Overall my approach to Federal government is based on my commitment to Green Party key values such as grass roots democracy and community based economics. With my commitment to these key values, the question then is how should Federal government be structured to support the needs of our decentralized communities which also fosters the greatest levels of grassroots democracy.

Fiscal reform involves all sorts of improvements in the ways we raise government revenues and make expenditures: particularly to stabilize and improve the economy. All of my proposed policies carefully consider the economic impacts and the ways the economic performance can be improved. However, here I focus on some specific tax and other revenue policies that are directed at improving economic performance and reducing the inequitable redistribution of wealth currently perpetuated by the US government. This issue statement focusses mostly on improved tax policy that will help address a large array of economic problems, including correcting past fiscal policies which redistribute income from working people to the super-rich. These tax policies are also aimed at strengthening local decentralized community-based governance and grassroots democracy.

  • Financial Transaction Tax: Some have estimated a modest financial transaction tax could raise as much as $100 billion per year for Federal Revenues. Even a more modest financial transaction tax could still raise substantial revenue and lift a substantial tax burden off of working men and women. A financial transaction tax also discourages the most destructive financial speculation: speculation which undermines the smooth operation of our financial markets.
  • Remove the tax penalty on workers from our tax system: Currently workers are taxed over twice the rate of non-worker income. There is no justification for this skewed tax structure except to penalize the hardworking men and women of the United States and redistribute wealth from those hardworking men and women to the super-rich. We should tax all income at the same marginal tax rates. I will sponsor and support legislation to restore equitable tax rates to our tax system.
  • Universalize Tax Deferred Investment Accounts: While all income should be taxed at the same marginal tax rates, notional income while making financial transactions should not be taxed. I would support legislation which universalized tax deferred investment accounts so that investors can manage their own investment funds without any tax penalty or cumbersome reporting requirements from intermittent gains and losses. While these universalized investment accounts would not include tax-deferral of deposits, they would enjoy tax-deferral of gains. So the universalized tax deferred investment accounts would not permit tax-exempt transfer contributions into the account, but the gains and losses while in the account would not need reporting to the IRS: greatly simplifying tax filings. Only when moving funds from the tax deferred investment account to a checkable account would such income be counted as taxable income. This measure greatly simplifies tax filings and also streamlines the IRS bureaucracy. With a modest tax on financial transactions and all income tax at equivalent marginal tax rates, there remains no reason burden investors with income taxes on intermittent gains within their private investment accounts;
  • Make our current tax system even more progressive: By diminishing the first three marginal tax rates, increasing the standard deduction, personal exemptions, and dependent exemptions, and raising the highest three marginal tax rates. By doing so, we can lower taxes on the majority of Americans who need tax relief the most and also those who will more likely spend their increased disposable income and fuel greater economic recovery;
  • Raise enough revenue in boom years to maintain or even increase spending in recession years without adding to the national debt. In addition we can maintain a prioritized list of infrastructure projects at the ready for recession to ensure that whenever the private economy hits a lull, the Federal government is prepared to step in and keep the economy operating at its full capacity;
  • Encourage greater decentralized government and smaller Federal government by providing tax credits for taxpayers who make progressive income tax payments to state, county, or municipal taxing bodies. Americans currently rely too heavily on the Federal government because they have a preference for progressive income taxes. By brining progressive income taxes to other levels of government, we also decentralize decision making and facilitate greater grassroots democracy and greater community based economics;
  • Institute a 20-year tax waiver for corporations which guarantee their workers republican corporate governance though with strict and thorough requirements for guaranteeing such republican corporate governance;
  • Increased reliance on user fees, where appropriate:
    • The Interior Department should cover all of its expenses except for the National Park Service through user fees such as mineral and oil extraction royalties. Currently the department of interior subsidizes the extraction of our public resources by actually paying corporations to take our oil, take our forests, and take our mineral deposits. We must end this practice. This practice reflects the corruption of our democratic institutions. On the other hand I support taxpayer subsidies for the National Parks which encourage a shared pride in our communal cultural and natural treasures;
    • A greater portion of the Highway Trust Fund should be directed to less expensive and more efficient transportation options such as rapid transit, railways, streetcars, and buses. We currently direct our transportation resources in wildly inefficient ways which largely support the auto industry and place an enormous burden on all other Americans. This burden includes the loss of 50,000 lives per year in automobile fatalities, lost time devoted to driving and traffic snarls, the maintenance of an unwieldy roadway infrastructure so elaborate it undermines the use of more efficient means of transportation and has lead to bridge collapse and other fatal failures because we have let the entire transportation system grow unwieldy;
    • I would augment the Department of Education by adding a Bureau of Educational Resources which produced educational materials at cost for all of the school districts throughout the nation. Such a bureau would be focussed on a diverse array of educational curricula but also include materials for required curricula in civics, the Constitution, US history, etc. The content would be produced collaboratively in an open source fashion – in collaboration with primary and secondary schools as well as higher education – and so most of the costs incurred by schools would be only for printing costs and the costs of electronic media and shared across thousands of school systems around the nation.

Together with the elimination of all the waste in military expenditure these measures will make Federal government much more effective, much more efficient, and much smaller. When combined with a plan to address the wildly perverse income distribution in the United States, these fiscal reforms and budget measures would also eliminate the budget deficit and begin to eliminate our national debt. The focus on user fees, where appropriate, means we are using market mechanisms suitable price signals to avoid excessive resource depletion asking those who use our natural and designated monopoly resources to pay the social cost of those resources .