While major party candidates Barack Obama and John McCain are grudgingly accepting the terms of the $700 billion bail out package, left/progressive third party political candidates Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader are offering radically different solutions to the financial crisis. As there has been no coverage of their positions in the corporate media–and indeed little coverage of any ideas beyond the status quo–we feel it is worthwhile to outline their solutions below.
Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney has offered a fourteen point plan to both address the current situation and to provide long lasting reform on Wall Street:
1. enactment of a foreclosure moratorium now before the next phase of ARM interest rate increases take effect;
2. elimination of all ARM mortgages and their renegotiation into 30- or 40-year loans;
3. establishment of new mortgage lending practices to end predatory and discriminatory practices;
4. establishment of criteria and construction goals for affordable housing;
5. redefinition of credit and regulation of the credit industry so that discriminatory practices are completely eliminated;
6. full funding for initiatives that eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in home ownership;
7. recognition of shelter as a right according to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to which the U.S. is a signatory so that no one sleeps on U.S. streets;
8. full funding of a fund designed to cushion the job loss and provide for retraining of those at the bottom of the income scale as the economy transitions;
9. close all tax loopholes and repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% of income earners; and
10. fairly tax corporations, denying federal subsidies to those who relocate jobs overseas repeal NAFTA.
11. appointment of former Comptroller General David Walker to fully audit all recipients of taxpayer cash infusions, including JP Morgan, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG, and to monitor their trading activities into the future;
12. elimination of all derivatives trading;
13. nationalization of the Federal Reserve and the establishment of a federally-owned, public banking system that makes credit available for small businesses, homeowners, manufacturing operations, renewable energy and infrastructure investments; and
14. criminal prosecution of any activities that violated the law, including conflicts of interest that led to the current crisis.
Additionally, the Green Party proposes a variety of measures beyond what Cynthia McKinney has proposed including various measures aimed at “democratizing” Wall Street.
Longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who is running as an independent candidate for president, is highly critical of the most recent bail out proposal and is urging Congress to take the time to develop well thought out legislation. He calls for changes that would include:
* Provisions for homeowners to stay in their homes in default, or rent them at market value.
* A cap on executive compensation and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.
* A stimulus package for infrastructure repair and upgrade to generate new community jobs.
* Comprehensive regulation of and disclosures by the financial industry and Wall Street to prevent this from occurring again.
* Prudent margin requirements on derivatives trading and a tax on securities derivatives transactions.
* Shareholders control over the corporations they own.
* Tougher criminal enforcement against culpable firms and executives.
Nader has provided extended analysis of the bail out in recent interviews with the University of Southern California and Democracy Now.