tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 24, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
bill of rights and what roosevelt outlined was what he called a second bill of rights. this is in my view one of the more important speeches ever made by a president, but unfortunately, it has not gotten the attention that it deserves. so, i'm going to give it some attention today. in his remarkable speech, this is what roosevelt stated. and i quote. we have come to a clear realizization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. necessity men and woman are not free men and woman. end of quote. in other words, real freedom
must include economic security, and that was roosevelts vision 70 years ago. it's my vision today. it is a vision that we have not yet achieved and it is time that we did. in that speech he developed the economic rights are rights that he believed every american was entitled too. the right to a descent job and
descent pay. the right to adequate food, clothing and time off from work. the right for every business large and small to function in an atmosphere free and have a descent home and health care. what he was stating and what martin luther king jr. state and in terms and what i believe today is that true freedom does not occur without economic security and people are not free and when they're unable to feed
their family. they are not truly free when they're unable to retire with dignity. they're not truly free when they are unemployed, underemployed or when they are exhausted by working 60, 70 hours a week. people are not truly free when they don't know how they're going to get medical help when they or a family member are sick. so let me take this opportunity and define for you what democratic socialism means to me. it means building on what franklin roosevelt said when they fought for guaranteed economic rights and for all
americans. and this country has socialism for the rich and then the poor. end of quote. my view of democratic socialism builds on the success of men other countries around the world who have done a far better job than we have. in protecting the needs of their working families, their elderly citizens, their children, their sick and their poor. democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system which is corrupt, that we must create an economy that
works for all, not just the very wealthy. democratic socialism to my mind speaks to a system which for example, during the 1980s, i want you to hear this. allowed wall street to spend $5 billion over a ten-year period, in lobbying and campaign contributes in order to get deregulated. they wanted the government off of their backs, they wanted to do whatever they wanted to do. spent $5 billion over a ten-year period on lobbying and campaign contributions. then ten years later after the greed and recklessness and illegal behavior led to their
collapse and what the system enabled them to do and is to get bailed out by the united states government which provided millions of dollars to aide to wall street. in other words, wall street used their wealth and power to get congress to do their bidding for deregulation and then when wall street collapsed, they used their wealth and power to get bailed out. quite a system. and then, to add insult to injury, we were told that not only were the banks too big to fail, we were told that the bankers were too big to jail.
and this is the system. young people who get caught possessing marijuana, they get police records and many, many hundreds of thousands of them have received police records, which have impacted their lives in very serious ways. on the other hand, wall street ceos who helped destroy the economy, they don't get police records. they get raises in their salaries and this is what dr. martin lewuther king jr. meant when he talked about socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for everyone else. in my view, it is time we had democratic socialism for working families. not just for wall street. billionaires and large corp.
races. it means that we should not be providing welfare for corporations. it means that we should not be are providing huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in the country or trade policies which boost corporate profits while they result in workers losing their jobs. it means that we create a government which works for all of the american people not just powerful special interest. it means economic rights must be an essential part of what america stands for. among many other things, it means that health care should be a rights of all people not a privilege.
and imagine in the united states all of us having health care as a right, but i hope all of you know this is not a radical idea. imagine. in the united states of america, all of us having health care as a right. but i hope all of you know this is not a radical idea, it is a conservative idea. it is an idea and a practice that exists in every other major country on earth. not just in scandinavia, finland, norway. it exists in canada. i live 50 miles away from canada. not a radical idea to exist in france and germany and taiwan. all over the world the countries
have made the determination that all of the people are entitled to health care and i believe the time is long over due. for the united states to join the rest of the world. med care for all single ones that i support would not only guarantee health care for all people, not only save middle class families and our entire nation significant sums of money because all of you should know that our health care system is by far the most expensive per capita of any system on earth. but u a medicare for all single payer program would radically improve the lives of all
americans and bring about significant improvements in our economy. think about it. people who get sick will not have to worry about paying a deductible or making a copayment. radical idea. when they're sick, they can actually go to the doctor. and not end up in the emergency room at a much greater expense to the system. think about it. business owner will not have to spend enormous amounts of time worrying about how they're going to provide health care for their employees. you have millions of people staying on jobs that they do not want to stay in, but they're there because they have a descent health care and i don't have to worry about health care
when young people can say, this is the job that i love. this is what i want to do and i'm going to go out and start this business or do this work. and i don't have to worry about health care. because all of us in america have health care. and by the way, what a medicare for all system will bring about is ending the absurdity of the american people paying by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. now when i talk about democratic socialism and what that means is that public education must today
allow every person in the country that have the ability, qualifications and the desire and the right to go to a public college or university tuition free. is this a radical socialistic idea? i don't think so. it exists in many countries all over the world and you know what, used to exist in the united states of america. we had great universities like the university of california and
university of new york tuition free. democratic socialism means that our government does everything it can to create a full employment economy. it makes far more sense to me to put millions of people back to work rebuilding our infrastructure than to have a real unemployment rate of almost 10%. ten percent. it's far smarter to invest in jobs and educational opportunities for young people jobs and educational opportunities for young people who are unemployed than to lock them up and invest in jails and incarceration.
