Jill Stein: On the Issues

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Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate in the 2016 election.

Jordan Revenaugh, Editor-in-Chief

CANDIDATE: Jill Stein                                                     

PARTY: Green Party

RUNNING MATE: Ajamu Baraka

The 2016 presidential election has many voters searching desperately for a third choice, one which they hope is less extreme than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton,or Republican candidate Donald Trump. Green Party candidate Jill Stein hopes to palliate some of the tension running rampant throughout the nation. The Green Party operates on a platform which is generally seen as more liberal; however, it places a special emphasis on ecology.

Drugs

In line with Green Party beliefs, Stein thinks that drug prohibition is causing havoc throughout the nation; legalizing marijuana would serve to ease the dangers of the drug and solve many other related issues in the process.

“Substance abuse should be treated as a health issue, not as a crime. We demand the freeing of nonviolent drug offenders, who never should have been incarcerated in the first place,” said Stein. “If people have issues of dependency which would apply to legal drugs as well as illegal drugs including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and heavier drugs they need to be treated within the public health system. These are psychological problems not criminal problems. If you don’t treat the problem it only aggravates it and compounds it with issues of public safety and criminal violence that are associated with the illegal drug culture.”

Stein considers deporting refugees to be “morally abhorrent,” and sees immigrants as a crucial component of the economy. “It’s not immigrants that have caused problems in our economy; it’s, rather, this predatory economic policies fostered by an economic and political elite,” she said.

Taxes

When it comes to economic matters, the Green Party generally endorses especially liberal policies. More stress is typically placed upon the needier people in society. Taxes are a topic in this election shrouded by opposing opinions. According to Stein, the wealthiest people in the nation should pay 55 to 60 percent taxes as opposed to the current 15 to 35 percent. In addition, seeing as the middle and lower classes are hit the hardest by taxes, “trickle down” economics should be eradicated and substituted with a 50 percent tax cut for those who have lower incomes.

“America wasn’t meant to be an aristocracy. Twenty-two billionaires have as much money as 50 percent of the US population,” said Stein. “We need a progressive income tax.”

Healthcare

Healthcare, another current controversial issue, is something which is prominent in this election. Stein believes that universal healthcare should be implemented. ObamaCare is merely an illusion of the steps that should be taken to reach single-payer healthcare; it should be eliminated and replaced with something more effective.

“Sanders is on target with his new Medicare-for-all proposal. However, by preserving the illusion that the ACA is a “step in the right direction,” Sanders misses the point that the current U.S. healthcare system under the ACA is unique among industrialized nations because it treats healthcare as a commodity rather than a public good,” said Stein. “The answer is a Medicare-for-All system. Much of what motivates large settlements is the need to pay for a lifetime of chronic care. With healthcare as a human right, you no longer need to go to court to assure coverage.”

Social Security

Stein sees Social Security as a pertinent factor for many United States citizens. She believes that Social Security and Medicare should be strengthened rather than cut, and above a certain income, the cap on taxes should be removed; the system is fair as long as the rich pay their part.

“We can fix this. For Social Security, we simply need to raise the cap on Social Security. It will be perfectly solvent when the rich are paying their fair share,” said Stein. When it comes to the idea of diverting Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, Stein is in stark opposition. “This proposal to turn our Social Security system over to private corporations would lead to huge losses for retirees who depend on Social Security. And it would create investment risks that cannot be tolerated in our Social Security program.”

Abortion

On social issues, the Green Party platform is also shifted left. Stein views abortion as a right given to women which should be protected under the law. Thus, abortion rights should be maintained and free birth control should be provided in healthcare.

“We endorse women’s right to use contraception and, when they choose, to have an abortion. This right cannot be limited to women’s age or marital status. Contraception and abortion must be included in all health insurance policies in the U.S., and any state government must be able to legally offer these services free of charge to women at the poverty level,” said Stein.

Gun Control

Maintaining the liberal outlook on social issues, the Green Party supports gun control, as does Stein; she sees possibility for decreased gun violence in limiting the availability of guns across the nation. Moreover, she is a proponent of more extensive background checks and more programs to address mental health services.

“We certainly need an assault weapons ban, but we need more than that…we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. We need background checks, so that the mentally ill are not possessing and using guns. And we need to end the gun show loopholes, as well, because there’s far too much violence from guns, which is not needed, said Stein.