A Conversation with Elizabeth Warren

A Conversation with Elizabeth Warren


[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>GOOD AFTERNOON,
EVERYONE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US
HERE AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY TODAY. I AM THE DIRECTOR OF THE KENNEDY POLITICAL UNION,
WHICH IS AMERICAN UNIVERSITY’S STUDENT-RUN LECTURE GROUP.
TODAY, WE’RE GOING TO HEAR FROM SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN OF
MASSACHUSETTS, ON HER VISION FOR A FOREIGN POLICY THAT WORKS FOR
ALL AMERICANS. BEFORE WE BEGIN, I’D FIRST LIKE
TO THANK OUR PARTNERS WHO HELPED MAKE THIS EVENT POSSIBLE,
INCLUDING THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC
AFFAIRS, THE AU COLLEGE DEMOCRATS.
[APPLAUSE] AND MANY MORE.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK ON TODAY’S EVENT.
MODERATING TODAY’S DISCUSSION IS VICKY WILKINS.
VICKY WILKINS IS THE DEAN OF SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND
PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY AT
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY. HER PRIMARY RESEARCH INTERESTS
INCLUDE REPRESENTATIVE BUREAUCRACY,
BUREAUCRATIC DISCRETION, GENDER ISSUES, DESERVINGNESS, POLITICAL
INSTITUTIONS, AND HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.
HER RESEARCH APPEARS IN THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE
REVIEW, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW, JOURNAL OF PUBLIC
ADMINISTRATION RESEARCH, THEORY, GOVERNANCE, REVIEW OF PUBLIC
PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION, ADMINISTRATION IN SOCIETY,
POLICY STUDIES JOURNAL, AND LEGISLATIVE STUDIES QUARTERLY.
AND INTRODUCING SENATOR WARREN TODAY IS AU WASHINGTON COLLEGES
OF LAW ASSOCIATE DEAN BRENDA V. SMITH.
DEAN BRENDA SMITH IS A SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR FACULTY AND
ACADEMIC AFFAIRS. PRIOR TO HER HIRE AT THE
WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW, SHE WAS A SENIOR COUNSEL FOR
ECONOMIC SECURITY AT THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTER.
IN NOVEMBER 2003, DEAN SMITH WAS APPOINTED TO THE NATIONAL PRISON
RAPE ELIMINATION COMMISSION BY THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI AND SERVED IN THAT
CAPACITY FOR SIX YEARS. DEAN SMITH IS AN EXPERT ON
ISSUES AT THE INTERSECTION OF GENDER, CRIME, CLASS, AND
SEXUALITY. PLEASE WELCOME DEAN SMITH NOW.
THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYBODY.
>>GOOD AFTERNOON.>>GREAT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INTRODUCTION. I’M DELIGHTED TO WELCOME ALL OF
YOU TO THE WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW.
I ALSO WANT TO WELCOME OUR STUDENTS WHO ARE FROM MAIN
CAMPUS. I KNOW THAT MANY OF YOU COME TO
THE SCHOOL TO STUDY IN THE LIBRARY AND ALSO TO MIX UP SOME
OF YOUR EATING OPTIONS, BUT AGAIN, THANK YOU.
AND ALSO TO OUR WCL STUDENTS. ANY OF YOU HERE, RAISE YOUR
HAND. YAY!
GLAD TO SEE YOU. I KNOW THAT THIS IS A TOUGH
TIME. [LAUGHTER]
RIGHT? I’VE SEEN MANY OF YOU IN MY
OFFICE. THIS IS THE END OF THE SEMESTER,
AND I KNOW THAT READING PERIOD IS NEXT WEEK. BUT I’M REALLY HAPPY TO SEE YOU
HERE. I’M ALSO THRILLED TO SEE MANY OF
YOU HERE WHO ARE NOT WCL STUDENTS,
BECAUSE I HOPE THAT IT WILL SPUR YOU TO THINK ABOUT BECOMING A DOUBLE EAGLE
AND CONSIDERING WCL, IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT LAW SCHOOL.
THAT IS THE INFOMERCIAL. [LAUGHTER] THANKS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE
NOT — THANKS, AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE NOT INSIDERS, BEING
A DOUBLE EAGLE MEANS GETTING TWO DEGREES FROM AMERICAN
UNIVERSITY. I BRING YOU GREETINGS ON BEHALF
OF CAMILLE NELSON, DEAN CAMILLE NELSON, WHO COULD NOT BE HERE.
SHE ASKS THAT I CONVEY HOW SAD SHE IS TO MISS THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION, TO
WELCOME THE FIRST FEMALE SENATOR FROM
MASSACHUSETTS TO THE FIRST LAW SCHOOL TO BE FOUNDED BY WOMEN.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] RIGHT?
THANK YOU. THE FIRST FEMALE DEAN, AND THE
FIRST LAW SCHOOL TO GRADUATE AN ALL-FEMALE CLASS.
[APPLAUSE] AND I CERTAINLY WOULD BE REMISS
IN SAYING — TO SAY THAT DEAN
NELSON IS ALSO OUR FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN DEAN. [APPLAUSE]
DEAN NELSON ALSO WANTED ME TO CONVEY TO SENATOR WARREN HOW MUCH SHE
ADMIRES HER WORK, AND IN PARTICULAR, HER DOCUMENTARY MATERIAL ON PBS ON
UNCONSCIONABLE CONTRACTS. FOR ANYBODY WHO’S NOT A LAW
STUDENT, YOU KNOW, BUT LAWYERS, WE UNDERSTAND.
YOU’RE MISSING A LOT. DEAN NELSON USED THIS MATERIAL
IN HER OWN CONTRACTS CLASS. SHE ALSO WANTED ME TO MENTION
HOW MUCH SHE APPRECIATED THE HONOR OF SERVING ON SENATOR
WARREN’S FEDERAL JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMITTEE IN
MASSACHUSETTS WHEN SHE WAS MASSACHUSETTS.
TODAY, I AM PLEASED TO INTRODUCE ELIZABETH WARREN, WHO IS THE
SENIOR U.S. SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS. SENATOR WARREN WAS ELECTED IN
2012. SHE IS A MEMBER OF VERY
IMPORTANT COMMITTEES. THE SENATE COMMITTEES ON
BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS;
HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR, AND PENSIONS;
ARMED SERVICES; AND THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING, ALL VERY, VERY IMPORTANT
COMMITTEES THAT ARE, YOU KNOW, ESSENTIAL TO THE WELL-BEING OF
PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY. SHE IS ALSO RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF
THE NATION’S TOP EXPERTS ON
BANKRUPTCY AND THE FINANCIAL PRESSURES FACING MIDDLE CLASS FAMILYIES.
SENATOR WARREN WAS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE CREATION OF THE
CONSUMER FINANCE PROTECTION BUREAU, AND AT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S
REQUEST, SENATOR WARREN SET UP THE NEW AGENCY TO HOLD WALL
STREET BANKS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ACCOUNTABLE AND TO
PROTECT CONSUMERS FROM FINANCIAL TRICKS AND TRAPS OFTEN HIDDEN IN
MORTGAGES, CREDIT CARDS, AND OTHER FINANCIAL
PRODUCTS. IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2018
FINANCIAL CRISIS, SENATOR WARREN SERVED AS
CHAIR OF THE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL FOR THE TROUBLED
ASSET RELIEF PROGRAM, ALSO KNOWN AS TARP.
SENATOR WARREN WAS A LAW PROFESSOR FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS.
MOST RECENTLY AT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL. AND IS THE AUTHOR OF 11 BOOKS,
INCLUDING “THIS FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT,” “A
FIGHTING CHANCE,” AND THE “TWO-INCOME TRAP.”
SHE AND HER HUSBAND BRUCE LIVE IN CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS,
WITH THEIR GOLDEN RETRIEVER BAILEY.
THEY HAVE TWO CHILDREN AND THREE GRANDCHILDREN.
PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING SENATOR WARREN. [APPLAUSE]>>ELIZABETH WARREN: THANK YOU!
THANK YOU, THAT’S SO NICE. THANK YOU.
THANK YOU! HELLO, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, AND
THANK YOU, DEAN SMITH FOR THE WONDERFUL INTRODUCTION. I AM SO DELIGHTED TO BE BACK ON
CAMPUS, AND VERY HAPPY TO BE BACK AT A UNIVERSITY THAT HAS PREPARED
GENERATIONS OF STUDENTS FOR PUBLIC SERVICE.
IT IS A CALLING, AND I’M JUST DELIGHTED TO BE HERE WITH ALL OF
YOU. I HAD CONSIDERED DOING THIS
LECTURE SOCRATICALLY. WATCH THE LAW STUDENTS START TO
SWOON. BUT OKAY, WE’LL DO THIS ONE AS A
LECTURE. AND I JUST WANT TO JUMP STRAIGHT
INTO THIS BECAUSE THERE’S SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.
