Recently Dr. Margaret Flowers was asked to complete a questionnaire by The League of Women Voters of Maryland. Here are her responses.
Q: How does your experience prepare you for the duties of a Senator?
A: I practiced pediatrics for 15 years and left practice to do advocacy work in 2007. Since then I have worked on a broad range of issues at the state and national levels. I have helped to write legislation, testified before committees, educated legislators and their staff and organized campaigns for social change. I have also written about a broad range of issues, both analyses and about solutions.
Q: What economic policies would you support to assist low and middle income citizens?
A: Through my project "It's Our Economy" I have worked to educate about solutions that give people greater control over the economy and build community wealth. These include transitioning from corporate subsidies to a guaranteed basic income to end poverty, support for decentralized community-owned solar power, support for cooperatives, doubling social security benefits and improved Medicare for all.
Q: What are the most important foreign policy issues and how would you address them?
A: First is to recognize that the U.S. is the largest empire in the history of the world and that our aggressive foreign policy is creating greater insecurity. The empire economy is hurting our ability to meet our domestic needs. We need to scale back our global military presence, move to greater use of diplomacy and take the profit out of war. We also need to lead a global nuclear disarmament.
Q: What changes, if any, would you support in immigration policy?
A: I would stop detention and deportation of immigrants and militarization of our borders. Greater emphasis should be placed on changing policies that drive immigration: trade agreements and other economic practices that create debt and extreme poverty, the failed drug war and military intervention that bring violence and instability. All workers should have safe working conditions and a living wage.
Q: What is the most pressing environmental problem and what measures would you support to address it?
A: Extreme extraction and use of fossil fuels and uranium for energy are poisoning the water, land and air and worsening climate change. We must move rapidly to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy through a large scale just transition to produce sustainable sources of energy and clean transportation and to regenerative agriculture techniques and wetland restoration. This will create more jobs.
Q: What policies would you support to address increasing concern about economic, racial, and social inequality?
A: We need to hold Wall Street executives accountable and create public and postal banks. I support taking the profit out of prisons, ending bail and jail time for nonviolent offenses, a public health approach to drugs and greater community control over police. I support equal access to high quality public education, reinvestment in low income communities and affordable housing, not gentrification.
Q: What changes, if any, would you support in federal tax policy?
A: We need to return to high tax rates on the wealthiest as there were in the middle of the last century to stop the hoarding of wealth and stimulate reinvestment in the economy. In this global era, we need a global tax to end the hiding of wealth in tax havens. We need to lift the cap on the Social Security tax to increase benefits and raise the Medicare tax to expand improved Medicare to everyone.
Q: What other issues are priorities for you?
A: A 21st century model of fair trade that improves conditions for all workers and protects the environment. We need to treat access to basic necessities and information as public goods, not commodities. I support municipal internet and net neutrality. We need a national water plan and food labeling laws. We need to end modern slavery and genocide of Indigenous people and promote self-determination.