K.B. - Part of funding The Green New Deal is to decrease military spending by 30%. Military spending has decreased by 6 billion dollars since 2011, since the sequestration. Is that still part of the financing for the Green New Deal?

Stein - I think you have to be careful how you account for military spending. It is not at all clear that it has been decreasing. In fact, Obama is increasing it right now. If you go back to 2000, we are way above. (…) We used to have wars that got resolved and then we would decrease military budget. That is no longer the case-- we just keep building and building and we hide military expenditures in all sorts of special accounts. All the nuclear expenditures, for example, which are now going to be something like $1 trillion of new expenditures on nuclear missiles and battleships and airplanes to carry them in, (…) they are in the energy expenditures if you can believe that. There is this security state that is part of this military industrial security complex. Altogether, it’s a trillion a year that’s now being spent. These are outrageous expenditures. Much of that is poured into the pentagon, which does no auditing, which cannot account for its money. There are billions of dollars that have just gone missing in Iraq for example, and in other countries. So, yes our military spending needs to be massively cut because- why are we fighting these wars? We are fighting to secure both energy sources and their roots of transfer. The green new deal transitions us to 100% clean, renewable energy, which will then cost us $0. Then there is no longer an economic or energy motive nor justification for having this massively bloated military budget that actually endangers us. It doesn’t make us safer, it actually makes us more at risk.

We are facing an emergency. The country mobilized after Pearl Harbor at the beginning of the second world war- and we went to a wartime footing in 6 months. This is what the Green New Deal is, it moves to a wartime footing rather quickly so we can solve this problem and transform the economy into a state where we can actually fight these battles and come out the other end. The important thing for people to know is that this pays for itself with military expenditures, which become obsolete. (The Green New Deal) also pays for itself with healthcare benefits. In the state of New York, 4000 people die every year from the consequences of air pollution. 4000 a year cost $33 billion in health impact that is just for one state. Nationally when you move to green energy, people get healthy. Our health is benefited profoundly. We tend not to look at the (health effects) because they are chronic and (develop) slowly. Our overarching policy is about ensuring that we have the jobs that transform the economy to be sustainable in our energy, our food, and our transportation. That ensures that we have the teachers, and after school and elder care, and those kinds of things that we need to be a functioning society. The Green New Deal accomplishes that while it saves us the inordinate costs of our health care, the consequences of our very sick economy, while it makes war for oil obsolete, and turns the tide on climate change. There is win-win-win here. We are told that we can’t solve these problems, but in fact it is not rocket science- they are definitely solvable. This (unsustainable energy) curve is catching up to us with a vengeance. Unfortunately, the system has built in self-defense mechanisms, so not easy to mobilize, but that is basically what is going on- we are mobilizing.

K.B.- How do you answer attacks from the left and right that the sustainable development plan that you have, this Green New Deal, is an international conspiracy under Agenda 21?

Stein - Why would we think so? (Greens) are doing the right thing, which is making sure that people have jobs, and taking on the climate crisis. I would turn it around; I would say it is a conspiracy to try and deny this, because this is the struggle that people are living with in this country and around the world. There are close to a million people that die every year, including children, from water shortages and drought, which we are experiencing in California right now. California is going to run out of water in their reservoirs in the next year. So we need to get sustainable pretty quickly here, and forget about these big money conspiracies.

K.B. - The Green Party and Republicans have international associations; Democrats do not: the Greens have the Global Green Party and the Republicans have the International Democratic Union. Do you think that these international associations threaten our sovereignty?

(In fact, in May of 2013, Democrat international organization, The Progressive Alliance, was formed in Leizpeg, Germany.  U.S. Democratic Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin was in attendance.)

Stein - You don’t have to look far for things that threaten our sovereignty. If you look at what is about to pass in the US Congress, that has been pushed by a Democratic President, and by Republicans- that is the TPP. That is where the real threat is. At the end of the day, we need international diplomacy, we need all kinds of international diplomacy: international law, human rights. The world is getting smaller all the time. The same way the 13 colonies had to begin some kind of cooperation, we are now in the era now when we need global cooperation. A shootout isn’t going to do it. I wouldn’t by any means get concerned about parties having international connections.

K.B. - If the Green Party were in power, wouldn't they have the same incentives to link arms with what might become powerful green industries-- and other Green ideologues-- subverting the United State's national sovereignty?

Stein - The Greens are very bottom up, so that is not going to happen. We don’t take that money. It is that concentrated corporate money-- it is the power that is concentrated into the hands of very few people, very few corporations. When you have a very diverse democratic body-- that is called democracy, and that’s nothing to be afraid of. That is what this country was founded on. That is a principle to really aspire toward. That is the promise of democracy and American constitution.