LET’S START WITH A SERIOUS PROBLEM. AROUND THE WORLD, DEMOCRACY IS
UNDER ASSAULT. AUTHORITARIAN GOVERNMENTS ARE
GAINING POWER. RIGHT-WING DEMAGOGUES ARE
GAINING STRENGTH. MOVEMENTS TOWARD OPENNESS AND
PLURALISM HAVE STALLED AND ACTUALLY BEGUN
TO REVERSE. AND EQUALITY IS RAPID INEQUALITY IS RAPID LYLY
GROWING, TRANSFORMING RURAL BY THE PEOPLE TO RURAL BY THE
WEALTHY ELITES. HERE AT HOME, MANY POLITICIANS
SEEM TO ACCEPT, EVEN EMBRACE POLITICS OF DIVISION AND
RESENTMENT. SO HOW DID WE GET HERE? NOW, THERE’S A STORY THAT WE AS
AMERICANS TELL OURSELVES ABOUT HOW WE BUILT AN INTERNATIONAL
ORDER, ONE BASED ON DEMOCRACY, ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
AND ON IMPROVING ECONOMIC STANDARDS FOR EVERYONE.
IT WASN’T PERFECT. WE WEREN’T PERFECT.
BUT OUR FOREIGN POLICY BENEFITED A LOT OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD.
IT’S A GOOD STORY WITH LONG ROOTS. BUT IN RECENT DECADES, SOMETHING
CHANGED. BEGINNING IN THE 1980s,
WASHINGTON’S FOCUS SHIFTED FROM POLICIES THAT
BENEFIT EVERYONE, TO POLICIES THAT BENEFIT A HANDFUL OF WEALTHY ELITE SS,
BOTH HERE AT HOME AND AROUND THE WORLD.
THE STAKE MISTAKES PILED ON MISTAKES.
RECKLESS ENDLESS WARS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, TRADE DEALS RAN
THROUGH WITH CALLOUS DISREGARD FOR WORKING
PEOPLE, EXTRAORDINARY EXPANSION OF RISK IN THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM, AND
LYING, MOSTLY TO SERVE THE INTERESTS OF BIG CORPORATIONS WHILE IGNORING THE
INTERESTS OF AMERICAN WORKERS. AND IN DECADES OF DOMESTIC
POLICIES THAT HAVE HELPED THE RICH GET RICHER AND LEFT EVERYONE ELSE BEHIND, IT IS NO
WONDER THAT AMERICANS HAVE LESS FAITH IN DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT
TODAY THAN AT ANY OTHER TIME IN MODERN U.S. HISTORY. OUR COUNTRY IS IN A MOMENT OF
CRISIS DECADES IN THE MAKING. A MOMENT IN WHICH AMERICA’S
MIDDLE CLASS HAS BEEN HOLLOWED OUT, WORKING
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BETRAYED, AND
DEMOCRACY ITSELF IS UNDER THREAT.
AND WHILE IT’S EASY TO BLAME PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR OUR
PROBLEMS, THE TRUTH IS, OUR CHALLENGES BEGAN LONG BEFORE
HIM. AND WITHOUT SERIOUS REFORMS,
THEY ARE JUST AS LIKELY TO OUTLAST HIM.
WE NEED TO REFOCUS OUR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC POLICIES
SO THAT THEY BENEFIT ALL AMERICANS, NOT JUST WEALTHY
ELITES. AND AT THE SAME TIME, WE MUST
REFOCUS OUR SECURITY POLICIES BY REINING
IN UNSUSTAINABLE AND ILL-ADVISED MILITARY COMMITMENTS AND ADAPT
OUR STRATEGIES OVERSEAS FOR THE NEW CHALLENGES WE SEE IN THIS
COMING CENTURY. AND WE NEED TO END THE FICTION
THAT OUR DOMESTIC AND OUR FOREIGN POLICIES ARE SOMEHOW SEPARATE FROM EACH OTHER
AND RECOGNIZE THAT POLICIES THAT UNDERMINE WORKING FAMILIES IN THIS COUNTRY
ALSO ERODE AMERICA’S STRENGTH IN THE
WORLD. IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS TIME TO
CREATE A FOREIGN POLICY THAT WORKS FOR ALL AMERICANS, NOT
JUST FOR THE RICH AND POWERFUL. AUTHORITARIANISM IS ON THE MOVE
AROUND THE WORLD, AND THERE IS NO TIME
TO WASTE. NOW, WE CAN START OUR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACY BY FIXING WHAT HAS
GONE WRONG WITH OUR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC
POLICIES. THE GLOBALIZATION OF TRADE HAS
OPENED UP OPPORTUNITIES AND LIFTED BILLIONS OUT OF POVERTY
AROUND THE WORLD. GIANT CORPORATIONS HAVE MADE
MONEY HAND OVER FIST. BUT OUR TRADE AND ECONOMIC
POLICIES HAVE NOT DELIVERED THE SAME KIND OF BENEFITS FOR
AMERICA’S MIDDLE CLASS. IN FACT, U.S. TRADE POLICY HAS
DELIVERED ONE PUNCH IN THE GUT AFTER ANOTHER TO WORKERS
AND TO THE UNIONS THAT FIGHT FOR THOSE
WORKERS. FOR DECADES, LEADERS OF BOTH
PARTIES PREACH THE GOSPEL THAT FREE
TRADE WAS A RISING TIDE THAT WOULD LIFT ALL BOATS.
IT’S GREAT RHETORIC, EXCEPT THAT THE TRADE DEALS THAT THEY
NEGOTIATED MAINLY LIFTED THE YACHTS, AND THEY
THREW MILLIONS OF WORKING AMERICANS OVERBOARD TO DROWN. [APPLAUSE]
NOW, POLICYMAKERS WERE WILLING TO SACRIFICE AMERICAN JOBS, NOT
THEIR OWN JOBS, OF COURSE, BUT AMERICAN
JOBS IN RETURN FOR BOOSTING SALES AT WALMART AND GAINING
ACCESS TO CONSUMER MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD.
WASHINGTON HAD IT ALL FIGURED OUT, AND THIS CONFIDENCE SPILLED
OVER INTO MORE THAN TRADE DEALS. CHAMPIONS OF CUT THROAT
CAPITALISM PUSHED FORMER SOVIET STATES TO PRIVATIZE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, DESPITE
THE ENORMOUS RISK OF CORRUPTION.
BUT LOOKED THE OTHER WAY AS CHINA MANIPULATED ITS CURRENCY
TO ADVANCE ITS OWN INTERESTS AND UNDERCUT WORK DONE RIGHT HERE IN
AMERICA. WASHINGTON TECHNOCRATS BACKED
AUSTERITY AND PRIVATIZATION ALL AROUND THE WORLD.
AS ONE CRISIS AFTER ANOTHER HIT, THE ECONOMIC SECURITY OF WORKING
PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE WAS DESTROYED,
REDUCING PUBLIC FAITH IN BOTH CAPITALISM AND IN DEMOCRACY.
POLICYMAKERS PROMISED THAT OPEN MARKETS WOULD LEAD TO OPEN
SOCIETIES. WOW.
DID WASHINGTON GET THAT ONE WRONG.
EFFORTS TO BRING CAPITALISM TO THE GLOBAL STAGE UNWITTINGLY HELPED
CREATE THE CONDITIONS FOR ANTI-DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES TO
RISE UP AND LASH OUT. RUSSIA HAS BECOME BELLIGERENT
AND RESURGENT. CHINA HAS WEAPONIZED ITS ECONOMY
WITHOUT LOOSENING ITS DOMESTIC POLITICAL CONSTRAINTS. AND OVER TIME, IN COUNTRY AFTER
COUNTRY, FAITH IN BOTH CAPITALISM AND
DEMOCRACY HAS ERODED. A PROGRAM ONCE AIMED AT
PROMOTING THE FORCES OF FREEDOM ENDED UP EMPOWERING THE
OPPOSITE. OF COURSE, THOSE TRADE DEALS
WEREN’TS WORKED JUST GREAT FOR GIANT CORPORATIONS.
HUGE MULTI-NATIONALS USED THEIR ENORMOUS INFLUENCE ON BOTH SIDES
OF THE NEGOTIATING TABLE TO ENSURE THAT THE TERMS OF THE DEALS ALWAYS
FAVORED THEIR OWN BOTTOM LINES. AT HOME, TRILLION-DOLLAR GLOBAL
BEHEMOTHS DOMINATED ENTIRE MARKET SECTORS, WHILE LIMP U.S.
ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT REMAINED STUCK SOMEWHERE BACK IN THE 1980s.
BUT, I BELIEVE THAT CAPITALISM HAS THE CAPACITY TO DELIVER
EXTRAORDINARY BENEFITS TO AMERICAN WORKERS. BUT TIME AFTER TIME, OUR
ECONOMIC POLICIES LEFT THESE WORKERS ON THE SHORT END OF THE
STICK. STAGNANT INCOMES DECIMATED
UNIONS, LOWER LABOR STANDARDS, RISING COSTS OF LIVING.
