Thank you. It's great to be back in Raleigh! Thank you so much. I have to confess I was having such a good time backstage listening to the 120 Minutes Band, listening to Mary Wingate do the national anthem and just being absolutely transported by Shay Taylor and Friends, the gospel group that got us all going today. And I cannot thank a better twosome than the people you just saw up here.
Because I honestly believe Jim Hunt is not only one of the best governors North Carolina has ever had, but one of the best governors ever in America in the last years. And what he did to really put North Carolina on a path to the future has stood the test of time. We've had a few glitches with others who don't seem to understand what the ingredients are for building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. But Jim Hunt knows that.
I look forward to continuing to work with him. And I was so delighted to have a chance, as I did, to have Alicia Wilkerson talk about her journey, how hard she has worked, raising her children, getting an education, making it possible for her to have a better future.
I so greatly appreciate her mentioning the SCHIP program which has helped 8 million kids every year get health insurance. Now because we are in North Carolina and we have a lot of friends here I want to acknowledge some of them. Your secretary of state Elaine Marshall.
Senator Dan Blue, the Minority Leader of the North Carolina Senate. Representative Larry Hall, the Democratic leader of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Linda Coleman running for Lieutenant Governor. Judge Mike Morgan running against a Republican Supreme Court incumbent. And don't forget than Dan Blue III is running for State Treasurer. Josh Stein, running for Attorney General. And let's give a big round of applause to your next governor, Attorney General Roy Cooper! Your next AG commissioner Walter Smith and your next United States Senator, Debra Ross. We're going to work hard in the this election to elect as many Democrats up and down the ticket so that North Carolina can get back on the path to the path to the future, get off this detour that you've been on.
I have to start by saying if you notice anything different about me today, it could be that now I have double the "grandmother glow." This past weekend, Chelsea and Marc had a little boy and we're all totally over the moon about it.
Obviously, our family will do everything we can to make sure little Charlotte and now little Aidan grow up with every possible opportunity. I know that's what every parent and grandparent, aunt or uncle, godmother and godfather, people who care about the children in our lives, that's exactly how we all feel.
I believe with all my heart that you should not have to be the grandchild of a former president or secretary of state to have every opportunity available to you in this country.
Every single child deserves the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential and that has been the cause of my life.
It's rooted in the values I learned from my family and my faith. We're all in this together. And we have a responsibility to lift each other up.
As we Methodists say: Do all the good you can to all the people you can in all the ways you can. And that is absolutely true for our children.
That's why I got into public service in the first place. And it's why I'm determined that we will win this election.
I think it's an understatement to say that Americans face a choice in November.
As I said yesterday in Ohio, Donald Trump offers no real solutions for the economic challenges we face—he just continues to spout reckless ideas that will run up our debt and cause another economic crash.
I'm here today to offer an alternative. I have a clear vision for the economy, and it's this: We need to make sure our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.
Not just for the rich or the well-connected, not just for people living in some parts of the country, or people from certain backgrounds and not others—I mean everyone.
I have a plan to get us there: Five steps we can take together to drive growth that's strong, fair, and lasting. Growth that reduces inequality, increases upward mobility; that reaches into every corner of our country.
The measure of our success will be how much incomes rise for hardworking families. How many children are lifted out of poverty. How many Americans can find good jobs that support a middle class life and not only that, jobs that provide a sense of dignity and pride. That's what it means to have an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That's the mission, and I'm asking all of you to join me in it.
We have to overcome some big challenges. I will admit that.
First, too many of our representatives in Washington are in the grips of a failed economic theory called trickle-down economics. I do not question their sincerity, but it has been proven wrong again and again.
But there are still people in Congress who insist on cutting taxes for the wealthy instead of investing in our future.
They careen from one self-inflicted crisis to another—shutting down the government, threatening to default on our national debt, refusing to make the commonsense investments that used to have broad bipartisan support, like rebuilding our roads and our bridges, our tunnels, our highways and airports, or investing in better education from zero through high school and college.
I like to look at evidence: I plead to that. I think evidence is important when making decisions that affect other people's lives. If the evidence were there to support this ideology, I would have to acknowledge that, but we have seen the results. Twice now in the past 30 years a Republican president has caused an economic mess and a Democratic president has had to come in and clean it up.
And yes, too many special interests and too many lobbyists have stood in the way of progress while protecting the perks of the privileged few.
It's not just Washington.
Too many corporations have embraced policies that favor hedge funds and other big shareholders and top management at the expense of their workers, communities, and even their long-term value.
