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Green Party VP Rosa Clemente on the VP Debate and the Bailout

from Democracy Now!

JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Rosa Clemente, your response to the economic portion of the debate and the issue of the bailout?

ROSA CLEMENTE: Well, I mean, I think both people up there last night were clear that they don’t have the majority of the American people’s interests at heart, including the majority of American people that have called, into the last week, telling the Democrats and the Republicans no bailout.

You know, I think we need to talk about the fact that six years ago, groups like Central Brooklyn Partnership or NEDAP or financial literacy groups in this country were right in front of this, talking about predatory lending, the idea that these lenders could come in, confuse people with mass amounts of paperwork and literally put them into debt for life.

But while we’re talking about the financial crisis, and particularly the subprime mortgage mess, I’m also thinking about affordable housing and how, in the same time period, there has been a major rent destabilization loss all through this country, rampant gentrification, and many people who don’t own houses, who don’t have mortgages, are literally being evicted every day from their homes, because they can no longer afford the rent.

So, in a recent essay called “Seize the Time” that Cynthia McKinney put out, she says we have to now seize the time. If they’re going to pay this $700 billion or maybe potentially $800 billion bailout with the tax people’s money, with our money, then we have every right to step into that space and create the policies that come from the people, that the government adheres to.

And one of the things that is not being talked about also is ending the war right now, not ending the war in sixteen months, not in twelve months. We’re spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. We need to stop the war immediately. And for me and for young people, that also includes the over-reliance of the war here at home, the drug war, and the continuing prison-building. We need to get a grip, and we need to—we need to force and hold these people accountable to put in programs that will keep people not only in their homes, will keep people in their rental apartments and will stop the war. I think everything is interconnected, and we can’t let one go—

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