tv Politics and Eggs Breakfast with Bernie Sanders CSPAN February 7, 2016 10:31am-11:31am EST
several presidential candidates in new hampshire this weekend ahead of tuesday's primary. among them, marco rubio with a town hall in bedford. about an hour from now we'll go there live at about 11:30 eastern. before then, another campaign event from new hampshire with democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders who spoke friday at a presidential steak and eggs breakfast in new hampshire. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. thank you, chairman, neil. my wife, jane. thank you, everybody. thank you. [ applause ] thank you all for inviting me to say a few words to you.
as many of you may know, we began our campaign for the presidency about nine months ago. and when we began our campaign on a beautiful day in burlington, vermont, there were a lot of media pundits who were commenting on my hair. on my attire. but the truth is, that not too many of them thought that we had much of a chance to do well. a lot has changed in the last nine months. and i think the reason for that is that we are discussing issues that, for a variety of reasons, are not often discussed in our country. and i think what we are tapping into is a feeling of ordinary
americans. that there is something profoundly wrong with a government that seems, every day, to be deeply concerned about the interest of the wealthy and the powerful. but somehow ignores working people and the middle class and pays virtually no attention at all to poverty. so i think the success of our campaign is talking truth in a straight forward way to the american people. and understanding that no president, not bernie sanders or anything else, can bring about the changes that we need in this country alone. that what needs to happen is that we need what i call a political revolution. which means that millions of people who today have given up on the political process. people who believe that their vote does not matter.
people who do not pay attention to what goes on. often because they don't get the information they need to even make decent judgments. because media, to a significant degree, sees politics as a football game or a soap opera rather than a discussion of the real issues facing our country. maybe i'm an old-fashioned new englander, but i kind of look at politics in a democracy at not very different than going to a doctor's office. if you're not feeling well, you go to the doctor's office. you say, doc, what's wrong with me? what's the diagnoses and how do i get better? that's what politics in a democracy is. you may disagree with me. what are the problems? and how do we solve those problems? and that is something that we spend far, far too little discussing. so let me lay out what i believe, and i think many americans believe, are problems. when we talk about our great
country, intrinsic in what we talk about is the understanding that historically what america is about is fairness. is fairness. is democracy. is everybody having a fair shot? that's kind of what we mean when we talk about america. that's what we grew up believing. that's what we learned in school. so then we got to lay issues out on the table. and i want you to think about it. is it fair, is it appropriate, is it american, that we have more income and wealth inequality than any major country on earth today, and it is worse in america than any time since 1928? why is that in? why is that? did some terrible natural disaster hit america. no. in fact, what has happened, is that everybody in this room knows, is that technology has exploded in the last 20 or 30 years.
most people are producing much more. worker productivity is going up. all of you are produce more because you have the tools to produce more. if that is true, why does it happen that millions of people today in inflation-adjusted for dollars are earning significantly less than they did years ago? you want to know why people are angry? the median male worker, that man right in the middle of the economy, is earning $700 less in inflation-adjusted for dollars than that person did 41 years ago. 41 years ago. a woman, earning a thousand bucks less in inflation adjusted for dollars than she did in 2007. well, maybe we should have some discussions about that issue. why? what's going on? in terms of wealth distribution, you tell me whether you think america should be the country where the top one-tenth of 1%, not 1%, one-tenth of 1% now owns
almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. is that the america we grew up believing in? is that the kind of country we think we should live in? one-tenth of 1% owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%? i know some of my republican friends get very nervous when we talk about redistribution of wealth. i want everybody in this room to know there has been a massive redistribution of wealth in the last 30 years. hasn't been on the front pages of the new york times, haven't seen it on cbs or abs. what do you think has gone? trillions have gone to the top one-tenth of 1% who now own twice -- twice the percentage of wealth than they did 30 years ago. today in america we have the top 20 people -- 20 wealthiest
people -- owning more wealth than the bottom 50%, 150 million people. today in america you have one family, the walton family of walmart, owning more wealth than the bottom 40%. and when i talk about our economy, i use a term called a rigged economy. people like elizabeth warren and i use that term. what do we mean a rigged economy? let me give you one of many examples. walton family, wealthiest family in america. they own walmart. you all know that. it turns out that the walton family, in my view, is the major recipient of public welfare in america. what do i mean by that? what i mean is that the wages they pay their workers are so low that many of their workers, they, by the way, are now the largest private sector employer in america -- that many of their