They're driven by Wall Street's obsession with short-term share prices and quarterly earnings.
A recent survey of corporate executives found that more than half when asked would hold off on making a successful long-term investment—maybe in their workers, or plant equipment, or research—if it meant missing a target in the next earnings report.
So corporations stash cash overseas or they send it to top shareholders in the form of stock buybacks or dividends, instead of raising wages or investing in research and development.
This pressure, this short-term pressure, leads to perverse incentives and outrageous behavior.
It is wrong to take taxpayer dollars with one hand and give out pink slips with the other hand. And no company should be moving their headquarters overseas, just to avoid paying their taxes here at home.
In addition, there have been big changes in how American families live, learn, and work, but our policies haven't kept up.
There are so many examples of this.
Over the past several decades, women have entered the workforce and boosted our economy, yet we are the only, the only developed country that doesn't provide paid family leave of any kind.
We're asking families to rely on an old system of supports in a new economic reality. No wonder so many are struggling.
The bottom line is that too many leaders in business and government have lost sight of our shared responsibility to each other and to our nation.
They let Wall Street take big risks with unregulated financial activities, they skew our tax code toward the wealthy, they failed to enforce our trade rules, they undermined workers' rights.
They have forgotten that we are all in this together and we are at our best when we recognize that. Excessive inequality such as we have today reduces economic growth. Markets work best when all the stakeholders share in the benefits.
The challenges we face are significant.
It is not easy to change Washington, or how corporations behave. It takes more than stern words or a flashy slogan—it takes a plan.
It takes experience and the ability to work with both parties to get results.
That means we need a president who knows what we're up against, has no illusions about what we need to do to move ahead, but can actually get it done. And that is what I am offering.
Because there is good news. The good news is that everywhere I go, smart, determined men and women are working hard to reverse these trends.
Mayors are pioneering innovative ways to work with the private sector to invest in their cities.
Entrepreneurs and small businesses are building and hiring in places that bigger companies have abandoned.
Unions are providing training programs that add value to the companies that employ their members.
Union pension funds are already investing in infrastructure projects that have supported more than 100,000 jobs here in our country.
So do not grow weary, there are great ideas out there. And we are going to be partners in a big, bold effort to increase economic growth and distribute it more fairly.
To build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. I believe the federal government should adopt five ambitious goals:
First, let's break through the dysfunction in Washington to make the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.
Second, let's make college debt-free for all. And transform the way we prepare Americans for the jobs of the future.
Third, let's rewrite the rules so more companies share profits with their employees, and fewer ship profits and jobs overseas.
Finally, let's make sure that Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes. And all of this depends upon putting our families first and matching our policies to how you actually live and work in the 21st century.
Briefly about these four points: Let's start with jobs.
Every American willing to work hard should be able to find a job that pays enough to support a family. And I know we can do this because I've seen it in the past.
You know, I remember when I was growing up and America had come out from the upheaval of depression and world war. Our leaders worked together to invest in a new foundation for American power and prosperity.
Highways to connect up our entire nation. College and housing for returning veterans and their families. Unprecedented scientific research. And it worked—we built the greatest middle class the world has ever known.
Now, we have to get as ambitious again. There is nothing we can't do. Let's be just as ambitious to build our 21st century American economy to produce the same results for hard working Americans.
In my first 100 days as president, I will work with both parties to pass a comprehensive plan to create the next generation of good jobs. Now the heart of my plan will be the biggest investment in American infrastructure in decades, including establishing an infrastructure bank that will bring private sector dollars off the sidelines and put them to work here.
And I've talked with local leaders around America and I've seen the dire need for investment. In Tampa, for example, I saw how a smart, targeted highway investment near a major port can create thousands of good-paying jobs, support the local economy and unlock national commerce.
We can create millions of good-paying jobs while preparing America to compete and win in the global economy.
So let's set these big national goals. And I know how important it is to rebuild our roads, our bridges and our airports, but we have more work to do. Let's build better. And let's connect every household to broadband by the year 2020.
Let's build a cleaner, more resilient power grid with enough renewable energy to power every home in the country. Let's fix failing water systems like the one that poisoned children in Flint, Michigan. Let's renovate our public schools so every child in every community has access to safe, high-tech classrooms, laboratories, and libraries.
Our 100 Days jobs package will also include transformational investments in key drivers of growth:
Advance manufacturing, so we can "make it in America" and compete and win in the global economy.
Making America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century, which will create millions of jobs and help protect our planet.
Recommitting to scientific research, which can create new whole industries, just like we did in the '90s, when we started mapping the human genome.
