Congressman and two-time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich told Newsmax that Congress is setting the stage for a war with Iran that will be a “calamity for the world.”
The Ohio Democrat also said Washington needs to “take care of things” at home instead of looking for “dragons to slay” around the world.
And the liberal lion of the House, who is leaving office at the end of the year, strikes a conciliatory tone, calling for more bipartisan cooperation in Washington.
Kucinich was first elected to the House in 1996. Due to redistricting in Ohio following the 2010 Census, his 10th Congressional District was abolished. In March, Kucinich ran in the 9th District against incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur and lost the primary.
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In a statement issued on Wednesday, Kucinich announced that despite earlier reports, he has no intention of moving to Washington state and running for Congress from there, and said “I can best serve from outside the Congress” after leaving office in January.
Kucinich previously served as mayor of Cleveland and in the Ohio Senate, and sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Kucinich was asked about House Speaker John Boehner’s vow to reject any tax increases.
“We could get rid of any tax increases if we stopped the wars the United States is involved in,” he said. “We’ll spend trillions of dollars in wars. We’re looking at a war with Iran right now. What is going on in the United States when we don’t have the sense to take care of things here at home?
“We wouldn’t even need the high level of taxation we have right now if we just started to take care of things at home instead of going around the world looking for dragons to slay.
“We should make sure people have housing, healthcare, jobs, retirement security, a good education. These are the basics of what a nation is all about. This nation was never supposed to be about trying to be the policeman of the world.”
On the subject of Iran, Kucinich said he supports President Barack Obama’s policy of dealing with the Islamic Republic through diplomacy and sanctions.
“There is no other way. The other way is war,” he declared. “Congress is passing legislation that calls for the end of diplomacy. That sets the stage for military intervention against Iran, an intervention that would be a calamity for the world. Now we’re getting ready to attack another nation that did not attack us on the pretext that someday in the future they may have nuclear weapons.”
With battles over fiscal policy expected to heat up in Washington, Kucinich called for fundamental changes in fiscal policy.
“What I advocate is this: We have to get our monetary policy in line. How do we do that? Take it back from the Federal Reserve.
“Almost a hundred years ago, Congress gave up the ability to control monetary policy when it created the Federal Reserve and put it outside the reach of the constitutional authority of Congress to make or create money.
“I want to bring the Federal Reserve back into the Department of the Treasury and let the government claim the power that the Fed is using right now to send money into circulation, instead of giving it to banks. We ought to be using money to rebuild America’s infrastructure and put everyone back to work. We’re doing it all wrong.
“You don’t have to increase taxes if you get control of your monetary policy. You have the Federal Reserve giving money to banks, creating money out of nothing, giving it to banks who then park the money from the Fed, gain interest on it, and don’t even loan it to businesses in our communities.
“We can have enough money to meet the needs of our country and lower the rate of taxation. We’re also going to have to stay out of wars. If we take that course of action we can have the country of our dreams.”
Kucinich predicts that the presidential election will be “very close” and will turn on the state of the economy, in Ohio as well as nationwide. He was asked, as an “icon on the left,” if he sees the nation now swinging more to the right.
“I’m more of an iconoclast than an icon, and I can tell you there’s always a dynamic tension in this country between Democrats and Republicans,” he responded. “And there should be. We need more diversity of opinions, and the idea of it going to the left or the right — if you look at the American eagle it needs two wings to fly. We shouldn’t be concerned about whether the right wing is operating at one time or the left is operating at another time. They need to work together to make sure America moves forward.”
As for his future after Congress, Kucinich says: “At the end of this term, which ends on Jan. 2, I will begin a new effort to affect events inside the Congress from outside of Congress with the same vigor and passion that people expect of me.”
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