Elizabeth Warren

Iowa State Fair Political Soapbox - Aug. 10, 2019

Elizabeth Warren
August 10, 2019— Des Moines, Iowa
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Hello Iowa State Fair! My name is Elizabeth Warren and I'm running for president because I am sick of a country that works better and better for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. 2020 is our chance to make America work for everyone else, that’s why we’re here. So I want to talk to you about this America, that's a good hearted America but has a government that works great for giant drug companies, just not for people trying to get a prescription filled. Works great for investors in private prisons and private detention centers just not for people whose lives are torn apart by those institutions. Works great for giant oil companies that want to drill everywhere but just not for the rest of us who see climate change bearing down upon us. Now when you see a government that works great for the rich, works great for those with money works great for those with, connections and isn't working for much of anyone else that is corruption pure and simple and we need to call it out for what it is. So here's the deal, I have the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate here's the bad news: we need the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate. But understand this if we're gonna make change in this country we gotta be willing to tackle this corruption head on. Whatever issue brings you here today whatever touches your heart; whether it's around health care or climate or gun safety, I guarantee if there is a decision to be made in Washington; it's been influenced by money. It's been shaped by money it's been pushed by money. Our chance in 2020 is to fight back against the corruption to make our government work for us and here's a big part of how I want to do that we're not going to do it with one little Statute over here one little regulation over there. The way we're going to do it is with big structural change. Give it to me again, do you like big structural change? So I want to talk about just one aspect of that and that is big structural change in our economy. Part one right now we have an America where there's more and more power in a handful of giant corporations big AG big tech big finance big pharma you name it. They roll over their employees, they roll over their customers, they roll over their communities. We need structural change, part of it, we need somebody with the courage to enforce the antitrust laws in this country. I'm your gal on that one. But we need more. We've got to have a system where there's constant pushback there's other power in the system and that means we need more power in the hands of employees make it easier to join a union and give unions more power when they negotiate. Unions built America's middle class, unions will rebuild America's middle class. There's another way that we can do structural change in this economy, it's time for a wealth tax in America. Now for those of you who may not be familiar with it let me just give you a quick explanation, your first fifty million dollars is free and clear. I see some folks going “phew okay.” But your 50 million and first dollar you gotta pitch in two cents and--two cents hold on, hold on let's talk about what we're gonna do with that; pitch in two cents and two cents on every dollar after that and by the way anybody in here own a home or grew up in a home? So, you've been paying wealth tax forever they just call it a property tax, I'm just saying for the bazillion-airs, the top one-tenth of one percent. How about we include in addition to the real estate, the stock portfolio the diamonds, the Rembrandt's and the yachts, that's all. But understand this, the point is not to be cranky, people say you know I have this great fortune but that's 'cuz I had a great idea I got out there I worked my rear end off or I inherited it (Donald Trump) but however it is, great you built a fortune here in America. I guarantee you you built it in part with workers all of us helped pay to educate. You built it in part getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay to build. You built it in part protected by police and firefighters all of us helped pay the salaries for. So all we're saying is if you make it really big, the top one-tenth of 1% fortunes above 50 million dollars you make it that big, pitch in two cents so everybody else in this country gets a chance to make it.

Two cents. Two cents. And what can we do with two cents, just two cents and we can pay for universal child care for every baby in this country age zero to five. Universal pre-k for every three-year-old and four-year-old in this country. Raise the wages for every child care worker and preschool teacher in America. Two cents! You can do all of that and you can make technical school, Community College and four-year public College tuition free for everyone who wants to get an education and I'm not through yet. Two cents, you can do all of that and we can help level the playing field we can put 50 billion dollars directly into historically black colleges and universities in this nation. And I'll mention just one more we can do all of the things I talked about plus cancel student loan debt for ninety five percent of the kids who’ve got it. We can do all that and still have a couple hundred billion dollars left over that should tell you about what's broken in America. You know every time we see a budget it's really just a statement of our values, is it more important to leave the two cents with the bazillion airs or use that two cents to invest in all of our kids well I'm here because I think we ought to be investing in all of our kids. It's a great honor to be out here with all of you I know that this is a scary time in America and I know that what happens in 2020 is going to determine the direction of our country not just for four years or for eight years, but for generations to come. And I'm grateful to every one of you who's gotten into this fight who cares about what happens in this caucus because I know Iowa is going to be key to what happens to America in the next generation. So I just want to I just want to rap this up by saying the reason I'm here. I didn't in a million years think I’d ever end up running for any public office. I've known what I wanted to be since I was in second grade, I wanted to be a public school teacher; can we hear it for our public school teachers? But by the time I graduated from high school, my family didn't have the money for a college application, much less to send me off to four years at University. My big chance was down in Houston Texas I got a chance for a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. And on a price I could pay for on a part-time waitressing job I got a chance to finish my four-year diploma and become a special needs teacher; I've already lived my dream job. So, I stand here today in front of you to say never having thought I'd run for office, what brought me in is opportunity it's a deep down belief in opportunity not just for some of our kids not just for those born into privilege but opportunity for all of our kids. You know my daddy he ended up as a janitor, but his baby daughter, she got the opportunity to be a public school teacher, to be a college professor, to be a United States Senator and to be a candidate for president of the United States I believe in America we dream big we fight hard and we're gonna win.