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
Gravel supports the following principles regarding government reform:
Source: Presidential Election 2008 Political Courage Test
Apr 22, 2008
- Support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year.
- Support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations.
Support limiting the President’s use of signing statements in order to prevent an alternative interpretation of the bill.
- Support a federal shield law to protect reporter-source privilege.
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.
Q: In 2004 you filed for personal bankruptcy.
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
Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010