tv Senator Elizabeth Warren Discusses This Fight is Our Fight CSPAN June 2, 2017 1:12am-2:23am EDT
70% of all the income growth in that time period. the rich did better. i get it. but -- here's the thing. when you scratch through the data it's all the way. it's every -- everybody did better. the pie got bigger and everybody got more to eat. now, look, we weren't perfect. not by any stretch. the black-white wealth gap was there from the first time we measured with africas held firmly at the bottom. but here is the deal. america was so committed just to the basic notion of opportunity that we may change it. and in the civil rights era, 1960s and 1970s, their black-white wealth gap shrank.
so we aren't there, not by any stretch put we were on a road. and then we mitt 1980. ronald reagan. trickle down economics. deregulate. turn the banks loose to do whatever they want to do. stop enforcing or slow down an enforcing antitrust laws. and that stuff about taxes. cut taxes for those at the top and when you cut taxes for those at the top, all those investments in education, in infrastructure, in basic research, start shrinking, and that is exactly what we did. and here's the deal. gdp keeps going right on up, goes up across both time periods. gdp keeps going up so how did the 90% do? from 1980 to 2016.
the answer is the 90%, everybody outside the top 10%, got nothing. none of the new income growth. zip. nearly 100% of the new income growth in america from 1980 to 2016 has gone to the top 10% in this country. think about that. the black-white wealth gap in that period of time has tripled. yeah. that's what trickle down has done for african-american families. and there are people who well point out, but there's a whole lot more food stamps than there used to be. yeah, and low income. >> true. but this is about people who want a chance to earn a living. people who want to be able to
build something for themselves, people who want to be able to get out the and work, have some security, and be able to build for themselves and for their kids. and that part is just gone. and now here comes the real twist of the knife. it at any time have to happen. -- it didn't have to happen. didn't happen that the middle class started doing really, really badly and working families across the spectrum started doing really badly because of gravity. that damn gravity will get you every time, you snow? it goes down and then you have to come back down. nope. nope. country keeps getting richer. didn't happen because of technology and didn't happen pause of constitution international. you have to keep your eye on the very first stand. we're getting richer. richer, richer, richer. the difference is what is happening, who is getting to
participate in the richness. no, the story i tell in this book about what happened, why it changes between time one and time two is basically a bunch of billionaires and corporate ceos decided to invest millions -- not -- billions of dollars in making sure that washington worked well for them. they made that investment and it paid off. and that is what we see in the data from 1980 on forward. so, the way i see it, this book is a story about good and evil. it is -- i even -- [cheers and applause]
i am unapologetic about that. it is a story about right and wrong. it is a story about monumental fights. it is a story about billionaires and giant corporations and their buddies in washington. and it is also a story about mike from douglas, massachusetts, and kai and gina and the other michael. so, let me good become and read you a little bit more from this book. trump and his team seem to believe that government is the enemy, and that poor beleaguered giant corporations should be turned loose to do whatever they want, break the economy, poise son the -- poison the water, cut cozy deals with russia, refuse
to pay people for the hours thaw work. trump and his team have the pour to destroy much of what is left of america's middle class. the power to ex-distinguish the hope that all of our children will have a chance to grow up and do better than their parents. there's a lot of tough stuff in this book. i'm worried that trump is about to deliver the knock-out blow to the middle class. want to focus this down. this is not about what donald trump says. this is not about donald donalds 3:00 in the morning tweets. this is about what donald trump does. what donald trump and his republican friends in congress
are doing to this country right now. here we are, we haven't even hit the 100 day mark yet and i just want to mention just a few of these. donald trump has already signed off on law to make it easier for government contracts to steal employee wages. he has already signed off on a law to make it easier for companies that kill or maim their employees to deep -- keeped hidden. signed off on a law to make it easier for investment advisers to cheat retirees and for me, trumpcare said it all. when they came together to say here's how we'll improve healthcare in america. we'll knock 24 million people off healthcare coverage. we'll raise costs for a whole bunch of people in the middle
class, but we're going to give a tax break to a handful of millionaires and billionaires. there is anyone in america who thought, man, what we reallied in to get our healthcare system working again is a tax break for millionaires and billionaires? and, yet, that has been the signature piece of the first 100 days. trump and his republican buddies are delivering one gut punch after another to middle class families and that is exactly why i am here to fight back. that's why i'm here to fight back. [cheers and applause]
>> we got more. so i want to take you to place near the end of the book and it's near the end of the book in part because i would still be writing this become -- this book every day. want to tell you how i tried to pull this together. what it starts with, this section near the end, is -- it starts with i watched donald trump be inaugurated. went to the inauguration. i wanted to good i really did. i wanted it burn into any eyeballs. [cheers and applause] it's like if there was ever a moment when i would say, oh, god is this is hard. eye closed my eyes and say, i'm ready. the next day, is the day of the women's march. anybody here go -- [cheers and applause] yeah.
