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Independent Candidate Ralph Nader Discusses Bid for Presidency

Presidential candidate Ralph Nader speaks with the NewsHour's Ray Suarez about his latest bid for the White House and discusses his platform on the critical issues facing the country this election year.

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    Presidential candidate Ralph Nader joins us now. He's making the race for the third time. He's on the ballot in 45 states this year.

    Welcome to the program.

  • RALPH NADER, Presidential Candidate:

    Thank you, Ray.


    Well, we've just come through these remarkable weeks, where the Treasury, the Fed, and Congress have been working to cobble together a plan.

    The presidential candidates, the Republican and Democrat in the race, say they reluctantly went along with these bailout packages because of the urgency of the situation. What did you make of the bailout plans?


    The right word is "cobble." It's the wrong kind of plan, and they have to readjust now with injections into the banks.

    But what they should have done, because Washington had Wall Street over the barrel, Wall Street wanted a $700 billion bailout.

    And what Congress should have done is add to Bush's blank check with comprehensive regulation to prevent this; criminal prosecution resources for the culprits on Wall Street; more power to the shareholders to control their company and restrain their bosses' excesses, real taxpayer equity, with good conditions and, finally, making them pay for it.

    If you make the speculators pay for their own bailout, then there's a relief throughout America that there's some fairness coming out of Washington.

    A 0.1 percent tax on security derivative transactions in one year — it's going to be $500 trillion of transactions in one year — is $500 billion. So that alone would make a sense of equity. And you wouldn't put it on the backs of the taxpayer.

    England has that kind of tax, by the way, for years. FDR had it. We helped finance the Civil War with it. But after World War II, it was scrapped.

    So people go into a store in all your areas where your show shows, and they buy necessities of life, and they pay 6 percent or 7 percent sales tax. Tomorrow, someone in Wall Street can buy a billion dollars of Exxon derivatives, pay no sales tax. That's where the fairness has to go.