And small businesses, which should be the engine for creating new jobs across America, they need to be free of red tape and they need to have access to credit. We need to slash unnecessary regulations making it easier to get startup capital from community banks and credit unions. If you have an idea for a small business, we want you to get started.
Let's free entrepreneurs to do what they do best—innovate and grow and hire and make sure that the new service and caregiving jobs being created today are jobs that pay well, too. And that does mean raising the national minimum wage.
So many of these are so personal to us that they need to be respected and lifted up. And I know too that we've got work to do to stand with those who are fighting for raising the minimum wage. It's not always how we think about this, but I can tell you another engine for growth and job creation would be comprehensive immigration reform.
It will bring millions of workers into the formal economy so you don't have an unlevel playing field, so that workers who are competing for those jobs don't get undercut because employers go out and find undocumented workers to do those jobs for a lower wage. I really believe it's not just the right thing to do, but it will be great.
It will be smart for our economy. I want people to be able to compete. I don't want to have that disadvantage that exists in too many places, where people are being are being priced out of the jobs they've always done.
So we can work toward a full employment and full potential economy. That does mean we can't ignore people that are still stuck on the sidelines, or working part-time when what they really want is a full-time job. Or those trapped in long-term joblessness, whether they're veterans, workers with disabilities, people coming home from prison, or young people who tried to start their careers in the midst of the Great Recession. I particularly want young people to feel that they are going to get good jobs that will give them that ladder of opportunity that they deserve to have in America.
That's why I want to expand incentives like the New Markets Tax Credit, Empowerment Zones, and other ideas that bring business, government, and communities together to create good jobs in poor or remote areas. Places that have lost a factory or a mine where generations of families used to work. Anyone willing to work should get the help they need to qualify for and find that good job.
That means breaking down the barriers of systemic racism and discrimination that hold back —those barriers, they hold back African Americans, Latinos, Asian and Native Americans, and women from fully participating in our economy.
We need to reverse the long-term neglect that has dried up jobs and opportunity in communities of color, in poor communities. It's not by accident that the unemployment rate now among black Americans is twice as high as among whites. Back in the '90s, we were closing that gap, incomes were going up for everybody.
I think we're going to have to invest money to create jobs for young people because right now I'm worried that if young people don't get that first job when they are young, learn about work, understand the obligations as well as the promise of work, it will be even more difficult to get them into the workforce later on.
It is way past time for us to guarantee equal pay for women, which is still not the reality.
So, you see it is not enough to have an affirmative agenda, we have to knock down those barriers.
And by the way, as you've seen here in North Carolina discriminating against LGBT Americans is bad for business.
And make no mistake, we will defend American jobs and American workers by saying "no" to bad trade deals and unfair trade practices, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which does not meet my high bar for creating good-paying jobs. "No" to assaults on the right to organize and bargain collectively.
"No" to every attack on the dignity of working families.
We're going to make this economy work for everyone, and it's time we start building this from the ground up. For every home and every community all the way to Washington. Now, I know very well that if you don't have the skills for the jobs of tomorrow, it's going to be difficult. Education is still the pathway for greater opportunities for many Americans.
Let's start at the beginning with making quality, affordable child care and preschool available in every community in the next 10 years, so we get our littlest Americans off to the best start.
Jim Hunt was a pioneer in this. Why did he care so much about children zero to five, besides the fact that he cared about them? Because he knew there was a direct line to how the youngest children were treated, educated, and prepared for school, and what kind of jobs and economic competitiveness North Carolina would have. So we're going to start by having families be their child's first teachers, and we're going to give them the support they need to do that. And when it comes to primary and secondary education I pledged to you we're going to make sure all our kids have good teachers and good schools, no matter what ZIP code you live in.
You know, for many years, thanks to people and leaders like Jim Hunt, North Carolina was a leading state when it came to education. Now, unfortunately, thanks to your Governor McCrory and the legislature, the average teacher salary can barely support a family. It should not be a surprise that thousands have quit in recent years.
We should support our teachers, not scapegoat them.
And then let's make sure every student has options after high school. Whether it's a four-year degree, free community college, an apprenticeship, or other forms of higher education, we need to provide the skills and credentials that match the job openings of today and tomorrow.
That's why I'm proposing new tax credits to encourage more companies to offer paid apprenticeships that lets you earn while you learn. And I will to support the union apprenticeships and training programs already out there. Not every good job requires a four-year college degree. We need to dignify skills training. So many young people have the talent and the will to succeed—they just need a helping hand.
