Term: 4 Years
QUESTION: What would you do specifically to deal with the District's budget crisis? List three programs you would cut or streamline and tell how you would raise additional revenue.
Ike Nahem (SW)
2400 16th St. NW
Locomotive engineer, Amtrak; member, United Transportation and Amalgamated Transit unions; former track laborer, Metro; co-founder, Washington Area Labor Committee on Central America and the Caribbean; international delegate, Federation of Salvadoran Workers congress; visited occupied Palestine, Cuba and Nicaragua with political delegations; active with National Organization for Women in defending access to abortion clinics; BA in political science, Indiana University, 1973, student senator, president of Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam; longtime anti-apartheid and black rights activist; has spoken widely on Mideast issues; Washington correspondent, The Militant newspaper; chairman, D.C. Socialist Workers Party; inspired by Malcolm X.
A: The "budget crisis" locally expresses the mounting pressures on the U.S. and world capitalist economies. D.C. faces growing unemployment amid increased bankruptcies. The "budget crisis" is a pretext for Democrats and Republicans -- locally and nationally -- to further attack education, housing, health care, job training and drug treatment. The 1980s' capitalist expansion, fueled by routing the labor movement, tremendous debt accumulation and frenzied speculation, is leading inexorably to a depression threatening catastrophe for working people. Working people should not pay for the economic crisis, greed and scandal that the wealthy minority and the bourgeois politicians that serve them are solely responsible for. Thousands of homeless roam our streets; 1,500 people died here last year from preventable causes for lack of medical insurance; 1,160 slots in treatment programs exist here for 150,000 estimated victims of drugs and alcoholism; 50 percent of students in our miserable, segregated schools drop out each year! Obviously, the ridiculously inadequate existing programs must be radically expanded. Funds to meet human needs must come from where they amply exist: in the deep pockets of the wealthy minority and from the war budget of U.S. imperialism that defends exploitation, oppression and corporate superprofits in the Third World. Socialist Workers candidates say: Tax the rich, not working people! Growing labor militancy, exemplified by strikes at Eastern Airlines, Pittston Coal and Greyhound, points the way forward for defense of living standards today. We need an independent labor party based on transformed trade unions that can unite working people of all nationalities, women and youth.