democratic socialism means that if somebody works 40 hours a week that person should not be living in poverty. that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage $15 an hour over the next several years. it means that we join the rest of the world and pass the very strong paid family and medical league legislation now sitting in congress. i want you to think about this. i really want you to see what goes on in the country today.
it's not only that every other major country. not talking about you are europe or others, virtually every country in the world and poor country and small country reach the conclusion that when a woman has a baby, she should not be forced to be separated from that newborn baby after a week or two and have to go back to work. making sure that moms and dads can stay home and get to love their babies is a family value that we should support. that is why i want and will fight to end the absurdity of the united states being one of the only countries on earth that does not guarantee at least three months of paid and family medical leave.
democratic socialism to me means that we have government policy. strong government policy that does not allow the greed and to destroy our environment and our planet. it means to me that we have a moral responsibility to combat the climate change and leave this planet healthy for the kids and our grandchildren.
democratic socialism means that in a democratic civilized society, the wealthiest people and the largest corporations must pay their fair share of taxes. yes, innovation and business success should be rewarded, but greed for the sake of greed is not something that public policy should support. it is not acceptable to me that in the last period of time. last two years, 15 of the
wealthiest people in this country. 15 people saw their wealth increased in this economy by $170 billion. got it. two years. 15 people $170 billion increased in their wealth. that's more wealth than owned by the bottom 130 million americans. let us know forget what pope francis has so elegant ly state and i quote, we have created new idols. the worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking a truly humane goal, end of quote. in other words, we have got to do better than that.
it's not a political issue. not an economic issue. it is a cultural issue. we have got to stop worshipping people who make billions and billions and billions of dollars. while we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country. it's not acceptable to me that major corporations snatch their profits in the cayman islands and other tax havens to avoid paying $100 billion a year in taxes. it's not acceptable that hedge fund managers pay a lower rate than nurses or truck drivers. it's not acceptable that billionaire families are able to leave all of their wealth to their families without paying an estate tax. it's not acceptable that wall street is available to gamble trillions of dollars in the market without paying a nickel in taxes on that speculation.
socialism to me does not mean that we create a nation of economic social justice and in sanity. of course it does mean that. it also means that we must create a vibrant democracy based on the principal of one person, one vote. it is extremely sad and i hope that all f you will pay a lot of attention to this issue. it's extremely sad that the united states, one of the oldest stablest democracy in the world has one of the lowest voter turn out of any major country and that millions of young people and working people have given up on the political process entirely.
in the last midterm election just a year ago, 63% of american people didn't vote. 80% of young people did not vote ch clearly, despite the efforts of some republican governors who want to suppress the vote, to make it hard for people of color to participate in the political system, our job together is to make it easier for people to vote, not harder for people to vote. it is not a radical idea and i will fight for this as hard as i can as president, to say that everyone in this country who is 18 years of age or older is registered to vote. end of discussion.
