- Education: B.A., New York University, 1948; M.S., Peabody, 1956; attended Columbia University, City College.
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No.
// As you know, the Bush-era income tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for? //
Tax policy should be progressive: Taxes should not go up on lower-income individuals and families. Big banks and corporations have been making bigger profits than ever but avoid paying fair taxes. Meanwhile, American taxpayers have been bailing out banks, insurance companies, and other financial corporations. A decrease in federal government spending on wars and destructive military activity would increase the resources available to pay for constructive programs that help improve people's lives.
// Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain. //
No. I support fair pay and good benefits for all workers. Even if one can imagine conceivable circumstances where it might become necessary to ask federal workers to make additional sacrifice, a current need for this has not been shown. I believe the U.S. must down-size military spending; the federal government must help retrain and reintegrate people who currently hold military jobs, into the nonmilitary economy.
// The Congressional Budget Office projects spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs will more than double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037. What specific changes would you propose to reduce Medicare costs? //
Health care costs have skyrocketed as for-profit companies have taken over former community hospitals. Many decades ago, health care costs were relatively low. In those days, a typical hospital was publically owned or was operated by private charity in the public interest. Despite recent health care advances (for example, new technologies) that should have made health care more affordable, the rise of profiteering has led to a health care delivery crisis and exorbitant costs. Health care should not be a for-profit industry; health care does not obey classical "market competition" principles of supply and demand. (For example, a for-profit business normally will increase profit if it can boost demand, but in the context of health care increased "demand" usually means increased sickness, injury, and disease.) To the extent that health is a fundamental need, demand for health is constant and not elastic. On the "supply" end, the availability of health care services is only vaguely related to market pressures, especially under the inflexible, complicated, and confusing regime of for-profit health care insurance, where genuine consumer choice is largely illusory.