yes. [cheers and applause] >> yes. good. good. we got a lot of. [cheers and applause] >> woo. okay. so, it's the next morning, and i went to the women's march -- i know the women's march in washington. went to the women's march become in boston. so, i'm thinking about this. been thinking before this for a long time. really interest this. how can we fight back? i get it. democrats in the house and senate, very limited tools to fight with. and i'm thinking, we got to have an army. we got raise an army. what does an army look like in a democracy? so, here's where i pick up. by now we were eight or ten blocks from boston common where in the march would begin. the sidewalks were full of people hurrying toward the
common. women in pink pussy hat. men pushing strollers looking very debonair. kid laughing and running. i saw a little girl on her father's shoulders and clutching a hand-lettered sign that read: i fight like a girl. me, too sweetie. so, as we rounded the corner i looked out at the massive crowd and it really was, an ocean of sciences. colorful, clever, creative. i'll read you four of them. have more in the become. i love the signs. i'm so into the signs now. so, this is my first protest. but not my last. i love that sign. there's another sign. like from a broken down
cardboard box. totally into this. and it said: not usually a sign guy. but, gees, women's rights are not up for grabs. [applause] and donald, you ain't seen nasty yet. [cheers and applause] we weren't fully organized yet but the power was there. the energy was everywhere. on a cold, bright, saturday morning, something special was happening. every step brought us closer together. everyone on boston common, everyone in washington, everyone in little towns and big cities across america and around the
world. we talked and held signs that pointed to many different paths but all those paths pointed toward building opportunities. not just for some of our people but for all of them and our very act of marching delivered the loudest possible proclamation of our deep, down, unshakable belief we can make democracy work again, by insisting that this government serve the people. we are an army, an army filled with optimism and hope and fierce determination. that is what we are. [cheers and applause] >> as i marched in boston, with tens of thousands of others that day, i had no illusions.
thank you, okay, okay. all right. liz. there you are. wow, okay. let's do this. we'll get some great questions. >> what are your ideas to help alleviate student loan debt, private and federally funded. the heavy burden of mom payments can stunt growing and middle class and not only undergreats but graduate lones -- loans as well. >> this is a great question and i want to start with something about why this is really deeply personal for me. i grew up in a family with a whole lot of financial ups and downs. hey dad hat a lot of different jobs. in a bad space. we lost our family station wagon, nearly lost our home. i listened to my mother cray every night because she thought it was gone, and we kind of evened out on that but for the time i was graduated from high
school there was no money for college. no money even for college applications. i got a scholarship. i was a waiter -- still shows -- i was debater, i got a debate scholarship issue got married young, dropped out of college. oh, so smart. but i got my chance, and my chance was a $50 a semester commuter college in texas. yeah. and the way i look at this is i am the daughter of a janitor who ended up as approve at harvard law school and a united states senator because america believed in investing in its children and i am deeply grateful -- [cheers and applause]
and that opportunity is not out there anymore. today, 70% of young people graduating from public universities have to borrow money to get there, and, boy, here's the twist of the knife. the united states government is making a profit. billions of dollars in profits off student loans. that is obscene and we must change it. it's just wrong. so, here's how i think of this. this is why i talk about policy. this is why it matters so much. to the very first bill i introduced to the united states senate, very first one to cult the interest rate on student loans, right? that's it. bring it down. do not make a profit.