so, the next time you hear me attack as a socialist like tomorrow, remember this. i don't believe government should take over you know, the grocery store down the street. or or own means of production, but i do believe that the middle class and the working families of this country who produce the wealth of this country deserve a desents standard of living and that their incomes should go up, not down. i do believe in private companies that thrive and invest and grow in america, companies
that create jobs here, rather than companies that are shutting down in america and increasing their profits by exploiting low wage labor abroad. i believe that most americans can pay lower taxes of hedge fund managers who make billions manipulating the marketplace finally start paying the taxes that they should. i don't believe in special treatment for the top 1%. but i do believe in equal treatment. for african-americans who are right to proclaim the moral principle that black lives matter.jnnwr
to what i've been hearing from some of the republican candidates for president in recent months. people can have honest disagreements about immigration or anything else. that's called democracy. but people should not be using the political process to inject racism into the the debate. if donald trump and others want who refer to latinos and people from mexico as criminals and rapists, if they want to open that door, our job is to shut that door and shut it tight.
this country has gone too far and too many people have suffered and too many people have died for us to continue hearing racist words coming from major political leaders. now, i don't believe in some foreignism, but i do believe in american idealism and one of the real joys i've experienced on this campaign so far, being here today with you, being all over the country, is seeing the huge numbers of young people who are coming out. who want to make this country bett better, who want to use their intelligence and energy to address the many problems that we have.
so i want to thank all of the young people here and owl over this country for their idealism and do not become cynical i am not running for president because it's my turn. i was born in a three and a half room apartment in a working class family in brooklyn, new york. i don't think -- i got brooklyn, vermont. and by the way, i visited california -- but in seriousness, it is not quite my turn. that's not why i am running for president. but i am running for president in order for all of us to be able to live in a nation of hope and opportunity. not for some, but for my seven
grandchildren and for all of you. nobody understood better than franklin roosevelt the connection between american strength at home and our ability to defend america around the world and that is why he proposed a second bill of rights in 1944 and said in that same state of the union and i quote xwen, america's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens. for unless there's security at home, there cannot be lasting piece peace in the world. end quote. now i am not running for president to pursue the reckless adventures aboard, but to rebuild americas strength at home.
i will never hesitate to defend the nation, but i will never send our sons and daughters to war under false pretension or pretenses about dubious battles with no end in sight. and as we discuss the foreign policy, i know that all of you share with me your shock and your horror at what happened in paris and you share with me the condolences for those that lost loved ones and the hopes and prayers and those wounded would recover and those same thoughts go out to the families for those that lost the loved ones and the
russian flight that we believe was taken down by an isis bomb and also those that lost their lives to terrorist attacks in lebanon and elsewhere. to my mind it's clear that the united states must pursue policies that destroy the brutal isis regime and to create conditions that prevent extremist ideology from flourishing. but we cannot and should not do it alone. we cannot and should not do it our response begins and it with an understanding of past mistakes and missteps in our previous approaches to foreign policy. it begins with the acknowledgment that unilateral military action should be a last resort, not a first resort.
and that ill conceived military decisions such as the invasion of iraq can reek far reaching devastation and destabilization over regions for decades. it begins with the reflection that the failed policy decisions of the past, rushing to war, regime change in iraq. or topplining mohammed moez dec in iran in 1953. moez deck was the president, cia and others got rid of him to protect british petroleum interests. the shaw of iran came in, a brutal dictator, he was thrown out by the islamic revolution
and that is where we are in iran today. decisions have consequences. often unintended. so, rather it was saddam hussein or moez deck or bens in 1954, gular in 1964, al ye nrk di in 1973, this type of regime chak, this type of overthrowing governments, we may not like often does not work or, often makes a bad and difficult decision even worse. these are lessons we must learn. after world war ii in response to the fear and soviet
aggression and european aggression the united states established the nato. an organization based on shared interest and goals and the notion of a collective defense against a common enemy. it is my belief that we must expand on these ideas and solidify our commitments to work together to combat the global threat of terror. we must create a new organization like nato to confront the security threats of the 21st century. an organization that emphasizes cooperation and collaboration to defeat the rise of violent extremism and importantly, to address the root causes underlying these brutal acts. we must work with our nato
partners, we must work to expand the coalition with russia and we must work with members of the arab league, but let us be very clear. while the united states and other western nations have the strength of our militaries and our political systems, the fight against isis is a struggle for the soul of islam and countering violent extremism and destroying isis must be done primarily by muslim nations with the strong support of their global partners. now, this has been my view long before paris. but i am very happy to tell you, that these same sentiments have
been echoed by people like jordan's king, abdul ii in a speech just sunday in a speech in which he say terrorism is the greatest threat to our region, the middle east, and that muslims must lead the fight against it. he noted that confronting extremism is both a regional and international responsibility and that it is incumbent on muslim nations and communities to confront those who seek to hijack their societies and their religion with general races of intolerance and violent ideology. and let me congratlation king abdullah, not only for his wise remarks, but also for the role that his small country is playing in attempting to address the horrific refugee crisis in that region.