JOB TRAINING AND TRANSITION ASSISTANCE HAVE PROVEN POWERLESS AGAINST
THE ONSLAUGHT OF OFFSHORING.
BY THE TIME THE 2018 GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRASH CAME AROUND, IT
ONLY CONFIRMED WHAT MILLIONS OF AMERICANS
ALREADY KNEW. THE SYSTEM DIDN’T WORK FOR
WORKING PEOPLE, AND IT WASN’T REALLY
INTENDED TO. AND IT’S STILL NOT WORKING. TOMORROW, THE TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION WILL LIKELY SIGN A RENEGOTIATED NAFTA DEAL.
THERE’S NO QUESTION WE NEED TO RENEGOTIATE NAFTA.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS CERTIFIED THAT NAFTA HAS ALREADY
COST US NEARLY A MILLION GOOD AMERICAN JOBS, AND BIG COMPANIES
CONTINUE TO USE NAFTA TO OUTSOURCE JOBS TO MEXICO TO THIS
VERY DAY. BUT AS IT’S CURRENTLY WORKING,
TRUMP’S DEAL WON’T STOP THE SERIOUS AND ONGOING HARM NAFTA
CAUSES AMERICAN WORKERS. IT WON’T STOP OUTSOURCING.
IT WON’T RAISE WAGES. AND IT WON’T CREATE JOBS.
IT’S NAFTA 2.0. FOR EXAMPLE, NAFTA 2. 0 HAS BETTER LABOR STANDARDS ON
PAPER, BUT IT DOESN’T GIVE AMERICAN WORKERS ENOUGH TOOLS TO ENFORCE THOSE
STANDARDS. WITHOUT SWIFT AND CERTAIN
ENFORCEMENT OF THESE NEW LABOR STANDARDS, BIG CORPORATIONS WILL
CONTINUE OUTSOURCING JOBS TO MEXICO, SO THEY CAN PAY THEIR
WORKERS LESS. NAFTA 2. 0 IS ALSO STUFFED WITH HANDOUTS
THAT WILL LET BIG DRUG COMPANYIES LOCK IN HIGH PRICES
THAT THEY CHARGE FOR MANY DRUGS. NEW RULES WILL MAKE IT HARDER TO
BRING DOWN DRUG PRICES FOR SENIORS AND FOR ANYONE ELSE WHO
NEEDS ACCESS TO LIFE-SAVING MEDICINE.
AND NAFTA 2. 0 DOES LITTLE TO REDUCE
POLLUTION OR COMBAT THE DANGERS OF CLIMATE
CHANGE, GIVING AMERICAN COMPANIES ONE MORE REASON TO
CLOSE THEIR FACTORIES HERE IN THE U.S. AND MOVE TO MEXICO
WHERE THE ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS ARE LOWER. THAT’S BAD FOR THE EARTH AND BAD
FOR AMERICAN WORKERS. FOR THESE REASONS, I OPPOSE
NAFTA 2.0, AND I WILL VOTE AGAINST IT IN THE SENATE, UNLESS
PRESIDENT TRUMP REOPENS THE AGREEMENT AND PRODUCES A BETTER
DEAL FOR AMERICA’S WORKING FAMILIES. [APPLAUSE] THE PRESIDENT READS HEADLINES,
BUT HIS ACTUAL POLICIES AREN’T STOPPING THEM.
OR STOPPING OTHERS LIKE THEM FROM CONTINUING TO PUT CORPORATE
PROFITS AHEAD OF AMERICAN WORKERS.
IT’S TIME FOR REAL CHANGE. WE NEED A NEW APPROACH TO TRADE,
AND IT SHOULD BEGIN WITH A SIMPLE PRINCIPLE.
OUR POLICIES SHOULD NOT PRIORITIZE CORPORATE PROFITS OVER AMERICAN
PAYCHECKS. THAT SHOULD BE TRUE FOR NAFTA
AND FOR EVERY DEAL WE CUT. SO HOW CAN WE MAKE A SYSTEM WORK
FAIR? THERE ARE A LOT OF WAYS.
WE CAN START BY ENSURING THAT WORKERS ARE MEANINGFULLY
REPRESENTED AT THE NEGOTIATING TABLE AND BUILD TRADE AGREEMENTS
THAT STRENGTHEN LABOR AGREEMENTS WORLDWIDE. WE CAN MAKE EVERY TRADE PROMISE
EQUALLY ENFORCEABLE, BOTH THE TERMS THAT
HELP CORPORATIONS, AND THE TERMS THAT
HELP WORKERS. WE CAN CURTAIL THE POWER OF
MULTI-NATIONAL MONOPOLIES THROUGH SERIOUS ANTITRUST
ENFORCEMENT. WE CAN WORK WITH OUR
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS TO CRACK DOWN ON TAX HAVENS. THOSE FOUR CHANGES WOULD
FUNDAMENTALLY ALTER EVERY TRADE NEGOTIATION WE UNDERTAKE .
OUR ECONOMIC POLICIES ARE ABOUT FAR MORE THAN TRADE.
OUR POLICIES SHOULD ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES OF TODAY’S
INTERCONNECTED WORLD. TO ADDRESS CORRUPTION, WE NEED
TRANSPARENCY ABOUT THE MOVEMENT OF ASSETS RS S ACROSS BORDERS.
TO PROTECT PRIVACY, WE NEED TO ADDRESS DATA RIGHTS, FROM GLOBAL
TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES HELL BENT ON BOOSTING MARKET SHARE, AND
FROM GOVERNMENTS THAT SEEK TO EXPLOIT TECHNOLOGY AS A MEANS TO
CONTROL THEIR OWN PEOPLE. TO MAKE PROGRESS ON CLIMATE
CHANGE AND PROTECT OUR HIGHER STANDARDS HERE IN THE U.S. , WE SHOULD LEVERAGE FOREIGN
COUNTRIES’ DESIRE TO ACCESS U.S. MARKETS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO
INSIST ON MEANINGFUL ENVIRONMENTAL
PROTECTIONS. JUST LAST WEEK, OUR OWN
GOVERNMENT SAID THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALREADY HAPPENING, AND
WILL DRAMATICALLY ENDANGER THE WORLD WE SHARE.
THE THREAT IS REAL, AND IT IS EXISTENTIAL, AND WE NEED TO TAKE
ACTION NOW. [APPLAUSE] IN OTHER WORDS, WE NEED TO SET
NEW RULES FOR GLOBAL CAPITALISM IN THE 21st CENTURY. RULES THAT WORK FOR ALL
AMERICANS, NOT JUST FOR WEALTHY ELITES.
NOW, NONE OF THIS REQUIRES SACRIFICING THE INTERESTS OF
AMERICAN BUSINESSES. ALTHOUGH, IT WILL REQUIRE SOME
OF THEM TO TAKE A LITTLE LONGER VIEW. THE WORLD EXISTS BEYOND THE NEXT
QUARTERLY REPORT. WE SHOULD BE ON THE SIDE OF
AMERICAN BUSINESSES, PROTECTING THEM FROM UNFAIR PRACTICES
ABROAD. AND THAT MEANS AGGRESSIVELY,
AGGRESSIVELY TARGETING CORRUPTION AND PAY-TO-PLAY DEMANDS FROM
UNSCRUPULOUS GOVERNMENTS. IT MEANS FIGHTING BACK AGAINST
THE THREAT OF FORCED TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER IN EXCHANGE FOR MARKET
ACCESS. AND IT MEANS PENALIZING THE
THEFT OF AMERICAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.
THESE ARE POLICIES THAT ARE GOOD FOR AMERICAN WORKERS, GOOD FOR
AMERICAN INVESTORS, AND GOOD FOR AMERICAN BUSINESSES.
AND THAT’S THE KIND OF WORK WE SHOULD PURSUE.
A FOREIGN POLICY THAT LIFTS THE FORTUNES OF ALL AMERICANS MUST
ALSO TAKE AN HONEST LOOK AT THE FULL COSTS AND RISKS OF OUR
MILITARY ACTIONS. ALL THREE OF MY BROTHERS SERVED
IN THE MILITARY. I KNOW THAT OUR SERVICE MEMBERS
AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE SMART AND
TOUGH AND RESOURCEFUL. BUT A STRONG MILITARY SHOULD ACT
AS A DETERRENT SO THAT MOST OF THE
TIME, WE WON’T HAVE TO USE IT. THAT’S NOT WHERE WE ARE TODAY.
FOR NEARLY TWO DECADES, THIS COUNTRY HAS BEEN MIRED IN A SERIES OF WARS, CONFLICTS THAT ZAP AMERICAN STRENGTH.
THE HUMAN COST OF THESE WARS HAS BEEN STAGGERING.
MORE THAN 6,900 AMERICANS KILLED.