i was being just a little cheeky. i said, how about if we charge students the same amount we're charging jp morgan chase and citibank when we loan them money. [cheers and applause] so anyway, ultimately we go through all this but here's the problem. because the united states government is making profits off these student loans they've already been budgeted. so all those politics have already been built into the budget. so, in order to push this bill through, what i had to do was come up with a way to pay for it. you actually have to pay to get rid of those profits, to balance off the profits. i proposed basically the bucket rule, right? only millionaires and billionaires would have to pay taxes -- pull out your violents -- -- violents -- violins -- have to pay taxes the same rate as middle class families pay. think about is.
i know, it's so sad. so sad. but if they did that -- if they just paid at just the same rate as middle class families -- they could drop the interest rate and put more money into the universities and bring down the cost of knowledge for everyone. you need to work on the cost of knowledge and student loans. so the -- the cost of college and student loans. so it's right in front of us. america's going to spend money. spend it on tax breaks for the richest among us or spend the very same money on opening the door for tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people who are just trying to get a
start, just trying to make something of their lives. this kind of choice, this is a choice about our values, a statement of who we are as a people. and there was a time in america where the answer to that was really easy. we make the investment in our kids. make the investment in our future, and unfortunately, today there is a time when that answer is already out there and locked in. and it's locked in with a whole bunch of people in washington who say, huh-uh. you've not only got to protect those at the top, but the job we have to do is that we got to give more tax cuts to those at the top. so, i say this by way of saying, look. i'm in this fight all the way but this is the core kind of fight. the one that guess into -- who are you fighting for here? which side do you stand on?
tide you come to washington to help the rich and powerful get a little more powerful, or come to washington to work for the people? i think the only way we can macthe change we need to make, the way to mike shower that -- make sure that everyone in this country can get an education without getting crushed by student loan debt is it's going to take all of us rising up, take democracy, all of us saying we are in this fight and know from every one of our senators and representatives where you stand on this. we push this issue forward we will win on this one. it might take time but we can do it. [cheers and applause] >> in the last election, clinton offered an economy that works for all but the only specific
action she spoke spoke about was infrastructure action. trumpered offed to cancel tpp, renegotiate and a half dark -- nafta. what whisk actions will democrats offer to increase manufacturing jobs and stop the loss of jobs out of the u.s.a. >> i'm going to challenge the premise of the request. whoever asked the question, i'm coming back at you. actually don't think the problem in this last election was somebody had a better list than somebody else. i really think the problem is we have to stand up and say what we are going to fight for. i tangled mightily with people in my own party, including my own president, over trade issues. and i still think i was right. i do. i do. and we can talk about those
because i think they're really important. but i think the question of how we build jobs in middle class here in america -- i want to describe it slightly different. something i talk about a lot in this book. it's how you filter everything. it's not one decision. it's a thousand decisions. a million decisions. and the question is, are you filtering every single thing that comes your way through the lens of the lobbyists, and the campaign contributors, and the bought and paid for experts, and the think tanks with the shadowy funding, and the advertising, is it filtered through where money makes sure that its point of view is always, always, always represented in the room in or filtered through what it takes
for working people to be able to make it? i mean, what is the one -- talk about education. how does anybody go home and explain to their constituents that i just voted to keep a giant tax break in place for a bunch of rich people and -- but not to worry because it will come out the same on the budget because we're going to make the money up off the backs of a bunch of kids who couldn't afford to go to college without borrowing money. so, yeah, you know what i think this is about i do think it's about educating people so that we have -- our best asset is a work force. so make the investment in education. make the investment in 21st 21st century infrastructure right here in america. we are making such a mistake, and i talk about this in the become a lot -- about how other
countries are making the investments in infrastructure, every time china makes an investment in infrastructure, the europeans are head of us in making investments in infrastructure. every time they do that they're investing in good jobs in their countries. they're making it easier for businesses to locate their and workers to get become and forth to work and goods to be able to move around. that is part of it. trade policy, you bet, is about trade policy. it's about trade policy that isn't just written by and for the top corporations in the country. it's about trade policy that has real representation. for unions, fork work -- for workers, environmentalists, for a people who care about what happens is in country and design the trade policy so it forks for jobs here.