a new and strong coalition, coalition of western powers, muslim nations and countries like russia, must come together in a strongly coordinating way to combat isis, to seal the borders that fighters are currently flowing across, to share counter terrorism intelligence, to turn off the spigot of terrorist financing and to end support for exploiting extremist ideologies. now, what does that mean? what it means is that in many cases, we must ask more from those countries in the gulf region. while jordan, turkey, egypt antd
lebanon in their own ways, have accepted their responsibilities for taking in syrian refugees, other countries in the region have done nothing or very little. quality important and this is a point that may make some people uncomfortable, but it is a point that must be made. countries in the region like sars, kuwait, qatar, the uae, countries of enormous wealth and resources, have contributed far too little in the fight against isis. that must change. king abdulla is absolutely rilgt when he says that the muslim nations must lead the fight against isis and that includes
and must include some of the most wealthy and powerful nations in the region who up to this point, have done far too little. saudi arabia turns out has a third largest defense budget in the world. yet instead of fighting isis, they are focused more on a campaign to oust iran back hoeffly rebels in yemen. kuwait, a country whose ruling family was restored to power by the united states driving saddam hussein's iraq out of kuwait, has been a well-known kuwait people in kuwait, have been well-known sources of financing for isis and other violent extremists. it has been reported that qatar
will spend up to $200 billion on the 2022 world cup, including the construction of an enormous number of facilities to host that event. 200 billion on hosting a soccer event, yet very little to fight isis. worse still, it has been widely reported that the government there has not been venillage le in stem iming the flow of terrorist financing, funnel money to some of the most extreme terrorist groups in the region. all of this has got to change. wealthy and powerful muslim nations in the region can no longer sit on the sidelines and expect the united states, our young men and women and our taxpayers to do it for them.
they have got to come up to the plate. as we develop a strongly coordinated effort, we need a commitment from these countries that the fight against isis takes precedence over the religious and idea logical differences. further, we all understand that bashar al assad, president of syria, is a brutal dictator, who has slaughtered many of his own people. i am pleased that we saw last weekend diplomats from all over the world known as the international syria support group, set a timetable for a syrian led political transition with an open and fair election. these are the promising
beginningings of a collective effort to end the bloodshed and move toward a political transition in syria. the diplomatic plan for assad's transition from power is a good step in a united front. but our major priority must be to defeat isis. nations all over the world who share a common interest in protecting themselves against international terrorism, must make the destruction of isis the highest priority. nations in the region must commit that instead of turning a blind eye, they will commit their resources to preventing the free flow of terrorists and fighters to syria and iraq. we need a commitment they will counter the violent rhetoric that fuels terrorism, rhetoric that often occurs within their very borders. this is the model which we must
pursue in order to address the global threats that we face. while individual nations obviously have historic disputes, the united states and russia now have very strong differences of opinion on some very serious issues. iran and saudi arabia to put it mildly, do not like each other. but the time is now to do everything possible to put aside those differences to work toward a common goal of destroying isis. sad sadly, as we have seen recently, no country is immune in from attacks by the violent organization called isis. thuz, we must work with our partners in europe, the gulf region, africa and southeast asia, all along the way, asking the hard questions whether their
actions are serving our unified purpose. the bottom line is that isis must be destroyed, but it cannot be defeated by the united states alone. a new and effective coalition must be formed with a muslim nations leading the effort on the ground, while the united states and other major forces provide the support they need. let me conclude by once again thanking all of you for being here today. all across this country there is a significant alienation from the political process. people look to washington and throw their hands up and say what in god's name is going on there? why aren't our senators and congressmen paying attention to our needs? why aren't we developing a rational foreign policy rather
than talking again about getting involved in a quagmire in the middle east, which could lead to perpetual warfare? let me conclude by saying this. the props that we face as a nation are indeed very, very serious. talked on some, there's a lot we haven't even touched upon. but by and large, all of these problems were caused by bad human decisions. and if we come together, if we stand together, if we do not allow ourselves to be divided up by race, by whether we're gay or straight, born in america, we weren't born in america. whether a male, a female. if we stand together and if we focus on how we can create sane foreign policy, how we can rebuild the middle class, how we can combat climate change, how
all right. >> senator, again, we can't thank you enough for being here today. the institute of politics and public services invited all the major presidential candidates. i think it's a testament to your vision that you were the first to accept our invitation. thank you for being here. it's clear you have a lot of friends in this room. let's get right into it. we received a lot of questions from students as they were waiting in line in the rain this morning. you covered a lot of ground. not surprisingly, sort of the questions and the questions are very good. i'm not editing any of these questions. i am going to group some together though, where they were on a common theme.
