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2021-October-18  11:49

Jody Grage: State Corona Response Proves US Economy Serves Rich Corporation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Jody Grage, US Green Party of Washington State, says Federal stimulus money and tax breaks helped the business community more than people.

Speaking in an interview with FNA, Grage said, “Though Senators and Representatives are elected to advocate for their constituents, businesses donations and lobbyists influence Congress to serve its needs instead… Businesses claim that they must be helped so they can employ people, but instead they - again and to an even greater degree - siphoned off money to make themselves and their companies richer while American families and workers continue to be short changed.”

Jody Grage is a long-time community activist and member of the Ballard District Council in Washington State. She joined Green Party in the mid 1980's with the Cascadia Green Alliance. She has been active in the Green Party of Seattle and the Green Party of Washington State since their founding. Grage served as a GPUS Steering Committee Co-Chair from 2004 – 2006, as GPUS Treasurer from 2006 – 2010, and was elected GPUS Secretary in 2017.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: During Covid-19 crisis, why did the US government inject money to Wall Street, and exempt them from a huge amount of tax; but it was not so generous to American families and workers?

A: Government COVID responses chose between keeping people from contacting the virus and keeping businesses earning money. Though Senators and Representatives are elected to advocate for their constituents, businesses donations and lobbyists influence Congress to serve its needs instead. In this case, Federal stimulus money and tax breaks did more to support the business community than the American people. This is a long-standing problem made worse by the urgency of the situation and the ongoing development of the problem and potential solutions. Businesses claim that they must be helped so they can employ people, but instead they - again and to an even greater degree - siphoned off money to make themselves and their companies richer while American families and workers continue to be short changed. Fortunately, people and even elected officials are increasingly fighting back.

Q: America spent billions of dollars on "war on terror", but did not invest in the public healthcare system to avoid hundreds of thousands of losses. How would you have expected the outcome of the pandemic if the US had spent some of its budget on war on terror, on its public health system?

A: Corporations and their money to candidates and lobbyists rule. Corporations profit from the "war on terror" and electoral officials count military/industrial complex jobs as good for their constituents without regard for damage done to people, infrastructure, the environment, global relations, etc. The USA has to be number one - in power and influence although not in life expectancy, low incarceration rates, education, equality, etc. Corporations profit from health insurance which I recall has a 33% overhead compared to Medicare's 3% overhead. That 30% would pay for much of the costs of a national health system including restoring adequate budgets for the Center for Disease Control, etc. Again American families and workers continue to be short changed.

Q: Reviewing the last two decades of the Oval Office, do you expect the Biden Administration to act differently from Trump's?

A: Biden has benefited from seeing that Obama's efforts to be bi-partisan wasted the advantages he had with Democrats controlling the presidency and both houses of Congress. Biden - in contrast to Trump - is organized, efficient, and steady. He realizes that if Democrats are to maintain their narrow majority he has to deliver what American families and workers - including good percentages of Republicans - want and he has to do it quickly and over many issues. Unfortunately, he has increased the military budget and continued international conflicts, but in general progress is being made.