Candidate Profile: Paula Bradshaw

Paula Bradshaw speaks during the 12th Congressional district debate in 2014.
Paula Bradshaw speaks during the 12th Congressional district debate in 2014. dholtmann@bnd.com

NAME: Paula Bradshaw

AGE: 63

IMMEDIATE FAMILY: Husband and three children

OCCUPATION: Retired Registered Nurse

OFFICE SOUGHT: 12th District U.S. Congress

PARTY: Green

PREVIOUS ELECTED POSITIONS: Precinct committee person, 2008 - 2010

Q. What changes, if any, should be made in the Affordable Care Act?

A. The ACA should be repealed. The Medicare Act of 1965 should be amended, by taking out the words "above age 65'', which would then make Americans of all ages covered. Medicare should be improved in breadth and scope of coverage. This would save Americans billions of dollars in state taxes (for Medicaid), premiums, deductibles and co-pays, while providing high-quality health care to all Americans.

Q. What are you views on the Trans Pacific Partnership?

A. I am firmly opposed to the TPP, as well as the TTIP and the TISA. These are attacks on our national sovereignty, our ability to use our government to protect ourselves and our environment, and they are massive giveaways to multi-national corporations. I also would vote to repeal NAFTA, which has similar effects, albeit on a smaller scale, and which has devastated American workers and the people of Mexico.

Q. Granite City Steel had to lay off its workforce. What should be done to get them back to work? What can Congress do to help those workers?

A. The Green New Deal is a massive public works program meant to solve the dual problems of unemployment and climate change. Unemployed workers would be put to work rebuilding our infrastructure, including providing renewable energy, sustainable transportation and providing for the health and education needs of our population. Modernizing our infrastructure is crucial, and it would involve increased domestic demand for steel.

Q. On what issues do you disagree with your party’s nominee for president and how would you approach those issues if you both were elected?

A. I would disagree with leaving health care reform with just a single payer bill. I think that we should have nationalized health care, instead of for-profit health care. I would be willing to support just a single payer plan, for a start, though, and would work with Jill Stein to get it through Congress.

Q. The unemployment rate is 4.9 percent in the country and 6 percent in Illinois. What does that say about our economy? What would you do to improve our economy?

A. Again, the Green New Deal would provide socially necessary work for our unemployed workers, at living wages. This would stimulate local businesses, by putting money into people’s pockets. We have many needs in this district and this country, and we need a responsive government to step up and attend to our needs.

Q. What would you do to protect Scott Air Force Base from closing or from cutbacks?

A. Obviously, Scott Air Force Base is a prime example of the effect on the local economy of government employment. The Green New Deal would be another example. I would support these government programs for local employment and prosperity.

Q. The country's debt is growing as the nation continues to run a budget deficit. How would you balance the country's budget? At what point, if any, does the continued deficit spell disaster?

A. The deficit started when Bush cut taxes and invaded two countries. The Obama regime has made the tax cuts permanent, and is now bombing 5 more countries. We need to raise taxes, to pre-Reagan tax rates, and stop the aggressive wars that cost our Treasury so dearly. We need to also stop the $85 billion/month that the Federal Reserve is creating to prop up Wall Street. The Fed should be nationalized and debt free money issued into the economy, by paying labor for necessary improvements to our infrastructure.

Q. What changes, if any, need to be made in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare?

A. The cap on Social Security needs to be lifted. It is a regressive program at this time, being supported by the working poor. Medicare needs to be expanded to cover every American. This would take a small increase in the payroll tax for Medicare, but the money saved on other insurance costs, as I mentioned before, would more than offset the increase.

Q. The cost of college, and student debt itself, can be a large obstacle to people getting an education, or having a firm financial footing after graduating. What should be done to make college more affordable?

A. Public colleges should be free, paid for by the people of the state, as a public good. Every worker should be paid a living wage, so that only young people with ability and interest in higher education will need to attend college. I support Jill Stein's plan to retire existing student debt, which would provide a major stimulus to our economy.

Q. Why should people vote for you?

A. Only the Green Party rejects the widespread corruption that has overtaken our political system. Only the Green Party has a plan to rebuild our society, and make sure that every American has a chance to live a decent and productive life. We also need a Congress that will stand up to an overly powerful executive branch that is making war at will and spying on the American people. Voting for me would put at least one representative in Congress for that purpose.