let's begin with the central premise, these are the first part of your remarks, that was a discussion of democratic socialism. i think your remarks, you did a very good job of describing what it means to you. but as you know, senator, there's a lot of confusion just around the word. robert france, a freshman from brooklyn, who specifically asked me to shout out brooklyn right there, asks why do you choose to identify as a socialist when it seems in your platforms, you are more in the middle of the spectrum between capitalism and socialism. axel kay yak, a freshman from paris, france, in the school of foreign service, says in france, there's no problem with the word socialist. considering myself a socialist, i feel like the cultural historical pressure pushes you to call yourself a democratic socialist, although i can't see the difference between the two, so, these two questions alone
show some of the differences in how people view the word and you. i'm wondering if you would comment to that and maybe discuss that confusion and clarify it just a little bit. >> i think the reason that i have always throughout my political career, going way back when i was mayor of burlington, defined myself as a democratic socialist is that that in fact is my vision. and my vision is not just making modest changes around the edge. it is transforming american society. to make it into a much more vibrant democracy. and an economy which works much, much better for working families. and by the word, socialism, what is implicit in that to me is that it is imperative that if we are serious about change, and a
lot of people want change. but at the end of the day, real change does not take place unless we have the courage to take on the very powerful special interests that control our country. now that's my view. not everybody here may agree with me. certainly most people in congress would not, but i think at the end of the day what we have got to recognize is not just that we are experiencing mass income inequality and wealth, but a small number of people have extraordinary power and if we are not prepared to take them and to tell them they cannot run the government for their own interests, the real change that many of us want will never take place. so when i use the word socialist -- and i know some people are uncomfortable about it -- i say that it is
imperative that we create a political revolution that millions of people get involved in the political process and that we create a government that works for all, not just the few. [ applause ] >> staying on the topic for at least one more question. david alzate, a sophomore in the school of foreign service from keto, ecuador. margaret thatcher said socialists always run out of other people's money. my question is, how will your policies promote wealth creation to ensure their long-term sustainability rather than simply depend on the redistribution of existing wealth? >> well, for a start, david, given the fact that we are seeing trillions of dollars being transferred in the last 30 year frs --s from the middle class to the top 1%, we start
from a position that there is already a lot of money out there. that is an important point that has to be made. we are the wealthiest country in the history of the world and we should be doing a lot better for our working people. should not have 47 million people in poverty. how do you create wealth? of course wealth has to be created. and one of the points that i made in my remarks -- let me give you one example of it -- i believe that we significantly strengthen our economy by having a medicare for all single payor system, which will free millions of people to get involved in creating businesses and in creating jobs who today are trapped at work only because they get the health insurance that that employer is now providing. i think that if you have a trade policy not designed by corporate america to shut down plants in america and move abroad but a trade policy which works for the american worker, you can create
over a period of years millions of decent paying jobs. i believe that when you raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, it's not only the right thing to do, but as roosevelt talked about in the 1930s, when you put money, diz -- disposable income, into the hands of people today who have no disposable income, they will then take that money, spend it, and create jobs. so i think the policies that i am advocating will, in fact, create wealth, will strengthen the economy. these are diametrically opposed and opposite to this trickle down economic theory that says if we give tax breaks to billionaires and wall street, somehow or another that will benefit the middle class and the poor. history has been very clear. that is a false doctrine. it hasn't worked. [ applause ] >> i think i'd probably be run