ANOTHER 52,000 WOUNDED. MANY MORE WHO LIVE EVERY DAY
WITH THE INVISIBLE SCARS OF WAR. AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
CIVILIANS KILLED. THE FINANCIAL COSTS ARE ALSO
STAGGERING. THE U.S. HAS PUT MORE THAN A TRILLION
DOLLARS ON A CREDIT CARD FOR OUR CHILDREN
TO PAY, A BURDEN THAT CREATES A DRAG ON OUR ECONOMY THAT WILL LAST FOR
GENERATIONS. MEANWHILE, CONGRESS HAS SHIRKED
ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO OVERSEE THESE EXPANDING CONFLICTS. DESPITE AMERICA’S HUGE
INVESTMENT, THESE WARS HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED EVEN ON
THEIR OWN TERMS. 17 YEARS LATER, THE MIDDLE EAST
REMAINS IN SHAMBLES. U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS
HAVE OFTEN UNDERMINED OTHER EVIDENT EFFORTS
TO REINFORCE CIVILIAN GOVERNANCE, TO REINFORCE THE
RULE OF LAW, AND TO REINFORCE HUMAN RIGHTS ABROAD.
WE HAVE PARTNERED WITH COUNTRIES THAT SHARE EITHER OUR GOAL NEITHER
OUR GOALS, NOR OUR VALUES. IN SOME CASES, AS WITH OUR
SUPPORT FOR SAUDI ARABIA’S PROXY WAR IN YEMEN, U.S. POLICIES RISK GENERATING EVEN
MORE EXTREMISM. WIDESPREAD MAY GAGS MIGRATION OF
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE SEEKING SAFETY FROM WAR RE-TORN REGIONS HAS ALLOWED
RIGHT-WING DEMAGOGUES TO UNFAIRLY BLAME THE WORKING
PEOPLE FOR THE PAIN. AND EVEN WITH ALL OF THE BLOOD
AND MONEY WE HAVE SPILLED, AMERICA STILL FACES VIOLENT
TERRORIST GROUPS THAT WISH TO DO US HARM.
WHILE OUR LEADERS WERE FOCUSED ON WARS IN DISTANT LANDS, THE
WORLD CHANGED UNDER OUR FEET. WOULD-BE RIVALS LIKE CHINA AND
RUSSIA WATCHED AND LEARNED, AND THEY ARE HARD AT WORK DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES
AND TACTICS TO LEAPFROG THE UNITED STATES IN AREAS LIKE
CYBER AND ROBOTICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
NEITHER MILITARY NOR CIVILIAN POLICYMAKERS SEEM CAPABLE OF
DEFINING SUCCESS, BUT SURELY, THIS IS NOT
IT. THE FIRST RESPONSIBILITY OF
GOVERNMENT IS TO DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT OURSELVES AT HOME AND ABROAD,
BUT IT IS LONG PAST TIME WE ASK THE
QUESTION, WHAT ACTIONS MAKE US TRULY SAFER? LET’S START BY RE-EXAMINING OUR
FORCE STRUCTURE AROUND THE WORLD.
THE UNITED STATES HAS TROOPED DEPLOYED IN HARM’S WAY IN OVER A DOZEN
COUNTRIES TODAY. TAKE AFGHANISTAN. WE HAVE TURNED THE CORNER IN
AFGHANISTAN SO MANY TIMES THAT WE ARE NOW
GOING IN A CIRCLE.
POPPY PRODUCTION IS UP. THE TALIBAN ARE ON THE RISE.
AFGHAN FORCES ARE TAKING UNSUSTAINABLE LOSSES.
THE GOVERNMENT IS LOSING TERRITORY AND CREDIBILITY.
ON MY TRIP TO AFGHANISTAN LAST YEAR, I MET AMERICAN SERVICE
MEMBERS WHO WERE YOUNG CHILDREN ON 9/11.
THIS ISN’T WORKING. YES, WE CAN AND WE MUST CONTINUE
TO BE VIGILANT ABOUT THE THREATS OF TERRORISM, WHETHER FROM
AFGHANISTAN OR ANYWHERE ELSE, BUT RATHER THAN FIGHTING
IN AN AFGHAN CIVIL WAR, LET’S HELP THEM REACH A REALISTIC
PEACE SETTLEMENT THAT HALTS THE VIOLENCE AND PROTECTS OUR
SECURITY. LET’S MAKE SURE THAT THE THREE
BRAVE AMERICANS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN THIS WEEK, INCLUDING
A SOLDIER WHO GREW UP IN BOSTON, ARE THE LAST AMERICANS TO LOSE
THEIR LIVES IN THIS WAR. IT IS TIME TO BRING OUR TROOPS
HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN STARTING RIGHT NOW. [APPLAUSE] AND NEXT, LET’S CUT OUR BLOATED
DEFENSE BUDGET. THE UNITED STATES WILL SPEND
MORE THAN $700 BILLION ON DEFENSE THIS YEAR ALONE.
THAT IS MORE THAN PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN SPENT DURING THE
COLD WAR. IT IS MORE THAN THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT SPENDS ON EDUCATION, MEDICAL
RESEARCH, BORDER SECURITY, HOUSING, THE FBI, DISASTER
RELIEF, THE STATE DEPARTMENT, FOREIGN AID, AND EVERYTHING ELSE
IN THE DISCRETIONARY BUDGET PUT
TOGETHER. THIS IS UNSUSTAINABLE.
IF MORE MONEY FOR THE PENTAGON COULD SOLVE OUR SECURITY
CHALLENGES, WE WOULD HAVE SOLVED THEM BY NOW. [APPLAUSE] SO, HOW DO WE RESPONSIBLY CUT
BACK? WELL, WE CAN START BY ENDING THE
STRANGLE HOLD OF DEFENSE CONTRACTORS ON OUR MILITARY
POLICY. [APPLAUSE]
IT’S PRETTY CLEAR THAT THE PENTAGON IS CAPTURED BY THE SO-CALLEDED BIG
FIVE DEFENSE CONTRACTORS, AND TAXPAYERS ARE PICKING UP THE
BILL. NOW, IF YOU ARE SKEPTICAL THAT
THIS IS A PROBLEM, CONSIDER THIS.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS REFUSED TO HALT ARMS SALES TO
SAUDI ARABIA, IN PART BECAUSE HE IS MORE INTERESTED IN APPEASING
U.S. DEFENSE CONTRACTORS THAN HOLDING
THE SAUDIS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MURDER OF A “WASHINGTON POST”
JOURNALIST OR FOR THOUSANDS OF YEMENI CIVILIANS WHO HAVE BEEN
KILLED BY THOSE WEAPONS. [APPLAUSE] I GET IT.
THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY WILL INEVITABLY HAVE A SEAT AT THE
TABLE. BUT THEY SHOULDN’T GET TO OWN
THE TABLE. [APPLAUSE]
AMERICAN SECURITY AND AMERICAN VALUES SHOULD COME AHEAD OF THE PROFITS
OF THESE PRIVATE COMPANYIES. IT IS TIME TO IDENTIFY WHICH
PROGRAMS ACTUALLY BENEFIT AMERICAN SECURITY IN THE 21st CENTURY, AND WHICH
PROGRAMS MERELY LINE THE POCKETS OF DEFENSE CONTRACTORS, AND THEN
PULL OUT A SHARP KNIFE AND MAKE SOME CUTS .
AMERICA SHOULD ALSO BE REINVESTING IN DIPLOMACY.
FOREIGN POLICY SHOULD NOT BE RUN EXCLUSIVELY BY THE PENTAGON.
[APPLAUSE] AND YES, OUR PARTNERS SHOULD PAY
THEIR FAIR SHARE, BUT DIPLOMACY IS NOT
ABOUT CHARITY. IT IS ABOUT ADVANCING U.S. INTERESTS AND DEALING WITH
PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY MORPH INTO COSTLY
WARS. SIMILARLY, ALLIANCES, OR ABOUT
SHARED PRINCIPLES LIKE OUR SHARED COMMITMENT TO HUMAN
RIGHTS, BUT THEY ARE ALSO ABOUT SAFETY IN NUMBERS.
NOT EVEN THE STRONGEST NATION SHOULD HAVE TO SOLVE EVERYTHING ON ITS
OWN. WE NEED OUR PARTNERS. [APPLAUSE]
WE SHOULD ALSO LOOK AT WHERE OUR DEFENSE SPENDING IS ACTUALLY
COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE PRESIDENT HAS
THREATENED RUSSIA WITH A NUCLEAR ARMS RACE, SAYING WE WILL SIMPLY
OUTSPEND OUR RIVALS. BOY, IS THAT WRONG.