workers are on medicaid, are on food stamps, or are in subsidized housing. which you are paying for in your taxes. your taxes go to pay for medicaid and food stamps and subsidized housing. a rigged economy is when the middle class of this country pays taxes to subsidize the wealthiest family in this country because the wealthiest family in this country are paying their workers wages and benefits that are too low. that's called a rigged economy. now, that is distribution of wealth. what about distribution of income? what's going on? now, i come from across the river. but i think the story here in new hampshire is not any different. tell me why, in the year 2016, so many people in new hampshire and so many people in vermont
should be working not one job, but two jobs, three jobs, trying to cobble together some income and some health care? why is that? why does that have to be? and the answer is that, of course, wages are too low. and many people are struggling to get some health care in addition. today we have a federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. now, you can do the arithmetic as well as i can. but you can't make it today, not on 7.25, not on 9, not on $10 an hour. an individual cannot make it. and certainly a family cannot make it. and that is why, in my view, we have got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. our -- [ applause ] to my mind people working 40
hours a week or more should not be living in poverty. and too many of them are. my son used to work at the emergency food shelter in burlington. and what was true in burlington, what is true all over this country, is that people who are working full-time go to the emergency food shelter because the income that they are receiving is not enough to adequately feed their family. that is not what should be going on in america. and let me tell you what else should not be going on in america. we should not have 47 million people living in poverty. we should not have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major nation on earth. about 20% of our kids living in poverty. 36% of african-american kids living in poverty. we talk about education, talk about schools. half of the kids in public schools in america are on free
or reduced lunches. now i understand that politics, politicians, don't talk about poverty. they don't talk about poverty for a couple of reasons. if you're republican, what you want to do is cut the programs that the poorest people in this country desperately need. you want to cut nutrition programs when children are going hungry. that's why you don't talk about poverty. but the other conventional wisdom about poverty is poor people don't vote. what do i have to worry about poor people? i have to worry about rich people who are going to make campaign contributions. i think that stinks. and as a nation we should be embarrassed to have 47 million people living in poverty. [ applause ] now, let me talk about something else that doesn't get a whole lot of discussion. and one of the fun things about
running for president is that you can sometimes, not always, the media is pretty obstinate about this, but sometimes you can force discussion on issues that are often ignored. okay? the media looks at the world from here to here. but sometimes, with a little bit of luck, you can broaden the discussion and get it outside of the soap opera and the baseball game. all right? unemployment in america. now. let me give you the good news. and it is very good news. as i think everybody here knows. when president bush left office we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. everybody remembers that. seven years ago. 800,000 jobs a month. astronomical number. for those people concerned about deficits, we ran up that year. the largest deficit in the history of the united states of america. $1.4 trillion deficit.
and obviously everybody remembers that when bush left office, the world's and our financial system was on the verge of collapse. there were economists who have since told us there was a real fear that you were going to put your credit card in an atm machine and nothing was going to come out. that was pretty close. that's where we were when president bush left office. today, unless you are very, very partisan. and it does astound me how some of my republican colleagues can go around the country talking about the problems we have. and of course we do have economic problems today. ignoring where we came from in the last seven years. but when people talk about unemployment, what you see on the front pages of your paper every month is official unemployment. which is now about 5%. i trust that everybody in this room knows that official unemployment is very different than real unemployment. there's another government statistic that comes out at the same time but does not often get reported which looks at
unemployment not only for those that don't have jobs, but those who are working part-time when they want to work full-time. and that's a lot of people in this country. and those people in high unemployment areas who have given up looking for work. when you add that all together, you have 9.9% unemployment. which is a serious problem. a lot better than it was seven years ago. but it is a serious problem. and now let me touch on an issue that gets almost no discussion at all. it amazes me, but i keep talking about it. but it does not get much discussion. and that is the issue of youth unemployment. youth unemployment. we have some economists a while back did a study for us looking at kids who were between 17 and 20 who graduated high school. these are not dropouts. they graduated high school. for these kids, real unemployment, if they were white, was 33%. kids graduating high school,
going out looking for work. 33% were unemployed or underemployed. if they were latino, 36%. if they were african-american, the number was 51%. now, that is a crisis. but don't you think it's a little bit amazing that nobody talks about this issue? that it doesn't get the kind of coverage that it deserves? i do. i keep talking about it. doesn't get written much by those guys. but -- now i'll tell you why it's a huge issue. it's a huge issue for two reasons. number one, thinking back to what we were young. what do young people want to? stand on their own two feet, get out of the house, earn some money and become independent. if you're out there looking for a job and there's not a job, that's hard to do. but here's what concerns me even more than what it is doing to kids. there's another issue that doesn't get a whole lot of discussion. and i want you all to think about it. we in the united states today have more people in jail than