off campus if i didn't move to this topic next. it's one that you touched on in your remarks. and that is the cost of college tuition. julia freedman, a freshman from albuquerque, new mexico, asks under your plan to reduce the costs of college, will the tax on wall street speculation be sufficient to cover the cost of the plan? and zachary, a freshman in the business school from tallahassee writes, as many of us know, one of your main policies is to make all public universities tuition free. in the united states many of the greatest universities are private universities, georgetown, so how do you plan co -- to combat the high prices of private universities? >> excellent questions. for a start, the answer to the first question is yes. the legislation i've introduced does a number of things. it makes public colleges and
universities tuition free. it also addresses the very significant crisis in this country of millions of people paying very high interest rates on their student debt, and i suspect some of you guys are going to be graduating here deeply in debt. i see at least one person there. i suspect there are many more, all right? so the -- what we do are two things, all right? public colleges and universities tuitioning, and then what we say is that it is a little bit crazy that today you have many people out there who are paying interest rates on their student debt of 6%, 8%, 10%, when we can refinance our homes at 3% or 4%. what our legislation does is allow people the ability and the freedom to get the lowest possible interest rates on their debt that they can get, and that will save people all over this country collectively many, many billions of dollars. now if you add those two features together, free tuition at public colleges and universities, substantially
lowering interest rates, it is an expensive proposition. it costs about $70 billion a year. yes, it can be paid for by a tax on wall street speculation. second point about private universities. of course we know that georgetown and many other private universities do an extraordinary job and we're all proud of the quality of education they provide. our legislation includes substantially increasing pell grants to make sure that working class and lower income families, middle-class families, can get the help they need, if they choose, to send their kids here to georgetown or harvard or any place else. we also significantly increase work -- student work programs so that universities can have funds available to employ students on campus. so your point is well taken. our legislation also makes private colleges and universities less expensive. [ applause ]
>> let's move to the second portion of your speech. molly coyle, a junior in the college of arts and sciences from denver, asks with your strong beliefs in pacifism, how will you address the recent and escalating violence in isis? does this entail opening borders to syrian and other refugees? peter abdou, a freshman in the college from bethesda asks, given recent attacks by isis worldwide, more generally how will you ensure the safety of the american people? >> first of all, let me respond to the first question. and i have a lot of respect for people who may be pacifists. i am not a pacifist.
what, in fact, i voted for -- i voted against the very first gulf war which you had to vote on within the first month i was elected to congress. i think history will record that was the right vote. then in 2002 after listening to bush and cheney and donald rumsfeld, i included they were not telling the truth and i voted against the war in iraq. [ applause ] but i did vote for the war in afghanistan because i thought that osama bin laden should be held accountable and i did vote for president clinton's effort to end the ethnic cleansing in kosovo. so no, i'm not a pacifist. i think that war should be the last resort but we have the strongest military on earth and, of course, we should be prepared to use it when it is necessary. in terms of where we are right now, i think the main point that
i try to make in my remarks is i think it would be a terrible mistake for many, many reasons for the united states virtually unilaterally to get involved in the war in syria or reinvolved in the war in iraq. and the nightmare is that we send our troops in there in combat, they come back in caskets. we send more troops in, a plane gets shot down, we send more planes in and 20 or 30 years from now we're still talking about how we get out of the quagmire in that region of the world. i agree very, very strongly with king abdullah who is absolutely right. what is going on there is a struggle for the soul of islam. there are millions and millions and millions of muslims who detest and are disgusted with what isis and other extremist groups are doing, but now they
are going to have to get into the process. it is their troops that are going to have to be on the ground. we should be supportive, and i support president obama's efforts with air strikes, with special forces, but the leadership must come from the muslim nations. coming up tonight here on c-span 3, two discussions about the george w. bush presidency. first, a look at his ideology and the role of dick cheney. then a conversation on the economic policies of the 43rd president. after that, a senate hearing on child sex trafficking and the website backpage.com. later, a house hearing on preparedness for the upcoming flu season. c-span has the best access to congress with live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate on c-span 2. over thanksgiving, watch our conversations with six