THE UNITED STATES HAS OVER 4,000 NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN OUR ACTIVE ARSENAL,
AND OUR CONVENTIONAL MILITARY MIGHT IS OVERWHELMING. TRUMP’S NUCLEAR ARMS RACE DOES
NOT MAKE US OR THE WORLD ANY SAFER. [APPLAUSE] SO LET ME PROPOSE THREE CORE
NUCLEAR SECURITY PRINCIPLES. ONE, NO NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
[APPLAUSE] I HAVE VOTED AGAINST AND I WILL
CONTINUE TO VOTE AGAINST THIS PRESIDENT’S
ATTEMPT TO CREATE NEW, MORE USABLE
NUCLEAR WEAPONS. TWO, MORE INTERNATIONAL ARMS
CONTROL, NOT LESS. [APPLAUSE]
WE SHOULD NOT SPEND OVER A TRILLION DOLLARS TO MODERNIZE
OUR NUCLEAR ARSENAL AT A TIME WHEN THE PRESIDENT IS DOING
EVERYTHING HE CAN TO UNDERMINE GENERATIONS OF VERIFIED ARMS
CONTROL AGREEMENTS. INSTEAD, LET’S START BY
EXTENDING NEW START THROUGH 2026.
THAT WILL GET US STARTED. AND THIRD, NO FIRST USE. [APPLAUSE] TO REDUCE THE CHANCES OF A
MISCALCULATION OR AN ACCIDENT AND TO MAINTAIN OUR MORAL AND
DIPLOMATIC LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD, WE MUST
BE CLEAR THAT DETERRENCE IS THE SOLE PURPOSE OF OUR ARSENAL. MORE OF EVERYTHING IS GREAT FOR
DEFENSE CONTRACTORS, BUT IT IS A POOR REPLACEMENT FOR A REAL
STRATEGY. WE NEED TO BE SMARTER AND FASTER
THAN THOSE WHO WISH TO DO US HARM. WE NEED TO TAP OUR CREATIVITY,
TO ANTICIPATE AND EVALUATE, BOTH
RISKS AND RESPONSES. AND WE NEED TO BETTER WEIGH THE
LONG-TERM COSTS AND BENEFITS OF MILITARY INTERVENTION.
THOSE ARE THE WAYS THAT WE HELP KEEP AMERICANS SAFE.
AND FINALLY, A FOREIGN POLICY THAT WORKS FOR ALL AMERICANS MUST RECOGNIZE
THAT AMERICA CAN PROJECT POWER ABROAD
ONLY IF WE ARE STRONG AND SECURE AT HOME. BUT EVERY DAY, SHORT-SIGHTED
DOMESTIC POLICIES ARE WEAKENING OUR NATIONAL STRENGTH.
AT A TIME WHEN GROWING INEQUALITY STIFLES ECONOMIC GROWTH,
CONGRESS’S RESPONSE HAS BEEN A $1. 5 TRILLION TAX GIVEAWAY SO THE
WEALTHIEST. LIFE EXPECTANCY IN THE UNITED
STATES IS FALLING AS DRUG OVERDOSES SKYROCKET. AND OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
STRUGGLES TO RESPOND. THE U.S. IS SLASHING DOMESTIC INVESTMENTS
IN EDUCATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE,
EVEN AS POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES DOUBLE DOWN ON EXACTLY THOSE
SAME PRIORITIES. OUR GOVERNMENT GUTS
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS, WHILE COASTAL CITIES WILL SPEND DAYS
UNDER WATER, AND CALIFORNIA BURNS.
INVESTMENTS AT HOME STRENGTHEN THE ECONOMY, BUT INVESTMENTS AT HOME
ALSO SERVE NATIONAL SECURITY. A 21st CENTURY INDUSTRIAL
POLICY, FOR EXAMPLE, WOULD HELP PRODUCE GOOD
JOBS THAT PROVIDE DIGNITY AND RESPECT
AND A LIVING WAGE, AND STATEMENT,
WOULD REINFORCE U.S. INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC POLICY.
OUR NEEDS AT HOME ARE MANY. INFRASTRUCTURE TO CREATE
INCREASED CONNECTIVITY, AND TO EXPAND OPPORTUNITY ACROSS THE UNITED STATES,
IMMIGRATION POLICIES, TO YIELD MORE ROBUST
ECONOMY, EDUCATION POLICIES, TO EQUIP FUTURE GENERATIONS WITHOUT
CRUSHING THEM WITH DEBT, HIGH QUALITY AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE,
AN ECONOMY THAT IS FAIR AND OPEN TO ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESSES
OF ALL SIZE, A PROGRESSIVE TAX
SYSTEM THAT REQUIRES THE WEALTHY TO PAY
THEIR FAIR SHARE, A GOVERNMENT THAT IS NOT FOR SALE TO THE
HIGHEST BIDDER. [APPLAUSE] THE 2016 ELECTION PROVIDED A
STARK REMINDER THAT WE MUST REMAIN VIGILANT AND FIGHT FOR OUR DEMOCRACY
EVERY SINGLE DAY. THIS STARTS WITH PROTECTING OUR ELECTIONS AND OUR DEMOCRATIC
PROCESSES, AND MAKING IT CLEAR THAT THERE WILL BE SEVERE CONSEQUENCES FOR THOSE
FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC WHO MEDDLE, HACK, OR UNDERMINE THEM.
IT MEANS ENSURING A MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITY FOR EVERY AMERICAN
CITIZEN TO VOTE. [APPLAUSE] AND IT MEANS FIGHTING FOR EQUAL
JUSTICE AND PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW FOR EVERYONE.
IT ALSO REQUIRES US TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST HATEFUL RHETORIC THAT
FUELS DOMESTIC TERRORISM OF ALL KINDS, WHETHER
IN SAN BERNARDINO OR CHARLESTON,
ORLANDO OR CHARLOTTESVILLE, FORT HOOD OR PITTSBURGH.
WE MUST SPEAK PLAINLY ABOUT ALL OF THESE INCIDENTS.
JUST LIKE THE HATEFUL TERRORISM OF AL QAEDA AND ISIS, DOMESTIC
RIGHT-WING TERRORISM IS COMPLETELY INCOMPATIBLE WITH
AMERICAN VALUES. IT IS A THREAT TO THE SAFETY AND
SECURITY OF THE UNITED STATES. [APPLAUSE]
WE MUST NOT TOLERATE IT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
I WANTED TO COME HERE TODAY BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT AT
STAKING AND YOUR GENERATION WILL LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF
THE DECISIONS THAT ARE BEING MADE TODAY.
WHETHER OUR LEADERS RECOGNIZE IT OR NOT, AFTER YEARS AS THE WORLD’S LONE
SUPERPOWER, THE UNITED STATES IS ENTERING A NEW PERIOD OF
COMPETITION. DEMOCRACY IS RUNNING HEAD-LONG
INTO THE IDEOLOGIES OF NATIONALISM, AUTHORITARIANISM,
AND CORRUPTION. CHINA IS ON THE RISE, USING ITS
ECONOMIC MIGHT TO BLUDGEON ITS WAY ONTO THE WORLD STAGE, AND
OFFERING A MODEL IN WHICH ECONOMIC GAINS LEGITIMIZE
OPPRESSION. TO MASK ITS DECLINE, RUSSIA IS
PROVOKING THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WITH OPPORTUNISTIC
HARASSMENT AND COVERT ATTACKS, INCLUDING JUST THIS WEEK WHEN
RUSSIA SEIZED THREE UKRAINIAN NAVY SHIPS NEAR CRIMEA.
BOTH CHINA AND RUSSIA INVEST HEAVILY IN THEIR MILITARIES AND
OTHER TOOLS OF NATIONAL POWER. BOTH HOPE TO SHAPE SPHERES OF
INFLUENCE IN THEIR OWN IMAGE.
BOTH ARE WORKING FLAT-OUT TO REMAKE THE GLOBAL ORDER TO SUIT
THEIR OWN PRIORITIES. AND BOTH ARE WORKING TO
UNDERMINE THE BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS WE HOLD DEAR.
IF WE CANNOT MAKE OUR GOVERNMENT WORK FOR ALL AMERICANS, THEN CHINA
AND RUSSIA WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY SUCCEED AT THEIR GOALS. BUT HERE’S THE THING ABOUT
AUTHORITARIAN GOVERNMENTS. THEY ARE ROTTEN FROM THE
INSIDE-OUT. AUTHORITARIAN LEADERS, THEY TALK
A BIG GAME, BIG GAME ABOUT NATIONALISM AND PATRIOTISM AND HOW THEY AND THEY
ALONE CAN SAVE THE STATE AND THE PEOPLE. BUT AUTHORITARIAN SYSTEM IS
ROTTEN, BECAUSE BY ITS VERY DESIGN, IT
STACKS THE DECK FOR THE WEALTHY AND IT DEPENDS ON CORRUPTION IN ORDER TO
SURVIVE. VLADIMIR PUTIN ATTACKS THE FREE
PRESS, BUMPS HIS CHEST ABOUT THE POWER OF RUSSIA, BUT HIS REAL
POWER COMES FROM STATE-RUN CORPORATIONS
CONVENIENTLY OVERSEEN BY HIS FRIENDS AND
CRONIES. THAT’S CORRUPTION.
