While Governor Tom Vilsack is in New Hampshire testing the waters for a presidential run, another democrat is in Iowa considering a presidential run. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel was the first candidate in either party to formally announce his campaign. Gravel served in the Senate from 1969 to 1981, and says while he’s short of name recognition and campaign cash — he’s long on ideas.
One of those ideas is to replace corporate and personal income taxes with a national sales tax of 23-percent. Gravel says the national sales tax would make the U.S. the “largest tax haven in the world” and he says that’ll bring jobs back. Gravel says he supports giving American voters more say in government policy by having them vote individually on everything from Social Security to healthcare reform.
Gravel says most people think they control the government on election day, but Gravel says people vote to give their power away to politicians who’ve raised money from special interests and turn around and manipulate people.
Gravel says U.S. voters are capable of making decisions at the ballot box. He says people vote on schoolbond issues and other things at the local level, so they’re smart enough to vote on them at the federal level. Gravel is 76, and even though he hasn’t held office for 25 years, he says his message resonates with the public and he can be a viable candidate in 2008.