any other country on earth. we have 2.2 million people in jail. we spend $80 billion a year incarcerating people. the local, state, federal level. how does that happen? why does it happen? what is the correlation between high youth unemployment and high rates of incarceration? i believe that there is. and i remember a couple of years ago, down in bennington, vermont, there was a principal there of the high school who was fierce. she almost refused to allow any of her kids to drop out of school. and she hired -- i mean, she took this very personally. took it very personally as good educators should. and she hired mentors. and these mentors were there for the kids 24/7. and she said to the kids, if your family is having -- kids do
things on the moment. they drop out of school, parents having a fight, don't have any money, whatever it may be. you call up at 3:00 in the morning that mentor. you are not dropping out of school. we will get you a job. don't do anything stupid. stay away from drugs. and she had a very positive impact on the kids. that's what we have to do nationally. so i think it is, when we spend, and even some conservatives are catching on to this point. this is one area where we have seen conservatives and progressives coming together. who thinks it is a good idea to spend $80 billion a year having more people in jail than china does? nobody i know. so what we should be doing, to my mind, and doing exactly what this principal in bennington, vermont, was doing. we should be putting our emphasis and our money into education and jobs for young
people. not jails or incarceration. [ applause ] that's going to save us lives. that's going it save us money. a progressive perspective, it is a conservative perspective. and let me talk about -- when i talk about jobs, let me talk about what i think we should do and how we should pay for it. one of the arguments against me in this campaign is i'm a really nice guy. i'm santa claus. i want to give away a lot of free stuff. but i don't pay for it. well, we do actually pay for it. we have, today, a situation where our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our water systems, and i'm not just
talking about flint, michigan. it's true. there are problems all over this country. waste water plants, airports, our rail system. increasingly falling further behind europe, japan, even china in some respects. levees, dams, everybody knows that we need to make a huge investment in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. there is no debate about that. the american society of civil engineers, what a sexy name that is. but these guys are the people who study the issue. and they say we need to make over $3 trillion investment in our infrastructure. it's sitting there, and i could tell you as the former mayor of burlington, infrastructure does not get better if you don't invest in it. just doesn't happen. it gets worse. and in fact you end up having to spend a lot more rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure than you do if you have proper maintenance. which is what the sane approach to that is.
so what we are proposing is to spend a trillion dollars over a five year period to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. and when we do that, we not only make our country more productive, safer, more efficient, but we also create up to 13 million decent-paying jobs. okay? now, even in washington, admittedly, a trillion dollars is a lot of money. how do we pay for it? well, right now, as some of you may know, there is a huge loophole, cooperate loophole, which allows large multi-national corporations and wealthy individuals to stash their money in the cayman islands and bermuda and other tax havens. and what we have documented, and there is no debate about this, that in a given year you have very profitable -- i mean, very profitable -- multi-national corporations not paying a nickel in federal income taxes.
that, to me, seems absurd. we are losing about $100 million a year from that loophole. in that loophole we will be able to create infrastructure and get decent paying jobs. now off of economics to another subject. here in new hampshire, for better or for worse, you see a lot of politicians coming through your state. and many of my republican colleagues talk about family values. talk about family values. they love families. and that's what they talk about. but everybody in this room knows, and, you know, i will not shock anybody here to suggest did issue i know -- i don't know you won't be shocked to suggest that sometimes? politics there's a little bit of hypocrisy. just a little. many of my republican friends go round the country and come into new hampshire talking about
family values. and this is what they mean. so let's be very clear about what they mean. now, they may talk about it a little bit more in other parts of the country than they do here in new england, but it's important for us to understand what they mean. when they talk about family values, they are saying to every woman in this room, every woman in this state, every woman in this country, that you do not have the right to control your own body. i disagree. when they talk about family values, what they are saying, and what the republicans in the senate and the house voted for, is to defund planned parenthood, one of the important and excellent organizations in this country providing excellent quality health care to well over a million women. many of them low income. when they talk about family values, what they are saying is that to the gay men and women in
this country, they do not have the right to be married. and i disagree with that as well. so i happen to think that when you talk about hypocrisy, what you are seeing is republican candidates running all over the country telling us how much they hate government. government is the source of all evil and they're going to help us all out a lot by cutting social security and cutting medicare and cutting medicaid. maybe doing away with the environmental protection agency or the department of energy. because they really hate government. but somehow when it comes to a very, very personal decision that a woman has to make, they love government. and they want the state and federal government to make that decision for every woman in america. that is hypocrisy. that is wrong.
