Friday, 19 July 2024

Kishineff: Reasons he’s running for Congress

I’m running for Congress as an independent in District 4 because business as usual politics are destroying us all and our planet, both parties are complicit, and we need to step up and change our leadership.

Every aspect of our system seems to be breaking down, and we need people to step up to change it.

We have been experiencing the worst economic inequality in almost 100 years. A handful of people own more wealth than half of the country combined. Poverty and homelessness have become widespread. Millions of people have been deprived of healthcare to enrich a for-profit healthcare system that ranks, globally, below dozens of universal healthcare systems that are not-for-proft. And that was BEFORE the pandemic.

When the pandemic hit, we were told to stay home and not to work. Many businesses closed. Some of us got a few small checks that added up to one tenth of what most of us needed to pay the rent for the last year. A lot of independent contractors and small business owners couldn't file for unemployment and didn't get a lot of help.

Meanwhile, every other developed country covered all or most of their worker's paychecks, which protected small businesses, jobs and families. Our Congress did not. They gave us crumbs while filming videos of expensive freezers filled with luxury ice cream and took vacations when no one else was allowed to.

Now our economic crisis is even worse. The stock market may be fine, but a lot of the rest of us are struggling. It turns out $250 per child per month didn't end childhood poverty. With the eviction moratorium long expired, people have been getting evicted because Congress took away their income and failed to help them survive. Those properties have been bought up by Blackrock and various shell corporations owned by multi-millionaires.

College education should be tuition free and student loans forgiven. Student loans hurt our children just when they are beginning to develop their lives and hurt our economy. Money in our children's pockets as they begin their lives will enable them to have greater success and will inject more money into our economy, rather than the pockets of bankers who will hoard that wealth.

We need to invest in tomorrow's doctors and engineers to ensure that the finest minds get to where we need them to be, instead of falling through cracks. We will pay for this with a 1% tax on Wall Street trading.

Tax rates on the most wealthy were between 70% and 95% from World War II until Ronald Reagan slashed that rate. Corporate tax rates, similarly, have been between 31% and 52% through the Clinton Administration. We need a 70% rate on the top tier and a 35% corporate rate.

But it's not good enough to increase these rates. We also have to tax money in tax havens, including Delaware, which has more corporations than people because of its tax rates. And we have to end the carried interest tax loophole and raise capital gains tax. It didn't increase investment in anything but stock buy-backs.

We do these things, in part, in order to provide tax relief to middle class families who need it. Placing an unfair tax burden on the middle class is class warfare.

Any immigrant who has been living in the United States for three years should be granted citizenship, not used as a political football while “a path to citizenship” is used like a carrot to get votes. If you live here, you're an American.

And if we're so concerned about immigrants from the south (a.k.a. refugees fleeing the violence of fascist dictatorships the United States supports) then how about if we help countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala develop their economy instead of trying to extract their wealth while underpaying their workers?

People don't pick up their families and move to foreign countries with different languages just because they heard it might be a little nicer. These are people who need our help, not to be locked in for-profit immigration prisons where they can be exploited as cheap labor anyway.

Do our “leaders” truly want to repair America's international reputation? They sure have a funny way of showing it, backing fascists, terrorists and extremists all over the world.

Why are we participating in genocide in Yemen? Or seizing money from Afghanis, after bombing them for 20 years? Why is the US occupying a third of Syria when we are not wanted? Or Iraq? Why do we have sanctions on free food programs in Cuba and Venezuela? Why did we destroy Libya and then leave it alone to fester in slave markets and violence? Our government cares about human rights? Really? I don't think so. They care about money.

We should be scaling back our military, if we're concerned about climate change. We have over 800 military bases all over the world, compared with Russia which has 18 and China which has just one.

The US military is the No. 1 polluter in the world, according to a Brown University study. So why are there US bases all over Africa and South America and Asia? To enforce cheap prices? American corporations couldn't get low enough prices, so the military was sent in? Or in some countries they are deployed in an effort to overthrow certain governments and force Americanism on other countries. What could be more authoritarian? Is that why you or your children served? I think not.

I’m not a lawyer or an executive. I’m a pissed-off voter, just like you. And I’m stepping up to do something about it. It’s time to dump the corporate employees in our government and elect everyday people, with common sense.

Our current Congressperson is coasting along, not challenging the establishment, just voting the party line. But the party line is corporate-owned and never going to favor YOU.

After decades upon decades of death and destruction for profit, it’s time to do something different. Let’s build a better world where we strive for the greater good, not the lesser evil.

Jason Kishineff lives in American Canyon, Calif.

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