Saturday, July 18, 2015

Elizabeth Warren: "The American people are Progressives"

Below is a 9 minute video of a few excerpts from Elizabeth Warren's recent 30-minute speech at the Netroots Nation annual convention in Phoenix Arizona (2015).

In her keynote speech, Elizabeth Warren goes down a laundry list of what most Americans believe in, making her point why most Americans (whether they realize it or not) are really "progressives" in their political ideology when it comes to key economic issues — but that people "would rather swallow a slug than admit to liking any political party".

A recent Gallop Poll shows how people currently identify: 31% Democrat — 25% Republican — with the majority (41%) as Independents (Maybe these are the progressives).

Elizabeth Warren notes that most Americans agree with progressive ideas when it comes to the progressive's policies on minimum wage, student loans, paid sick leave, tax fairness, strengthening and expanding Social Security, fast-tracking trade deals, campaign finance reform, Wall Street reform and the "revolving door" (such as when politicians go to work as corporate lobbyists when they leave public office).

[Below is the text to Warren's excerpts in the 9 minute video above, which was edited for length — and starts at about the 8 minute mark into Warren's speech. The links were added FYI.]

...Now Republicans may vote to keep workers in poverty, but on minimum wage, the American people are Progressives.

Progressives believe that students shouldn’t be crushed by debt and the federal government should not make a profit on student loans. And so do 73% of Americans. Beltway Republicans may vote to stomp on people who are deep in debt, but on student loans, the American people are Progressives — and to them “debt free” college sounds pretty darn good.

Progressives believe that people should be able to care for sick family members without fear of losing their jobs, and so do 80% of Americans. Republicans may pander to their big business pals, but on paid sick leave, the American people are Progressives. That's what we have to remember.

Progressives believe that millionaires and billionaires should pay the same taxes [tax rates] as their secretaries, and so do two-thirds of all Americans. Republicans may support special breaks for the rich and powerful, but on tax fairness, the American people are Progressives.

Progressives believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means a commitment to strengthening and expanding Social Security—and 79% of likely voters in last year’s election also supported increasing Social Security benefits. So Republicans may try to cut benefits, but on Social Security, the American people are Progressives and they are ready to take on the retirement crisis in this country.

Progressives believe in trade, but not the kind written behind closed doors by corporate lawyers that leave American workers eating dirt. Nearly two-thirds of Americans favor some sort of trade restrictions, and more than half oppose fast-tracking trade deals. Republicans — and some Democrats [listed here] — may want to make it easier for multinational corporations to ship jobs overseas, but on trade, the American people are Progressives.

Progressives believe that powerful corporations and billionaires have far, far too much influence over our politics and their stranglehold over our government rigs the game. Nearly three-quarters of America agrees. Republicans may cozy up to their billionaire sugar-daddies, but on campaign finance and Washington reform, the American people are Progressives.

Progressives believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher legal enforcement — and five years after Dodd-Frank it’s time to stop pretending and really end Too Big to Fail with rules like Glass-Steagall. That's right, and here's the deal — 79% of Americans believe Wall Street should be held accountable with tougher rules. Beltway Republicans may be willing to let the biggest banks break our economy again, but on Wall Street reform, the American people are Progressives.

[Break in video]

And there’s a pot of money we need to talk about — the money that keeps the revolving door spinning. It’s about big bonuses that Wall Street banks pay their executives to spend a little time running our government, and about the big payoffs that these banks offer when people leave government and head to Wall Street.

[Break in video]

Wall Street insiders have enough influence in Washington already without locking up one powerful job after another in the Executive Branch of our government. Sure, private sector experience can be valuable — no one ever said otherwise — but there is a point at which the revolving door compromises public interest. And we are way beyond that point. We need a government that doesn’t work just for the rich and powerful — we need a government that works for the people!

[Break in video]

Alright, just a couple day ago days ago, Tammy Baldwin introduced a new bill to slow down the revolving door. I want to help out here. This bill would put an end to Wall Street banks giving multi-million dollar bonuses to their executives for taking government jobs. That's what her bill is — no more paying people off to remember their Wall Street friends while they run our government. No more wink-and-a-nod working-in-the-public-interest while pocketing millions of dollars from your friends on Wall Street — the same friends who will welcome you back once your turn through government is over. Now look, this bill won’t fix everything, but it'll throw some heavy sand in the gears of the revolving door — and it’s a bill any presidential candidate should be able to cheer for.

We're running out of time. The middle class in this country has been hacked at, squeezed, and hammered until it’s nearly at the breaking point. Unions are under a brutal attack. With no job growth in the middle, the poor are trapped, with opportunity only a distant dream. A generation of young people is caught in a slow-growth economy in the US while giant corporations are building their their investments overseas.

[Break in video]

You heard those numbers — on minimum wage, on student loans, on Wall Street, on taxes — you heard them — two-thirds ... 73% ... 80% ... those were Democrats and Republicans. Independents and Libertarians. Young people and seniors. People who breathe party politics and people who would rather swallow a slug than admit to liking any political party. That’s America. And as different as we are — on these key economic issues, on the economic issues that will shape the future of this country — America is Progressive.

[Break in video]

Insider Washington turns its back. So it’s on us. It’s on us to show that our agenda is America’s agenda — and that America’s agenda is a progressive agenda. It’s on us to show what we believe in and to fight for the values we believe in.

I'm here today because there's one thing I know — you don't get what you don't fight for. So I came to Netroots because we need fighters out there. We need fighters who are ready to say "enough!" to Insider Washington. Fighters who are ready to fight for America's agenda — for a progressive agenda. Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to do this? Then let's do it!

* Editor's Note: A slightly mis-edited version of her complete speech is posted here at the Huffington Post (in case you want to compare it with Hillary's recent speech) — and the full video to Warren's entire speech is here. My related post: Who's Afraid of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders?

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