[ applause ] jane and i have been married for 27 years. and there's nobody i know who believes more in family than jane does. we have been blessed with four great kids. we have one in new hampshire with his three kids. and we have seven grandchildren in total. and needless to say they are beautiful grandchildren. [ laughter ] so we believe in family. and we believe in family values. but when i talk about family values, we are raising an issue that up until recently has not got an whole lot of discussion. and that is that the united states is the only major country on earth, and in fact one of the very few countries on earth,
that does not guarantee paid family and medical leave. did ya'll know that? see, one of the things that we have got to overcome, i think, is looking at the status quo and thinking it is normal. and taking a hard look at what goes on around the rest of the world. this is what paid family and medical leave means. it means that today if you are a woman in new hampshire or vermont, and you are giving birth -- a momentous day for anybody who's had kids here -- but if you are that mom, and you are working-class, or you are a lower income mom, what happens? you give birth today, and maybe a week from now, or maybe two weeks from now, you are forced to go back to work in order to earn income to take care of your family. so what you are seeing, in reality, is mothers being forced to separate themselves from their newborn babies.
this is the only major country on earth where that course. and as i said, one of the very few countries in the entire world. poor countries make sure that moms can stay home with their babies. and what happens if today you get a phone call that your kid is sick? and you need to go home. are you guaranteed the right to stay home? or maybe spend time with your dad maybe dealing with alzheimer's. this country, only major county that does not allow that. there is legislation now in the house and the senate, supported strongly by many democrats, and by me. which guarantees family -- paid family and medical leave for three months at two-thirds pay with a cap. it will cost the average worker in america an increase in payroll tax of $1.61 a week. i think that that is a good
investment. and as president i will fight to have the united states join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee paid family and medical leave for our working families. [ applause ] when i go around the country, what i find is there is a real anger and a frustration. and there is a deep feeling that the united states government is not hearing the pain or the reality of ordinary americans. ordinary americans having ard ha time finding affordable child care. finding a hard time getting decent jobs. having a hard time being able to send their kids to college. having a hard time paying for health care. these are the realities. people look to washington. and washington is living in a
here is the reality of what goes on which will not -- which will not shock anybody in this world --l street but billions billions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions into saying to congress, you have to get rid of these old 1930's regulations. you have to allow commercial banks to merge with investor banks, to merge with large insurance companies.
that's the way we can compete, globally. i didn't believe it for one second, not for one second. never made any sense to me. go to my website, you will see the dialogue greenspan and i had. turns out i was right, he was wrong. anyhow, here is the point, billions of dollars going to lobbying. campaign contributions and you , have not just republicans but democrats. let's be frank. greenspan andand all those guys on the clinton administration saying we are going to deregulate wall street. get the government on -- off our backs. let us go out and do these wonderful things, the creativity of wall street. they were deregulated and they let out and they had the opportunity to do their thing.
