Las Vegas Sun

October 17, 2019

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2008 Elections

Mike Gravel on the Issues


Gravel has said he believes "there is no room for interference from politicians and judges" when it comes to women's reproductive rights. He believes decisions about abortions should remain between a woman and her doctor. Gravel advocates comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education including accurate information about contraception to raise sexual health and awareness over reproductive issues. After a 5-4 Supreme Court vote in April to uphold the nation's ban on the so-called 'partial-birth abortion, Gravel issued a statement saying he opposes all restrictions on abortions ... more.


Environment and Energy
Gravel wants to focus on reducing America's carbon footprint. He wants legislation to tax carbon at the source and cap carbon emissions. The money from the carbon tax could be used to fund a collective global scientific effort to fight global warming and energy dependence. He also wishes to combat global deforestation. Finally, he also believes such measures will be futile unless the United States works together with other global polluters, such as China and India. Gravel also advocates an electric more.


Health Care
Gravel says that removing the burden from the business community and making American products more competitive in the world marketplace are critical to the issue of health care. Using part of the progressive Fair Tax, which seeks to replace the Internal Revenue Service and income tax with a national retail sales tax, Gravel says the U.S. government could offer universal health care for all citizens at no cost using health care vouchers. All citizens would have to do is sign up for the program and choose one of five insurance plans and/or a Medicare-type plan. At the Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas in March, Gravel noted the vouchers would have "a very modest co-pay." Because his voucher plan would cover all Americans and factor in expenses for factors like age, Gravel believes in phasing out Medicare and Medicaid ... more.


Gravel advocates a guest worker program as well as setting up naturalization procedures that would grant illegal immigrants legal status. During a presidential candidate debate at Dartmouth College in September, he said he was "ashamed, as an American, to be building a fence on our southern border." Gravel believes the root cause of illegal immigration is the North American Free Trade Agreement. He calls NAFTA "a disaster" which has resulted in the loss of millions of U.S. and Mexican jobs. Rectifying unfair trade policies to stimulate the job markets on both sides of the border would result in Mexican workers staying in their country, he says ... more.


Gravel played a key role in bringing the Pentagon Papers, which exposed decades of decision-making secrets regarding the Vietnam War, into the public eye. He takes a strong stance against the ongoing war in Iraq and calls it a repeating of the Vietnam War. According to Gravel's plan, all U.S. troops would return home within 120 days in an immediate and orderly withdrawal. Gravel supports aggressive diplomacy by working with Iraq's neighboring countries to promote peace and end the civil war... more.


Gravel believes the only way to reform the tax structure is to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service and the income tax and implement a truly “progressive” national sales tax - Fair Tax. Under our current tax structure Gravel notes that Americans are being taxed on what they earn and on what they spend, he says this is essentially a regressive tax structure. The three aspects of a fair tax system - and ones that Gravel believes are inherent in the FairTax - are transparency, a zero exception policy and simplicity. Gravel criticizes his Democratic opponents’ answers to the current tax policy: taxing the rich and taxing corporations. He says that the rich can work the system and that corporations pass it onto consumers. The FairTax system that Gravel suggests would only tax Americans on what they spend. But it would also provide monthly payments to individuals and families based upon what they pay for life’s essentials. Under Gravel’s fair tax, social security and Medicare would be completely funded ... more


Yucca Mountain
As an Alaska senator in 1972, Mike Gravel opposed forging ahead with nuclear energy because of the limited amount of knowledge that both the government and the scientific community had on the effects that nuclear waste could produce. Gravel has not been in Congress since the late 1970s in order to vote on any of the initiatives that have propelled Yucca Mountain to the nation’s forefront in nuclear waste storage. ... more


— Las Vegas Sun new media interns April Corbin and Jenna Kohler compiled this report.

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