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Kucinich vs. Dean: Pentagon Budget, Pre-Kindergarten and Health Care

Nicholas Johnson's E-mail to
"Talk of Iowa"
Iowa City, Iowa
With host Dennis Reese, and guest Congressman Dennis Kucinich

November 14, 2003

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Dennis Reese: We have an e-mail from ďNickĒ [Nicholas Johnson] in Iowa City. He says,
ďCongressman, the voters, we voters are confused. You have a lot of what sounds like progressive proposals, but then it seems like the other candidates try to catch up with ideas that look like they copy yours, but donít quite really.  Can you explain, for example, what is the difference between your proposals and those of, say Howard Dean, with regard to college tuition, jobs, health care and defense spending?Ē
Thereís a lot there.

Dennis Kucinich:  That is what it is.

Letís start with defense spending.

Iíve made it very clear that the Pentagon budget is bloated. We spend more than the rest of the world put together for defense, and thereís a lot of waste there.  Iíve said that I would cut the Pentagon budget by a minimum of 15 percent and put that money right into a universal pre-kindergarten program.  And Governor Dean has said he is not going to touch the Pentagon budget.  He also says he going to balance the budget.

So letís think this through.  If youíre not going to touch the Pentagon budget, but you are going to balance the budget, itís inevitable that it means you are going to be cutting social spending. And so I challenged him on this. I think that he and I have a real difference of opinion on this approach.

I also think we have a difference of opinion on the issue of health care.  He wants to keep health care within the confines of a privately operated health care system -Ė health care for profit.  I think that system has failed, that system causes the premiums to go up, co-payments to go up, deductibles to go up.  It limits the other coverage for people.  I want everyone to be covered, cradle to grave whether they are working or not.  Governor Deanís proposal would keep 10 million people out of having any health care.

So, whether itís the budget, the Pentagon, education, the occupation of Iraq, the death penalty and a whole range of issues, there are sharp differences between myself and Governor Dean.

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