[1] You might think “wholesale” fits here, but I listened to the recording several times and I’m quite sure that what Stein actually said is “whole-scale” (which I think makes sense as well).

[2] I’m guessing that by this “we”, Stein means the US government or the US polity in its economic decisions.

[3] I’m guessing that by this “we”, Stein means the US government.

[4] In US English, “trillion” means 10^12 (i. e. tera-) and “billion” means 10^9 (i. e., giga-). In some places in the interview, I’m not totally sure whether Stein says “billion” or “million”. I wish she’d use Sagan-style emphasis of the “B” for clarity in case of noisy speech channels.

[5] I think that by this “We”, Stein means her campaign.

[6] I guess that by this “us”, Stein means the people who live in the territory of the United States.

[7] I guess that by this “we”, Stein means US government officials in the sense of agency, and the people who live in the US in the sense of involvement in the sense of having lost out due to the diversion of resources necessary for living in health and safety.

[8] I think this “we” means the campaign.

[9] I think this means the campaign.

[10] I think this “we” means Stein and her listeners.

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