other countries are trying to poach our researchers no because there's committed to expanding knowledge in the world -- i'm sure there's one or two people who care about that. i'm serious. they want to poach our researchers because they recognize that when you come up with good ideas, and you build them, that all kinds of amazing things come from that. you've build whole industries out of it. right now, every dollar ih spends immediately results in 2.25, roughly that much in just other immediate check activity. play it out. nano technology, gps, comes out of our labs. they poaching it because they understand that this is how you build a dynamic future, dynamic future not for a bunch of people right up at the top who just sit
around and invest. a dynamic future for the people who actually good out and do the work. think about is, it's not like it's a secret. what it takes to build a dynamic economy. it's not a secret what it takes to build good jobs. what it takes is political courage to say, no, to the rich and powerful, we're building a country that works for the rest of it. that's what it takes. [cheers and applause] >> my dad is in financial sector and says he will vote republican if you rub for -- if you run for higher offers. >> that's fine. >> he is a democrat. he voted for jimmy carter in
1980. how die convince him you -- how do i convince him you won't destroy his job. >> actually, here's the thing. i get there. there are folks in wall street who say you're going to take away everything i do. i say, only if your lying and cheating. [cheers and applause] >> if that's your business model, then you are in trouble. if you -- you should be. you should be in trouble. if your whole business model -- let sell people mortgages designed to blow up. like let's sell people grenades with the pins already pulled out. and heat make more money boxing those up and selling them to municipalities so it will blow
big things up. and ultimately blew up the whole economy. the reason i say this is because, yes, we need financial sector, of course we need a financial sector, but the financial sector needs rules. rules. rules are what keeps markets working. let me start with teddy roosevelt. i talk about this a little bit in the book. the whole idea, if you let the giants completely dominate and do whatever they want to do, the market actually ultimately collapsed, and i'll make the same point on kind of a large sale. we keep rollling over america's middle class and working family, that great dynamic engine that has pulled our economy decade after decade, consumer spending, people who get up and go to work
every day and earn paychecks and then go pends those paychecks, that's been 70% of our economy. that just goes away. what i want is really the -- i want -- i just want a set of rules so we have a level playing field. i just want a set of rules so that -- nobody can steal your purse on main street but nobody can steal your pension on wall street, right? it's that same kind of idea. [cheers and applause] >> and can you make a good living out of that on wall street? you but. in fact you might make a better living out of it in the long run and that's what we got to do. we got have a financial sector that there is to serve our economy, that's robust, strong, but it will be strong if there's
a fair set of rules and everybody is playing by the same resident -- same set of rules and doesn't crash our economy. look be pictures in the become. me at 19. yeah. really was an embarrassment. but among the pictures in the book -- i just want to say this quickly because you raised this -- is that america was once a boom and bust economy. and i start inside the 1790s, and the economy explodes. start with a little -- in the picture and about every 20 years, you watch the economy, what happens? it would explode, then kind of start coming back and there would be and-and people get together and some investment and the economy goes up and then overheat and expose -- explode again the problem was when it
exploded it took down farmers and workers and small businesses, along with the speculators on wall street. that happened about every 20 years until 1930, and when the big one came in 1930, franklin roosevelt said in effect in 1933, as a country, we can do better. we can put some basic rules in place. they're not very complicated. not too onerous. puts' basic rules in place and we can buy some economic peace, and that's what we did. we built an sec that just meant putting a cop on the beat. made fdic insurance to make safe to put money in banks. we made glass-steagall. we separated order boring banking that you had to protect
