How would you save social security?
Mike Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election. He is chiefly known for his efforts in ending the draft following the Vietnam War and for putting the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971.
Born in 1930 to immigrant parents in Massachusetts, Gravel enlisted in the Army in 1951 and served in West Germany. A self-stated dyslexic, Gravel was educated at Columbia University%u2019s School of General Studies in New York, where he drove a taxi to support himself. Gravel's first steps into politics were in the Alaska House of Representatives, before he won his party's nomination to the U.S. Senate in 1968. During the 1980s, after Gravel lost his senate seat, he worked as a real estate developer, consultant and stockbroker.
Gravel is a strong supporter of direct democracy, and specifically, the National Initiative, which refers to proposals to allow for ballot initiatives at the federal level.
Question: How would you save social security?
Mike Gravel: I would start by changing our whole system of revenue to a fairer tax. Our system . . . our income tax system is corrupt. The Congress raids the income tax surplus and has been spending it on day-to-day operations. We need a little something more fundamental than that. You judge a civilization by how they take care of their elderly, how they take care of their youth, and how they take care of their veterans. And the United States of America fails on all three counts. Shame on us. We can do better. But when we’re controlled by the military industrial complex that controls our government lock, stock, and barrel, you get what you’re getting right now which is horrific. Follow the money if you want to see which way the government is gonna go in the future. I’m accused of having not much money. My god. This is a . . . I wear this as a badge of courage that I haven’t sold out and don’t intend to sell out. People contribute to my campaign. I don’t have time to go through the list and see who it is. Other people may do that, but I . . . you’re only gonna get one thing by contributing to my campaign – good government, honest government with integrity. And we’re gonna turn this country around. I’ll be one of the great presidents of the United States, and I won’t be owned by Wall Street, or the military industrial complex, or the medical industrial complex, or the war industrial complex. And of course I’m talking about the war on drugs which is a tragedy. It’s the scourge of our inner cities, and everybody knows it’s a failure but nobody’s providing the leadership to end it. We had FDR who ended prohibition. Well I’m gonna end the war on drugs I become the President of the United States. Count on that.
Recorded on: 10/23/07
We need to begin by making our whole system of revenue work more fairly.
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