what a thing it was. it turned out to be largely fraudulent activity which drove this country and the world into the worst economic downturn since the great depression. millions of people lost their jobs. millions of people have not recovered from that karen this -- from that horrendous recession. and when they crash, they went to running to congress. these are the guys who hit government -- hate government. they went running and i was in the room. they said if you don't give a -- give us $700 billion in a few days, it is likely the world's economy will collapse. they had a three page outline of what they wanted. with the same people who want to
cut social security, medicare, and medicaid. bail us out. they got bailed out, under the argument that banks were too big to fail. if the banks went down they took a big part of the economy with them, that is why they had to be supported. it turns out that three out of the four largest banks are bigger than they were when we failed -- bailed them out. the six largest financial institutions in america have access to $10 trillion, equivalent to 58% of gdp of america. they issue two thirds of the credit cards and write about one third of the mortgages. they control whole lot of the bank deposits in this country. for a start above and beyond the fear that we will have to bail them out again is the impact of a few financial institutions with so much wealth
and power. that is why i agree with a number of economists who believe we should reestablish 21st century glass-steagall legislation and why we should break up the largest financial institutions in this country. [applause] what i want to see is a financial system, which is not an island unto itself, whose main goal is simply to make as much money as it can. i want to see banking become boring again. remember boring banking? small business goes to a local bank who knows the business person makes an affordable loan, helps people buy homes? that's the kind of banking we need, not a system which is geared to allow for the creation
of incredibly complicated, esoteric financial tools that no one understands and are often fraudulent. let me tell you a story which i think encompasses why the american people in one brief story, are so angry and disillusioned with the political process. goldman sachs is one of the major financial institutions on wall street. of weeks ago, you may have noticed, did not get a lot of attention, they became another bank to reach a financial settlement with the u.s. government. billion.ed to pay $5 to them, not a lot of money. why did they do that? they were guilty of selling packages of worthless subprime
mortgages. they paid their fine. what about goldman sachs? not just them, i'm using them as the latest example. all of you are familiar with the phenomenon, the concept of revolving door. powerfuleans is special interests have people go into government to represent their interests and when they finished they go back into the private sector. years, goldman sachs has given this country to oneetaries of treasury, under the republican administration, one under a democrat administration and they have provided dozens of high-level people in government. that is political power. you saya business and
to joe, take a few years off but working government and then you come back. that's a lot of power. you have your guy in government. they pay a $5 billion fine. they have had many people in the highest places in government. what else? they make huge campaign contributions. they have meetings like this where they bundle money with super pac's and can provide huge amounts of financial support to the candidates that they like. that's what they do. that,ition to all of something else that goes on. this is probably deeper than the role of money in politics. goldman sachs just reached a $5 billion settlement with the u.s. government free legal activity. in vermont gets
picked up with marijuana and will have a police record for the rest of his life. how many wall street executives for have a police record destroying the lives of so many americans because of their illegal activity? $5 billion settlement, no charges made. that is why the american people are angry. that is why this is an issue that we have to deal with. criminal justice means justice. , if you if you are poor are wealthy and powerful, you need to be treated the same under the laws of the united states of america. [applause] if elected president, i will do my best to make certain that
that happens. when we talk about what goes on in our country, it is a rates economy. people work longer hours for low wages. new income and wealth going into the top. it is a corrupt campaign finance system. system campaign finance which is undermining american democracy. disagree, that's fine. i love debate. the situation today in which billionaires can buy elections. as a result of the disastrous citizens united supreme court decision, billionaires can now spend as much as they want in super pac's or independent expenditures. many of the tv ads you watch in
new hampshire will come from super pac's or organizations with weird names but are controlled by billionaire families. think about that. cycle, thepaign second wealthiest family in america, a family who believes not that we should cut social security or medicare or medicaid, they think we should eliminate social security, medicare and medicaid. this family along with a few other billionaires will be view,ng at least, in my $900 million on this campaign cycle to elect candidates who represent the rich and the powerful. that is what american democracy is supposed to be about? it is undermining american democracy and one of the reasons i think our campaign
is doing well and i don't say this post fully, but we have threeed to this point, $.5 million -- 3.5 million individual contributions. that is more individual contribution than any candidate in the history of the notice states of america up to this point. one of the reasons we have received so many contributions, which has blown my mind either way. -- by the way. there is another point, and people are saying i don't have a lot of money, i'm just middle-class or working class i will sell you -- send you an $27age tech -- check of because i think it is awful that billionaires are buying elections. but ifnot a lot of money it helps you stand up to people who are trying to buy elections here it is, and i appreciate that very much.