IN CHINA, PRESIDENT XI CONSOLIDATES HIS POWER AND TALKS
ABOUT THE CHINA DREAM, WHILE STATE-OWNED AND
STATE-INFLUENCED CORPORATIONS MAKE MILLIONAIRES AND
BILLIONAIRES OUT OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF COMMUNIST PARTY
ELITES. THAT’S CORRUPTION. FROM HUNGARY, TO TURKEY, FROM
THE PHILIPPINES TO BRAZIL, WEALTHY ELITES WORK TOGETHER TO
GROW THE STATE’S POWER WHILE THE STATE WORKS TO GROW THE WEALTH OF THOSE WHO REMAIN LOYAL TO THE
LEADER. THAT’S CORRUPTION, PURE AND
SIMPLE. THE COMBINATION OF
AUTHORITARIANISM AND CORRUPT CAPITALISM IS A FUNDAMENTAL THREAT TO DEMOCRACY, BOTH HERE
IN THE UNITED STATES AND AROUND THE WORLD.
IT IS A THREAT BECAUSE ECONOMIC CORRUPTION KNOWS NO BORDERS, AND
IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY, CORRUPTION CAN
PROVIDE STRATEGIC ADVANTAGES. IT IS A THREAT BECAUSE CORRUPT
LEADERS ENHANCE THEIR OWN POWER BY SUBVERTING THE POWER OF
EVERYONE ELSE. AND SO THEY ACTIVELY UNDERMINE
FREE AND OPEN SOCIETIES THROUGH CYBER ATTACKS, THROUGH
DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS, OR THROUGH SUPPORT OF ILLI ILLIBERAL POLITICIANS.
THEY RISK BECOMING DEMOCRACIES IN NAME ONLY.
WE NEED TO BE HONEST ABOUT THE HARD WORK THAT IS NEEDED TO
RESTORE OUR DEMOCRACY HERE AT HOME AND TO ALIGN OUR
FOREIGN POLICY ABROAD, TO REGAIN THE TRUST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
I CAN’T LEAVE HERE TODAY WITHOUT ADDRESSING THE ELEPHANT IN THE
ROOM. PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS
POLITICAL ALLIES IN CONGRESS. WE MUST FACE REALITY HEAD-ON. PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ACTIONS AND
INSTINCTS ALIGN WITH THOSE OF AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES AROUND THE
GLOBE. HE EMBRACES DICTATORS OF ALL
STRIPES. HE COZIES UP TO WHITE
NATIONALISTS. HE UNDERMINES THE FREE PRESS AND
INCITES VIOLENCES AGAINST JOURNALISTS.
HE ATTACKS THE INDEPENDENCE OF OUR JUDICIARY.
HE WRAPS HIMSELF IN THE FLAG AND CO-OPS THE MILITARY FOR PARTISAN
PURPOSES. BUT HE CAN’T BE BOTHEREDED TO
VISIT TO VISIT OUR TROOPS IN HARM’S WAY.
AND HE IS AIDED AND ABETTED EVERY STEP OF THE WAY BY REPUBLICAN
POLITICIANS IN WASHINGTON TOO PLEASED WITH HIS JUDICIAL
APPOINTMENTS AND HIS TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY TO STAND UP FOR
FUNDAMENTAL AMERICAN VALUES. THE TIME FOR HOLDING BACK IS
OVER. [APPLAUSE] PATRIOTS OF EVERY POLITICAL
PERSUASION MUST STAND UP TO THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR.
AMERICANS MUST DEMONSTRATE TO THIS PRESIDENT AND TO THE WORLD THAT
WE ARE NOT SLIDING TOWARD AUTOCRACY,
NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT. [APPLAUSE]
55 YEARS AGO, WHEN PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY SPOKE RIGHT HERE
AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, HE SAID THAT OUR
PROBLEMS ARE MANMADE, AND THEREFORE, THEY
CAN BE SOLVED BY MAN. THE SAME IS TRUE TODAY.
OKAY, I’D ADD THEY CAN BE SOLVED BY WOMEN AS WELL.
[LAUGHTER] [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] BUT I BELIEVE IN US.
AMERICANS ARE AN ADAPTIVE, RESILIENT PEOPLE, AND WE HAVE MET HARD
CHALLENGES HEAD-ON BEFORE. WE CAN WORK TOGETHER AS WE HAVE
BEFORE TO STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY AT HOME AND ABROAD.
WE CAN BUILD A FOREIGN POLICY THAT WORKS FOR ALL AMERICANS, NOT JUST FOR
THE WEALTHY ELITES. THE CHALLENGE WE FACE MAY BE OUR
MOST PROFOUND SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR II.
BECAUSE HERE’S THE TRUTH. IN OUR TIME TOGETHER THIS
AFTERNOON, WE HAVE ONLY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE OF THE
PROBLEMS THAT WE FACE. MONEY OF THIS WILL BE EASY.
BUT WE WILL PERSIST. I BELIEVE IN US.
I BELIEVE IN WHAT WE CAN DO. I BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY, AND I
BELIEVE IN WHAT WE MUST DO TO SAVE IT.
THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE TODAY.
THANK YOU. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THANK YOU.
THANK YOU. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH, SENATOR
WARREN, FOR THAT FANTASTIC SPEECH.
WE ASK THAT EVERYONE REMAIN SEATED AS WE MOMENTARILY
TRANSITION TO A MODERATED QUESTION AND ANSWER FORMAT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>ELIZABETH WARREN: SO HOW
MANY PEOPLE SKIPPED CLASS TO BE HERE?
WHOA!>>I SEE YOU.
>>ELIZABETH WARREN: I SHOULDN’T HAVE ASKED THAT IN
FRONT OF A DEAN. THERE WE GO.
>>THANK YOU SO MUCH, SENATOR. WHAT A GREAT TIME TO HEAR FROM
YOU. WE SO APPRECIATE YOU BEING ON
CAMPUS WITH US.>>ELIZABETH WARREN: DELIGHTED
TO BE HERE.>>AND STAYING AROUND TO ANSWER
SOME QUESTIONS. THESE QUESTIONS ALL CAME FROM
OUR STUDENTS, A ENSO AND SO WE’RE
GOING TO START WITH THE FIRST ONE FROM
BENJAMIN CASSENBALM, A POLITICAL SCIENCE
MAJOR. IS BENJAMIN IN THE ROOM?
WHOO! BENJAMIN ASKS, WITH THE RECENT
RISE IN TENSIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UKRAINE, WHAT ACTION
SHOULD THE UNITED STATES AND OUR EUROPINEPEAN ALLIES TAKE TO
SOLVE UKRAINE SOVEREIGNTY?>>ELIZABETH WARREN: ALL RIGHT.
GOOD QUESTION, BENJAMIN. BUT LET’S START WITH WHAT I
THINK IS REALLY GOING ON IN UKRAINE, AND IT’S VLADIMIR PUTIN TESTING DONALD
TRUMP. THAT’S WHAT THIS IS ABOUT.
AND HE’S JUST TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW FAR CAN WE PUSH HIM.
AND WHAT WILL THE PRESIDENT DO BY WAY OF RESPONSE.
SO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS BEING TESTED RIGHT NOW
IN UKRAINE, AND HE IS FAILING. HE’S NOT RESPONDING WITH
STRENGTH. AND THE FAILURE TO DO THAT, NOT
ONLY IS HARMFUL RIGHT NOW TO UKRAINE IN
DESTABILIZING TO THE COUNTRY, BUT IT MEANS THAT PUTIN IS EMBOLDENED
FOR THE NEXT PLACE HE WANTS TO PUSH AND THE NEXT PLACE HE WANTS
TO PUSH AND THE NEXT PLACE HE WANTS TO PUSH. SO, WE NEED A STRONG RESPONSE,
AND WE NEEDED IT YET, WE NEEDED IT THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY.
LET ME OFFER A COUPLE OF PIECES ON THIS, BECAUSE IT FITS INTO
THESE LARGER QUESTIONS ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY .
SO WE NEED TO HAVE GOOD TOOLS IN THE TOOLBOX READY TO GO WHEN
PUTIN DOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS IN THE UKRAINE, AND THAT MEANS
NOT ONLY MILITARY THAT IS STRONG AND READY, BUT DIPLOMATIC
CORE THAT IS FULLY FUNCTIONAL AND
READY TO GO, AND ECONOMIC POLICIES THAT ARE STRONG AND IN
PLACE AND PEOPLE READY TO WORK ON THOSE .
A STATE DEPARTMENT THAT IS HOLLOWED OUT MEANS THAT IT IS
MUCH MORE DIFFICULT FOR US TO WORK THROUGH SOLUTIONS.