That's why I want us to come together to help our young people break free from the burden of student debt. I'm sure we all have stories. I've met so many who told me they can't start a business. They can't even move out of their parent's basement because of all the student debt holding them back.
Let's set the goal to make debt-free college available to everyone. So future students won't have to borrow a dime to pay for tuition at public college or university.
And let's liberate the millions of Americans who already have student debt by making it easier to refinance, just like a mortgage. Let's make it easier to have debt forgiven by doing national service, let's make it easier to repay what you owe as a portion of your income so you never have to pay more than you can afford.
I've set out a way to do this, and we'll be talking more about it as we go forward in this campaign.
My third goal is to rewrite the rules so more companies share profits with employees, and fewer ship profits and jobs overseas.
I know there are a lot of businesses thriving here in North Carolina and across our country who see employees as assets to invest in, not costs to cut. They're building companies, not stripping them. They're creating good jobs, not eliminating them.
But too many, too many businesses take the opposite view. I'm not asking corporations to be more charitable, although I think that is important. I'm asking corporations to realize that when more Americans prosper, they prosper too, right? When your paycheck grows, America grows.
We are a 70 percent consumption economy. If we want higher growth, we have to raise incomes. So people have more disposable dollars to be able to spend, instead of holding back out of fear of what will happen.
So let's bring a long-term view back to board rooms and executive suites. Let's restore the link between productivity growth and wage growth.
As president, I will make it a national priority for more companies to share profits with employees. On top of, not instead of, good wages. Let's recognize the people doing the work, putting in the hours, they're the ones who should be sharing the rewards.
We should continue to crack down on wage theft and make overtime count, so companies that pay well can't be undercut by competitors paying poverty wages.
I believe we should strengthen unions, which have formed the bedrock of a strong middle class. It should be easier to bargain collectively. That's not only fair, it makes workers more productive, it strengthens our economy.
And let's close the loopholes that help companies ship jobs and profits overseas. Let's make companies that outsource jobs to other countries pay back the tax breaks they received while they were here in America. And if corporations try to move their headquarters to a foreign country to skip out on their tax bills—let's slap a new exit tax on them and then put that money to work in the communities left behind.
And we should extend the rules that were passed in Dodd-Frank on Wall Street after the crisis and strengthen them—both for the big banks and the shadow banking system. And I will veto any reforms to repeal those rules and vigorously enforce the law, with accountability, so Wall Street can never wreck Main Street again.
Fourth, let's make sure Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes.
When people say the game is rigged, the best evidence is the tax code. It's riddled with scams, loopholes, and special breaks, like the carried-interest loophole that lets some hedge fund managers pay a lower tax rate than a teacher or a nurse. That's not only unfair, it's bad economics, and we're going to stop it.
I have been saying that for years. As president, if Congress won't act, I will ask the Treasury Department to use its authority to close that loophole.
And here's another idea that I will be pushing: Let's pass the so-called Buffett Rule so top executives can't pay a lower rate than their secretaries.
And let's ask the wealthiest Americans to pay more—including a new tax on multimillionaires. That's not only the right thing to do, it's smart for our economy.
Because these steps will help pay for the investments we need in jobs and education without increasing our national debt. In fact, every program I have proposed in this campaign, I tell you how I will pay for it. Donald Trump and I disagree on a lot of things, and one of them is simple math.
Finally, here's our fifth goal: Let's put families first and make sure our policies match how you actually work and live in the 21st century.
Families look a lot different today than they did 30 years ago, and so do our jobs.
The movement of women into the workforce has produced enormous economic growth over the past few decades. But with women now the sole or primary breadwinner in a growing number of families—there's more urgency than ever to make it easier for Americans to be good workers, good parents, and good caregivers, all at the same time.
The old model of work where you could expect to hold a steady job with good benefits for an entire career, is long gone. People in their 20s and 30s have come of age in an economy that's totally different. And a lot of young parents are discovering just how tough that is on families. Many people now have wildly unpredictable schedules, or they cobble together part-time work, or they've tried to go independent.
Flexibility can be good, but you shouldn't have to worry that your family could lose your health care or retirement savings just because you change jobs or start a small business.
Why do you think every other—I have to ask—why do you think every other advanced country has paid family leave? Do you think they are just unrealistic, or do you think that they have figured out they can have a stabler economy, they can support families? And that's what I want us to do. Working families need predictable scheduling, earned sick days and vacation days, quality affordable childcare and healthcare. These are not luxuries. They're economic necessities.
