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Mike Gravel on Budget & Economy

Libertarian for President; Former Democratic Senator (AK)


Clinton’s 1990s military reductions created budget surplus

When Republicans took Congress in 1996 Clinton moved to the right of center. Dick Morris devised triangulation for him--taking both sides of an issue and playing them off against the center. Clinton was already a centrist aligned with the Democratic Leadership Council. The DLC infiltrated the Democratic Party to wrest control from labor, progressives, and minorities. It made the party a Wall Street financed cheerleader for corporate America and the wealthiest Democrats. Clinton did not engage in fear mongering. He reduced military spending and created a surplus--great achievements. But his attachment to Wall Street ultimately hurt Main Street. As the millennium ended the stock market bubble burst. It was too good to be true: soaring share prices were often based on illegally inflated corporate earnings in numerous major companies. Some people cashed out in time but many, especially workers, were ruined. That too is part of Bill Clinton’s legacy.
Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p.220 May 2, 2008

Supports line-item veto; opposes signing statements

Source: Presidential Election 2008 Political Courage Test Apr 22, 2008

Considered his bankruptcy as creditors donating to his cause

In 2004, Gravel had run up $85,000 in credit card debt due to a health crisis requiring multiple surgeries, and the money he’d spent pursuing his National Initiative. Urged to declare personal bankruptcy, Gravel at first hesitated. “And then I thought about it: ‘My God, isn’t this interesting? I’m going to get these 6 credit card companies who have been predators on normal people. I’m going to get them to contribute to the National Initiative.’ And I filed bankruptcy just in a heartbeat & that was it.
Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p.200 Nov 11, 2007

Personal bankruptcy ok because money went to empower people

Q: In 1980 your condo business went bankrupt.

A: Correct.

Q: In 2004 you filed for personal bankruptcy.

A: Correct.

Q: You left $85,000 in credit bills unpaid. How can someone who did not take care of his business, could not manage his own personal finances, say that he’s capable of managing the country?

A: Well, first off, if you want to make a judgment of who can be the greediest people in the world when they get to public office, you could just look up at the people up here. Many of them done very, very well in public office. I left the Senate no better than when I went in. Now, with the condo business: Donald Trump has been bankrupt a hundred times. So I went bankrupt once in business. And on personal bankruptcy--who did I bankrupt? I stuck the credit card companies with $90,000 worth of bills. And they deserved it, because I used the money to finance the empowerment of the American people with the National Initiative, so you can make the laws.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College Sep 6, 2007

Unequivocally Endorses The Common Sense Budget Act

Unequivocally Endorses The Common Sense Budget Act: “I wholeheartedly endorse the Priorities campaign because I believe it is the best work being done to educate Americans about the need for sensible federal budget priorities. It presents a positive vision of investments in America’s children, families and communities, by reducing wasteful Pentagon spending. And if elected President I pledge that I will fight with every fiber of my being to see that these new priorities are put into action.”
Source: Press release, “Unequivocally Common Sense” Dec 10, 2006

Make Office of Scientific Assessment to avoid cost overruns

An Office of Scientific Assessment (OSA) should be established which would equip the Congress to make independent scientific and technical inquiries and to examine whether or not the advice provided to Congress by the executive departments is politically self-serving, incomplete, or otherwise biased or unscientific. Congress needs help if it is to perform its adversary function assigned by our forefathers.

Independent advice, before the money is spent, would help, for example, eradicate most of the cost overruns which scandalize the American public. Elected officials look good bird-dogging agencies and exposing cost overruns, but I feel that an elected official should eliminate the problem ahead of time if possible. My goal is to siphon out the surprises before the money is spent, not afterwards. With billions of dollars at stake each year, Congress should have the appropriate tools to assure the people the job is being done right to begin with.

Source: Citizen Power, by Sen. Mike Gravel, p. 44-45 Jan 1, 1972

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Mike Gravel on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010