WHEN WE’RE NOT IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH OUR ALLIES AND WORKING WITH
OUR ALLIES AROUND THE GLOBE ON A DAILY BASIS, THEN THE RESPONSE
IS LEFT TO THE UNITED STATES AND NOT TO THE WORLD COMMUNITY. A STRONGER RESPONSE COMES FROM
THE WHOLE WORLD COMMUNITY. SO, MUCH OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S
FAILURE IN UKRAINE RIGHT NOW IS THE FAILURE
OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS TO STRENGTHEN AMERICA’S TOOLS TO RESPOND IN
CIRCUMSTANCES LIKE THIS. SO, WHAT CAN WE DO TO BE MORE
SPECIFIC? WE CAN PUT SANCTIONS IN PLACE . WE CAN HAVE RESPONSES TOGETHER
AT A MINIMUM TO PUSH BACK AND SAY, NOT JUST FROM THE UNITED
STATES, BUT FROM THE WORLD COMMUNITY, THAT WHAT HE’S DOING
IN UKRAINE IS WRONG. AND SO LONG AS THE RESPONSE IS
LIMP OR NONEXISTENT, PUTIN WILL COME
BACK AND PUSH AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.
SO I THINK THAT’S WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING.
I SHOULD PUT ONE MORE LITTLE PIECE IN THERE AND THAT IS FOR
UKRAINE ITSELF. WE SHOULD BE DOING WHAT WE CAN
TO SUPPORT UKRAINE SO THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR ECONOMY
STABLE TO SUPPORT THEIR PEOPLE AND KEEP
ENCOURAGING UKRAINE TOWARD A MORE DEMOCRATIC FORM OF
GOVERNANCE. IN THE LONG RUN, NOT ONLY IS
THAT GOOD FOR UKRAINE AND GOOD FOR THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE, IT
HELPS STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY AROUND THE GLOBE, AND THAT’S
WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING. HOPE THAT’S HELPFUL. [APPLAUSE]>>WE HAVE A QUESTION FROM
NATHAN WHITE, ALSO A POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR.
NATHAN ASKS, WITH CLIMATE CHANGE BEING SUCH A DAUNTING CHALLENGE
FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD AS WE HEAD INTO THE NEXT DECADE, THE GLOBAL
COMMUNITY NEEDS TO UNIFY REGARDING POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS TO
THE CRISIS. DO YOU SEE THE UNITED STATES AS
HAVING POTENTIAL TO JOIN OTHER COUNTRIES AS A GLOBAL LEADER
AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE?>>OKAY. SO, I’M HERE AT A UNIVERSITY, I
FEEL MORE RELAXED .
I’M JUST GOING TO THROW ONE OF THEM OUT.
I BELIEVE IN SCIENCE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL, AND THE
URGENCY OF THE MOMENT CANNOT BE
OVERSTATED. THE UNITED STATES IS A LEADER IN
CLIMATE POLICY. IT’S JUST LEADING IN THE WRONG
DIRECTION RIGHT NOW. BY WITHDRAWING FROM THE PARIS
CLIMATE ACCORD, BY TRYING TO WEAKEN STANDARDS AT THE
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, BY NOT STRENGTHENING STANDARDS
IN TRADE DEALS, THE UNITED STATES IS
GIVING COVER TO EVERY GOVERNMENT AROUND THE GLOBE THAT DOESN’T
WANT TO HAVE TO SPEND THE MONEY, THAT DOESN’T WANT TO HAVE TO
TAKE ON THE WEALTHY ELITES WHO MAKE MONEY FROM THE CURRENT POLICIES.
WE NEED AN AMERICA THAT LEADS IN A DIRECTION THAT IS SUSTAINABLE
FOR OUR FUTURE. YOU ALL SAW THE REPORT.
13 GOVERNMENT AGENCIES THAT WEIGHED IN, SCIENTISTS FROM ALL
AROUND OUR GOVERNMENT THAT TALKED ABOUT THE
URGENCY OF THE CLIMATE PROBLEM, OF WHAT
THIS MEANS FOR AMERICA, WHAT IT MEANS
AS THE OCEANS RISE, WHAT IT MEANS IS CALIFORNIA BURNS.
BUT I WANT TO PUT THIS IN THE CONTEXT, SINCE THIS IS THE
SUBJECT OF TODAY’S TALK. I ALSO WANT TO PUT IT IN THE
CONTEXT OF FOREIGN POLICY. THINK ABOUT WHAT CLIMATE CHANGE
MEANS TO A CHANGING WORLD. THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO WILL
BE FORCED OUT OF THEIR HOMES IF THEY LIVE NEAR THE OCEAN, AND WHO WILL BE
MIGRATEING THROUGHOUT OTHER COUNTRIES. THE PEOPLE WHO WILL LOSE ACCESS
TO FRESH WATER, AND THEREFORE ARE ON THE MOVE. THE PEOPLE WHO WILL LOSE LAND
THAT IS EFFECTIVE FOR GROWING CROPS, AND THE INCREASING
CONFLICT OVER THOSE RESOURCES, OVER DIMINISHING HABITABLE LAND,
OVER DIMINISHING ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER, OVER DIMINISHING ACCESS
TO THE LAND THAT WILL SUSTAIN CROPS.
THAT MEANS A MORE DANGEROUS WORLD OVER ALL AND NEW CONFLICTS
ALL AROUND THE GLOBE.
THIS IS WHAT POLICY IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT.
TO LOOK OUT INTO THE FUTURE, YOU TAKE THE DATA THAT’S AVAILABLE
NOW AND YOU LOOK OUT INTO THE FUTURE AND SEE THE PROBLEMS THAT
ARE COMING OUR WAY, AND DEAL WITH THEM NOW WHEN YOU’VE
GOT A CHANCE. THE WINDOW FOR DEALING WITH
CLIMATE IS RAPIDLY CLOSING .
WE MUST ACT. YES, WE SHOULD REJOIN THE PARIS
CLIMATE ACCORD, BUT THAT IS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH.
WE NEED TO GO WAY BEYOND THE PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD AND WE NEED
TO BE USING ALL OF OUR TOOLS, INCLUDING ALL OF OUR TOOLS OF FOREIGN POLICY, TO
BRING AS MANY NATIONS WITH US AS
POSSIBLE. THAT’S WHAT GLOBAL LEADERSHIP
FOR THE UNITED STATES WOULD LOOK LIKE. SO YOU ASK ME, COULD IT HAPPEN?
I THINK THAT WAS THE QUESTION. THE ANSWER IS, IT GIVES ME HOPE,
AND THAT IS THE NEW CLASS OF PEOPLE WHO JUST GOT ELECTED IN
2018. [APPLAUSE]
WOOHOO! THERE HAVE BEEN SOME OF US WHO
HAVE BEEN CLIMATE WARRIORS FOR A LONG TIME, BUT TO SEE SO MANY
PEOPLE COMING INTO THE NEW CONGRESS WHO RAN ON OVERTLY
GREEN POLICIES SAYING, I WANT TO PUT THIS ON MY TOP THREE AGENDA, IS THAT WE
AS A COUNTRY NEED TO RESPOND TO THE
CLIMATE CRISIS. THAT GIVES ME HOPE, BECAUSE
THAT’S ENERGY, NOT JUST ON CAPITOL HILL
. IT’S THAT EVERYONE ON CAPITOL
HILL WHO DIDN’T RUN ON THAT SEES THAT
PEOPLE WHO DID WON, AND THAT TELLS LOTS OF
FOLKS ON CAPITOL HILL, THIS IS AN ISSUE,
NOT JUST FOR WONG WONKS — [LAUGHTER]
I LIKE WONKS. I SAY THAT WONK TO WONK. [APPLAUSE] BUT IT’S AN ISSUE THAT IS
INCREASINGLY URGENT FOR AMERICANS ALL AROUND THIS COUNTRY . WE CAN IT’S ALL ABOUT INCREASING
THE ABILITY OF KOCH INDUSTRIES AND THE OIL INDUSTRY AND OTHER INDUSTRIES
THAT MAKE MONEY OFF LOW REGULATIONS AND CONTINUING TO POISON THE AIR AND FOUL THE
WATER .
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC POLICY, YOU CAN’T
SEPARATE THEM IN THE 21st CENTURY.
FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC POLICIES THAT DON’T JUST WORK TO ENHANCE
THE PROFITS OF A WEALTHY ELITE, BUT THAT WORK FOR A SUSTAINABLE LIFE FOR ALL OF US.
WE’VE GOT TO DO THIS, AND WE’RE GOING TO.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU. I JUST WANTED TO SAY, IF YOU
HAVE ANY ANNOUNCEMENTS TO MAKE, I THINK THIS WOULD BE A ROOM
THAT WOULD BE INTERESTED IN THOSE.
SO, JUST IN CASE.>>OKAY.
>>BUT FOR THE NEXT QUESTION, WE HAVE A QUESTION FROM MAX ROBINS.
HE’S A POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR HERE.
HE ASKED, WHILE AT HARVARD, YOU WERE RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE
COUNTRY’S LEADING EXPERTS ON BANKRUPTCY LAWS AND FINANCIAL
PRESSURES FACING THE MIDDLE CLASS FAMILY.
YOU’VE SINCE ADVOCATED THAT BANKRUPTCY LAWS SHOULD BE CHANGED TO PERMIT
CONSUMERS TO DISCHARGE STUDENT LOAN OBLIGATIONS AND BANKRUPTCY.