what do we do? it is a no-brainer to my mind tot when you have a five four supreme court decision to allow citizens united to go forward, we have to overturn citizens united. [applause] here is a promise that i make you and that is that no nominee of mine to the supreme court will get that position unless he or she makes it publicly clear, crystal-clear that they will vote to overturn citizens united -- let me go further because i am a passionate believer in democracy. i have run in vermont in a lot of races and sometimes i lose and sometimes i win. enjoy people debating
issues, getting involved in the process and i've always wanted to see large voter turnout. i believe that not only do we have to overturn citizens united , i think we have to go to solic funding of elections that anyone in this room at idle care of your conservative or progressive or moderate, you want to run for office, you should be able to do so without having to beg wealthy people for campaign contributions. timey here knows how much people in congress spend raising money. i'm there. democrats go to the dnc room with the senate committee room, republicans go to their room and they do what's called dialing for dollars. they are given a list of potential donors. do.'s what they
not only should members who are elected be working for the people, if you think you could simply divide your brain in half and say now i'm working on unemployment and health care, i have to go out and raise money, it impacts your entire being. people rss with raising money and it's getting worse because of citizens united. we need to move toward public funding of elections. [applause] idea, while we are at it. everyone here knows we need the best educated workforce in the world for our economy and our democracy. everybody knows we once did have that, but not today. today, you have hundreds of thousands of bright, qualified young people who want a college education but are unable to do
so for one reason and that is their families like the money. this is unbelievable, i knew about this issue, but i did not know until i began running for president how significant it was and this is a huge burden. every place i go, every peach i give, tell me how many of you are dealing with student debt? everybody's hands go up and the numbers that come out, last and a we did a rally woman jumped up and said she had $150,000 in debt. i talked to a woman in vermont a $300,000 inars ago, debt for the crime of going to medical school. a kid in iowa, $60,000 after two years of college. that is crazy. if you want to have a will educated workforce, which everybody does, you should not analyze people -- penalize
people for trying to get an education. when we talk about public education, it is no longer good enough to be talking about first through 12th grade. for 100 a great concept years, 50 years ago you could get out and get a good job. you have you can't -- education you needed. that is not the case, today. when we talk about public education, it should include free tuition at public colleges and universities. furthermore, we have to deal with the issue of student debt. what i am proposing is to lower student debt by allowing those with the debt to do what they cannot do today, and that is they are stuck in high interest rates and i want them to have the opportunity to refinance those loans at the lowest interest rates available.
8%, interestwith rates of 3%. that will take a huge bite out of the debt. people say, that's a nice idea and what else do you have for us , santa claus? how do you pay for this? $70 billion a year to do what i want to do. we will impose a tax on wall street speculation. when wall street needed a bailout it came to the middle class. in my view, it is wall street's time to help the middle class, today. [applause] why the head of goldman sachs thought that i was dangerous. it's ok. need to talk we about, this one is interesting
because it ties up with other issues. i am on the senate energy committee and the senate environmental committee and i will tell you what i suspect everyone in this room already knows. , climatehange is real change is caused by human activity, climate change is already doing harm to our country and the world. what the scientists tell us and we have to listen to them, we have to -- we have a short window of opportunity to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and if we do not do that, the planet we are leaving our children and grandchildren will be increasingly unhealthy. what is interesting about this debate is that the scientist of -- scientific community is virtually unanimous and some of the new studies coming out are suggesting that they
underestimated the severity of the problem. is thaty are now saying by the end of this century, this planet could be five to 10 degrees warmer than it is, today. vermont and new hampshire will have climates similar to georgia by the end of this century. all of you understand what that means. it means more floods, more droughts, more rising sea levels , we are in the process of destroying oceans. conflictinternational as people fight over limited natural resources. that is what we are looking at. that is a tragedy that i've, if elected, will be a with enabled way. china, to work with india and russia and countries
all over the world. we have to move more aggressively. here is the point i want to make, which ties up another point. think about it. i gather you have had republican candidates coming here. how does it happen that not one republican candidate for president will tell you what the entire scientific community is saying? that climate change is real and that it has to be dealt with. dummies? no. we talk about health care, we disagree on issues, to be sure, but they don't go around attacking cancer researchers or alzheimer's researchers. how does it happen that on this issue, they deny science? this gets you back to a corrupt campaign finance system. the day that any republican candidate comes to this podium
and says i have read the literature and talk to the scientists and climate change is real and we have do something about it, on that day, they will lose their campaign funding from exxon mobil and from fossil fuel industries. that is just one example of the corrupting impact that campaign money plays on our public policy. to overturnwe need the citizens united and allow elected officials to deal with the real issues facing our country and not worry about where they are getting their money from. [applause] i've gone on too long, but let me just raise one other issue. what this campaign is trying to do is ask the american people to think big and not small.