In today's economy, benefits should be flexible, portable, and comprehensive for everyone.
That means it's time to expand Social Security as well. Especially, especially for older women who are widowed, or have taken time out of the workforce to care for a loved one, and who are suffering financially because of that. We need to look to a secure retirement for everyone, and to provide families relief from crushing costs and health care, housing, and prescription drugs. I looked at the numbers and in some states, two parents earning the minimum wage have to spend up to 35 percent of their income on child care.
For a single parent, it could be 70 percent. So I will set a goal: Families shouldn't have to pay more than 10 percent of their income for child care. And I will repeat today what I have said throughout this campaign: I will not raise taxes on the middle class I will give you tax relief to raise these burdens.
Now, you know whenever I talk about these family issues, Donald Trump says I'm playing the "woman" card. Right? Well you know what I say, if fighting for child care and paid leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in.
Here's what I want you to understand. It may be difficult to imagine all this getting done and Washington is so broken, I get that—but I really think that progress is possible or I would not be standing up here running to be president of the United States.
I know Republicans and Democrats can work together, because I've done it. As you heard Alicia say, I helped create the Children's Health Insurance Program when I was first lady. That happened with support with both parties. And it now it covers 8 million kids and when you go to get health care for your child, nobody says, "Are you a Republican or Democrat?" They say, "What does your child need?"
I worked with Republicans many times when I was a senator from New York and as secretary of state, so I know we can get results that will make real differences in people's lives.
I know however it's rare. There's no question that we need to make Washington work much better than it does today. And that means in particular: getting unaccountable money out of our politics.
One of the reasons this election is so important is because the Supreme Court stands in the balance. We need to overturn that terrible Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, and then go a lot further to reform our whole campaign finance system.
This is about our democracy—but it's also about our economy. Campaign finance reform and reducing the power of special interests is directly relevant to getting Washington working for the people again—making the right investments, putting your jobs and your economic security first.
That's why I'm so passionate about this issue, and I'm will fight hard to end the stranglehold that the wealthy and special interests have on so much of our government.
So, let's do this together. A historic investment in jobs. Debt-free college. Profit sharing. Making those at the top pay their fair share. Putting families first in our modern economy. And a democracy where working people's voices are actually heard. That is what we are fighting for in this election.
As I said during the primary I am a progressive who likes to get things done and we can do this.
Just for a minute, compare what I am proposing to what we hear from Donald Trump. The self-proclaimed "King of Debt" has no real ideas for making college more affordable or addressing the student debt crisis. He has no credible plan for rebuilding our infrastructure, apart from his wall. He has no real strategy for creating jobs, just a string of empty promises. Maybe we shouldn't expect better from someone whose most famous words are, "You're fired."
Well, here's what I want you to know: I do have a jobs program. And as president, I'm going to make sure you hear, "You're hired."
Here's the bottom line: Economists left, right, and center all agree Donald Trump will drive America back into recession. Just this week, one of Senator John McCain's former economic advisors said Trump's policies would wipe out, wipe out three-and-a-half million jobs. His tax cuts tilted toward the wealthy would add more than $30 trillion to our national debt over the next 20 years.
That is just astonishing and it's no wonder that the Economist Intelligence Unit, one of the leading firms that analyzes the top threats to the global economy, now ranks a Trump presidency No. 3, right behind problems in China and volatility in the commodities markets.
Look, I know Donald Trump hates it when anyone points out how hollow his sales pitch really is. I guess my speech yesterday must have gotten under his skin because right away he lashed out on Twitter with outlandish lies and conspiracy theories, and he did the same in his speech today.
Now think about it. He's going after me personally because he has no answers on the substance. In fact, he doubled down on being the King of Debt.
So all he can do is try to distract us. That's even why he's attacking my faith, sigh. And of course attacking a philanthropic foundation that saves and improves lives around the world.
It's no surprise he doesn't understand these things. The Clinton Foundation helps poor people around the world get access to life-saving AIDS medicine.
Donald Trump uses poor people around the world to produce his line of suits and ties. Here in North Carolina, you know as well as anyone that our economy is already too unpredictable for working families. We can't let Donald Trump bankrupt America the way he bankrupted his casinos. We need to write a new chapter in the American Dream—and it can't be Chapter 11.
Please, join me in this campaign, I'm offering a very different vision. We're stronger together. We're stronger when we grow together. We're stronger when our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. I am convinced that if we work hard if we go into November with the confidence and optimism that should be the American birthright, we will not only win an election, we will chart the course to the future that we want and deserve.
Thank you and God bless you.