all the time, from high risk speculation on wall street elm made those three changes, start enforcing the antitrust laws a little more vigorously. it bought us economic peace. basically until 2008. that is what it did, and you what? during that time, america got richer, families got richer, and even wall street got richer. we just need some rules. we have to have some basic rules to make the economy work and that means making wall street work for everyone. that's what it is. [cheers and applause] >> senator warren, this is a question from andrew from virginia. i suspect it speaks for many people in the roosevelt are we
going to be okay? >> yes. it is really scary because it's scary at multiple levels. scary because the purposes -- punchers coming harder economically and the 90%, we have far less to fall back on. closer and closer to the edge of the cliff. scary because the world out there is scary. i'm now on armed services and get lots of briefings and i'm sleeping a lot less. it's scary because of our earth. i'm going to say another really shocking thing.
believe in science. [cheers and applause] so it's coming at us. it's coming at us hard and fast. and with donald trump in the white house and the republicans in the house and not who do not seem inclined to rein him in, it's scary. these is why i'm so into this fight. why i wrote the book and it's called "this fight is our fight" because we're down to the short strokes here and we don't have a majority on our side in the house or senate. we scant stop him. there's some thing wes can stop but as you saw with gorsuch, they just changed the rules. they decide when they have the
majority, what they want to do with it. our only chance is democracy. it's all the people who stand up and make their voices heard. its all the people who stood up over health care, and said, no. no. that is not who we are. we can do better than that. it is all the people who made their voices heard. we have to win on health care. we really do. and it wasn't because we had more votes in the house and senate. we got the win because what people did across the country. this book ultimately -- this question -- my answer to the question is one of optimism, because what is on the line here is democracy. what are we going to do with this country? are we going to be a country that is just going to sit by and say politics is what we do once
every four years? start speculating now about the next round of the presidential 0, or once every two years for the senate and house races, or a country that has made a change, a country that changed on the day of the women's march when we said, we get it. we got be active right now today. we cannot wait. i am scared about what donald trump will do between now and 3:00 a.m. and that means we have all got to be in this fight, right now, all the way. it is our only chance. so, when she asked me, are we going to be okay? the real answer is, if we all hang together and get the fight, yes, we will be okay. [cheers and applause] ...
so that is number one. number two don't shoot at everything that moves. it is a master distraction. whatever they are talking about. i am watching this right after the election and we were starting to get traction on the whole issue back in november starting to get some traction around the issue of. at massachusetts people went across the border and voted in new hampshire and now that is all anybody wanted to talk abo
you get so excited sometimes that we have to reach out to us people. so, talk to your sister, your mom, your brother-in-law, your crazy uncle. talk to the person standing behind you in line getting a sandwich. why health-care field is in part because it wasn't just democrats fighting back, it was independents, republicans. so, make that a part of what you are committed to do.
it's not going to work. you've got to commit to do something every single day. it's like things are whether it is a phone call every day or to send an e-mail every day, promised to talk to one new person every day. a lot is changing of the day this is the fundamental question and that is how committed are you.
it does invest in building a future and if you are committed to that then you will live that commitment every single day. a little piece of food you are and what you do. so. i'm glad that we care that these issues and are looking for ways to get more involved. but i also want to say this is our history. it isn't the one we thought it would be and it's not the one
that any of us dreamed about but the moment that we are called to. the question going forward is what kind of people we are and what kind of a country we will build. this is about the character of the nation. the character of the nation isn't the character of the president. it is of the people. ' [applause]