question, i want you to think about this. why is the united states the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right? member of the committee that wrote the affordable care act, it has done a lot of good. offenset has ended this of pre-existing conditions. 20 years ago -- 20 years from now, people will not believe we allowed it to happen, that if you had breast cancer, they would insure you for everything except what you needed most. that is what pre-existing conditions were about. we added 17 million more americans into the ranks of the insured. we have done away with discrimination against women who are paying higher premiums the crime of being a woman -- for the crime of being a woman.
we still have 20 million americans without any insurance. we still have people in this room and all over the country who are underinsured with large deductibles and copayments. we still pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. one out of five americans cannot afford the prescriptions their doctors are writing. and yet, despite all of that, we end up spending far more per capita on health care than do the people of any other country. almost threeng times per capita more than they do in the u.k., guaranteed health care. 50% more than the french and far more than our canadian neighbors who guarantee health care. how does that happen? why are we the only country on earth that does not say whether you are rich or poor, young or old, california or new hampshire, you are an american
and you have health care? [applause] i believe in that. i believe that health care is a right of all people and not a privilege, but more importantly, i believe that it is absurd that we are spending so much more per capita on health care than other countries. it is absurd that while our people cannot afford prescription drugs, while totally people are cutting their pills in half because they can't afford to buy medicine -- while elderly people are cutting their goals in half because they can't afford to buy medicine, the top three medical companies in the billion dollars last year in profit and they can double the price of your pills tomorrow and you cannot do a thing about it. is, i believee that we should move toward a medicare for all, single-payer program.
what that would do, not only guarantee health care to all people as a right, it would save middle-class families thousands of dollars a year on their health care costs. do you know what else it would do? how many millions of people in this country are staying in jobs they don't want because they get decent health care benefits for their family? if we said to those people and every american, you could go out economically and start your own small business. idea andif you are an your family will have health care. when people are not forced to be don't want jobs they to be in, i think it would be a huge asset. the small and medium-sized businesses who spend half their lives trying to figure out how they will provide health
insurance to their employees, getting that off their backs, does not matter whether it's a big corporation or small business, your workers will have insurance. i see this as a real boon to the economy and i think we should move in that direction. [applause] here we are. 2016. we live and a wonderful, extraordinary country. there is so much more that has to be done. the theme of my campaign is about that no president can do it alone. we need the involvement of ordinary people at every level, to stand up and help transform this country. believe that we should not have the highest rate of
childhood poverty when we have more income and wealth inequality. we should not be the only major company -- country on earth do not have paid medical and family leave and health care. the 20 us -- the 20 want the us more wealth than the bottom half -- the 20 wealthiest people have more wealth than the bottom half. the donald trump's of the world will try to divide us, but there is no limit to what we at -- what we can accomplish. that is what a sanders administration will be about, thank you very much. [applause and cheers] >> want to thank the senator and he has agreed to take a couple of questions. if i could ask a question, one of the most pressing issues that
many residents of new hampshire are basing is the opiate drug addiction project -- problem. it is not just a new hampshire problem. issuevernor addressed one , drug addition, as a national problem. >> thank you for raising that. it is painful. i just met a woman, yesterday whose stepdaughter overdosed. new hampshire is losing roughly one person a day. in vermont it is a crisis. we have to deal with this in a number of different levels. first of all, the pharmaceutical industry is going to have to accept responsibility for the drugs it is producing. nobody wants to have a bad back, they want to alleviation of that
pain, but we have to figure out a way to make sure that those drugs, very powerful drugs, are not widely distributed. somebody had a tooth extraction and were given 50 heavy opiates. , inors in many respects vermont we are trying to deal with it, but you cannot throw these drugs out, kids are getting a hold of these drugs and others, it is not just kids. people get a hold of these drugs. wasbody fairly close to me in pain, she started taking the opiates. verypacted her life in a negative way, she became addicted to it. the pharmaceutical industry has to take a hard look at it. doctors need to take a hard look at the degree to which they are overprescribing. number three, we have to do a lot better in terms of treatment. for a start, we have to look at
substance abuse and addiction not as a criminal issue but as a health care issue. that means is we have to have facilities that are available to treat people when they need it. there was a very good facility in manchester, they have one approach and different approach for different -- approaches for different people. if you need help and you are dealing with substance abuse, you need it today, not four months from now and not whether your insurance covers you are not. we must understand that mental health issues are health issues and people who need treatment must have that treatment. thank you for asking that question, i am very aware of it. i have talked to police chiefs issuein vermont on this and i know it is serious