Howard Dean on Technology

Former VT Governor; Former Democratic Candidate for President


OpEd: Mastering political Internet means acting differently

There was much talk in 2004 about how Howard Dean was using the Internet to revolutionize primary politics. For all his efforts, though, it was Bush who mastered the Internet, harnessing its power as an successful fund-raising and organizing tool. But so far no one has really captured the potential of the Internet in politics. We keep trying to adapt it to our old way of doing things, rather than doing things differently.

The old rule--that everything in a front-loaded system happens too fast for a candidate to take advantage of momentum--ignores the instantaneous nature of all communications & transactions on the Internet. The world of getting checks into banks and waiting days for them to clear as you get the ad on the air is gone. Hello, PayPal. Instant access. There are no delays.

Smart kids with a good website could have recruited delegates and filled slates. If Dean hadn't fallen apart, I certainly don't think he could have been "stopped" by Congressional leaders certain of impending doom.

Source: The Case for Hillary Clinton, by Susan Estrich, p.151-152 , Oct 17, 2005

Trip to Mars can't be reconciled with $500B deficit

George W. Bush passed the largest entitlement program since LBJ: a $400 billion prescription drug benefit program under Medicare. Within months of passage, the cost of the new entitlement was refigured and raised to $540 billion. "Yet even this bait-and-switch tactic is deceptive," writes Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, "because independent groups estimate the true cost of the Medicare bill will be one trillion dollars over ten years.

Within weeks of his signing the prescription drug bill, the president promised to take us back to the moon and from there on to Mars with a new manned space program. Even Howard Dean had heard enough: "He's promising a trillion-dollar tax cut, a trip to Mars, and he has a half-trillion dollar deficit. Where do these Washington people think this money comes from?"

Source: Where the Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p.180 , Aug 12, 2004

Infrastructure requires immediate attention--being ignored

There are some areas of our economy that require immediate attention and that are being ignored. Our infrastructure is one. At a time when the president has asked Congress for $87 billion to help rebuild Iraq, our school buildings [are crumbling]; there are 2,600 unsafe dams in the country; and a quarter of the bridges are in bad repair.

Instead of the reckless economic agenda this administration has pursued, I believe we need to focus on creating jobs, balancing the budget, and ensuring that working Americans can make ends meet. To create jobs, we’ve got to invest again, not just in infrastructure but in the research and development of the industries that will propel this country to the future, from broadband to biotech. And we need a special focus on small business, which is the single biggest engine of job creation. Small businesses stay in their communities, they don’t move overseas.

Source: Winning Back America, by Howard Dean, p.153-4 , Dec 3, 2003

The Internet will become a key player in political debate.

I believe that the Web is now proving to be a particularly valuable tool for people engaged positively in the political process. The Internet is interactive; the internet is a genuine forum for debate. People have talk radio on in the background; they log on to the Internet and participate.
Source: Winning Back America, by Howard Dean, p.117 , Dec 3, 2003

Bush spends money on Iraq while US infrastructure crumbles

There are areas of our economy that require immediate attention and that are being ignored. Our infrastructure is one. At a time when the president has gone to congress to ask for $87 billion to help rebuild Iraq, the American Society of Civil Engineers issued a report on the American infrastructure. Our school buildings were given a grade of D-, our roads a D+. There are twenty-six hundred unsafe dams in the country, and a quarter of the bridges are in bad repair.
Source: Winning Back America, by Howard Dean, p.153 , Dec 3, 2003

Maintain space shuttle & begin manned flights to Mars

Q: What are your plans for NASA?

A: Howard Dean: I am a strong supporter of NASA and every government program that furthers scientific research. I don’t think we should close the shuttle program but I do believe that we should aggressively begin a program to have manned flights to Mars. This of course assumes that we can change Presidents so we can have a balanced budget again.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A , Nov 6, 2003

Invest in rural broadband to replace lost farm jobs

I do want to invest in infrastructure. I want to build schools. The worst 10% of our schools need federal help to be reconstructed. I want to rebuild our infrastructure and transportation. I want to put broadband in rural economies so we can have a rural economy again. We’re not going to get those agriculture jobs back. We need jobs and this president with his supply-side economics is going to shift all of our jobs someplace else in this world, and we need them here in America.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa , May 17, 2003

Cooperate with Canada on regional info tech workforce.

Dean signed the New England Governors' Conference resolution:

Source: NEG/ECP Resolution 26-6: Joint Information Workforce 01-NEGC6 on Aug 28, 2001

Level playing field for Main Street vs. Internet sales tax.

Dean adopted a letter to Congress from 44 Governors:

The nation’s governors have a strong and unified message to Congress: deal fairly with Main Street retailers, consumers, and local governments. In a letter sent to all members of Congress late Friday, 44 governors said:

If you care about a level playing field for Main Street retail businesses and local control of states, local governments, and schools, extend the moratorium on taxing Internet access ONLY with authorization for the states to streamline and simplify the existing sales tax system. To do otherwise perpetuates a fundamental inequity and ignores a growing problem.
The current moratorium on Internet access taxes, like those consumers pay to Internet service providers, and multiple and discriminatory taxes is scheduled to expire in October. The moratorium does not apply to sales taxes.

Currently, sales and use taxes are owed on all online transactions, but states are prohibited from requiring “remote sellers” to collect and remit those levies. A 1992 US Supreme Court decision said states can only require sellers that have a physical presence in the same state as the consumer to collect so-called use taxes. In instances when a seller does not have a physical presence, consumers are required to calculate and remit the taxes owed to their home states at the end of the year. The problem is most people are unaware that they’re supposed to pay, and states lack an effective enforcement mechanism. Online and catalog sellers, thereby, have a significant price advantage over Main Street businesses that must collect a sales tax on all transactions.

The loophole creates serious budget problems for schools, states, and local governments. A study estimated that states could lose as much as $14 billion by 2004 if they are unable to collect existing taxes on Web-based sales. Nearly half of state revenues come from sales taxes.

Source: NGA Press Release, "Level Playing Field" 01-NGA18 on Aug 20, 2001

Create International Northern and Biotechnology Corridor.

Dean signed the New England Governors' Conference resolution:

Source: NEG/ECP Resolution 23-6: Biotechology Corridor 98-NEGC6 on Jun 9, 1998

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Page last updated: Oct 27, 2021