WHERE WOULD YOU DRAW THE LINE BETWEEN THOSE CONSUMERS WHO
SHOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR SUCH RELIEF AND THESE WHO SHOULD NOT?
>>OKAY. ALL RIGHT.
STUDENT LOANS. NOBODY HERE CARES ABOUT THAT, DO
YOU? [LAUGHTER] WHAT I WANT TO DO, I WANT TO
TALK ABOUT STUDENT LOANS, AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT IN THE
CONTEXT OF WHAT I WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT OVERALL.
AND THAT IS ABOUT WHO GOVERNMENT WORKS FOR.
SO LET’S START WITH SOME BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT STUDENT LOANS. THE STUDENT LOAN DEBT BURDEN IN
AMERICA TODAY IS ABOUT 1.$1.5 TRILLION .
THE THING IS SO BIG NOW, THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY, EVERY YEAR
SOME PEOPLE GRADUATE, SOME PEOPLE DROP OUT OF SCHOOL AND
START PAYING THEIR LOANS, AND SOME NEW PEOPLE COME IN TO
SCHOOL, WHETHER IT’S GRADUATE SCHOOL OR UNDERGRADUATE SCHOOL,
AND BORROW SOME MONEY. SO YOU’D THINK THEY’D BE FAIRLY
STABLE, RIGHT? THE STUDENT LOAN DEBT BURDEN IS
SO HUGE AND SO UNMANAGEABLE FOR SO MANY PEOPLE, SO MANY PEOPLE ARE NOW IN
DEFERRAL, IN DEFAULT ON THEIR STUDENT LOANS,
AND THE INTEREST RATE IS HIGH ENOUGH THAT THE STUDENT LOAN
DEBT BURDEN IN AMERICA IS NOW GROWING BY $100 BILLION A
YEAR. THINK ABOUT THAT, AND THE IMPACT
THAT HAS ON AMERICA. SO, WE KNOW, AGAIN, THIS IS WHAT
POLICY IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT. YOU LOOK AT THE DATA NOW, AND
YOU DO THE PROJECTIONS INTO THE FUTURE. WE KNOW THE AGES AT WHICH, YOU
KNOW, IT’S A NORMALLY DISTRIBUTED CURVE, BUT THE AGES
AT WHICH PEOPLE MOVE OUT OF THEIR FOLKS’ HOME, PEOPLE GET
THEIR FIRST APARTMENT, PEOPLE BUY A CAR, PEOPLE BUY A HOME.
THE AGES AT WHICH PEOPLE DO THAT, AND ALL OF THAT IS SHIFTING TO THE
RIGHT. THAT IS LATER AND LATER AND
LATER, BECAUSE OF STUDENT LOAN DEBT.
IT’S HAVING A DISCERNIBLE IMPACT ON OUR ECONOMY.
HERE’S THE ONE. ACCORDING TO STUDIES, THE
STUDIES HAVE BEEN DONE BY THE FED, BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
BY THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU. SMALL BUSINESS START-UP IS BEING
DRAGGED BACK BECAUSE OF STUDENT LOANS.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE A GREAT IDEA, WANT TO TRY A LITTLE BUSINESS,
WANT TO GET OUT THERE AND ROLL THE DICE, YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE
THAT STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT EVERY MONTH. YOU CAN’T DO THAT . LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT ANOTHER
$1.5 TRILLION. JUST LESS THAN A YEAR AGO.
THE REPUBLICANS — LOOK, I HAVE TO BE PARTISAN ABOUT THIS.
IT’S JUST FACTUAL. EVERY REPUBLICAN IN THE UNITED
STATES CONGRESS VOTED TO GIVE AWAY A 1.
$1. 5 TRILLION TO BILLIONAIRES AND
GIANT CORPORATIONS. EVERY DEMOCRAT OPPOSED THAT.
AND THINK ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS. THERE IS THE EXAMPLE OF
GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS FOR A THIN SLICE AT THE
TOP FOR FOLKS WHO HAVE ALREADY MADE IT
BIG-TIME, AND SAYS, THE REST OF YOU BETTER
KEEP PAYING THOSE STUDENT LOANS TO KEEP THE GOVERNMENT RUNNING. TO ME, THAT’S JUST UPSIDE DOWN,
AND IT’S UPSIDE DOWN, NOT JUST FAMILY BY
FAMILY BY FAMILY. HOW IN A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED
GOVERNMENT COULD ANYONE MAKE A CHOICE LIKE THAT?
WE’RE GOING TO PREFER A THIN SLICE RATHER THAN 44 MILLION AMERICANS
WHO ARE DEALING WITH STUDENT LOAN DEBT ACROSS THIS COUNTRY .
HOW CAN WE DO THAT? AND THIS IS THE FUNDAMENTAL
QUESTION FACING OUR GOVERNMENT — FACING OUR COUNTRY RIGHT NOW.
WHO SHOULD GOVERNMENT WORK FOR? SO, THE QUESTION WAS POSED AS,
WHO SHOULD GET A STUDENT LOAN DISCHARGE AND WHO SHOULDN’T.
LET ME JUST REMIND EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM, WE USED TO HAVE BANKRUPTCY
LAWS THAT SAID, IF YOU GO TO THE MALL
AND YOU CHARGE A LOT OF — YOU BUY A LOT
OF GOODS AND FUN STUFF AND YOU RUN
UP A BILL ON YOUR CREDIT CARD AND YOU CAN’T PAY IT, YOU GO INTO BANKRUPTCY
AND DISCHARGE IT. IT SAID, IF YOU GET SICK AND GOT
A BUNCH OF MEDICAL BILLS AND YOU JUST
CAN’T PAY, YOU COULD GO TO BANKRUPTCY AND YOU CAN DISCHARGE IT.
AND THE LAW USED TO SAY, AND IF YOU RUN UP A BUNCH OF STUDENT LOAN DEBTS
AND YOU TRIED AND YOU JUST CAN’T PAY IT, THEN YOU CAN GO TO
BANKRUPTCY. BECAUSE WE HAD THIS NOTION THAT
IN AMERICA, YOU OUGHT TO DO YOUR BEST, BUT THE PREDATORS TOOK ON
SOME OF THIS RISK, THIS IS WHAT INTEREST PAYMENTS
WERE FOR, AND — BUT WE ARE A COUNTRY THAT WANTS EVERYBODY
BACK IN THE GAME. WE WANT EVERYBODY TO HAVE A
REASON TO GET OUT THERE AND WORK.
WE WANT EVERYBODY TO FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE A PIECE OF TOMORROW’S
FUTURE, AND THEY HAVE AN INTEREST IN BUILDING
THAT FUTURE. YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENED OVER
TIME? TRACK IT THROUGH THE ’80s, THE
’90s, THE 2000s, THE CAPACITY OF PEOPLE
WHO GET IN TROUBLE ON ANY KIND OF DEBT TO
DISCHARGE IN BANKRUPTCY WENT DOWN, BUT STUDENTS GOT SINGLED OUT SO THAT TODAY,
EFFECTIVELY, YOU CAN’T DISCHARGE A STUDENT LOAN IN BANKRUPTCY .
SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT, IF YOU GO TO THE MALL, IF YOU GET
SICK, THERE’S A POSSIBILITY OF GETTING BANKRUPTCY HELP.
BUT IF WHAT YOU TRIED TO DO WAS GET AN EDUCATION, THERE’S NO
POSSIBILITY, NO MATTER HOW IT IS.
JUST SO EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS, AND I DON’T TO BE GRIM TODAY,
THERE ARE PEOPLE WHOSE SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS ARE BEING GARNISHED TO HELP PAY FOR
STUDENT LOANS .
PEOPLE WHO WENT BACK TO SCHOOL IN THEIR 50s, PEOPLE WHO
CO-SIGNED FOR A BELOVED GRANDCHILD, PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT
BEEN ABLE TO PAY, AND THE DEBT MOUNTS UP AND UP AND UP. SO, MY VIEW ON THIS IS WE REALLY DO HAVE THIS MOMENT
NOW. IT’S IN FRONT OF US.
IT’S IN FRONT OF US ON THE ENVIRONMENT.
IT’S IN FRONT OF US ON A LOT OF THESE FOREIGN POLICY QUESTIONS THAT
ARE COMING .
IT’S THIS BASIC INTERSECTION QUESTION.
WHO DO YOU THINK GOVERNMENT SHOULD WORK FOR?
GOVERNMENT TODAY WORKS GREAT. WASHINGTON WORKS GREAT, IF
YOU’RE RICH. WASHINGTON WORKS FABULOUSLY WELL
IF YOU RUN A GIANT CORPORATION THAT CAN
HIRE AN ARMY OF LAWYERS AND LOBBYISTS.
WASHINGTON WORKS GREAT IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO HIRE SOMEBODY TO GO, NOT JUST
INTO EVERY CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE, BUT EVERY REGULATORY AGENCY, EVERY THINK
TANK, AND JUST GET — NOT HUGE WINS.
THE TRILLION AND A HALF DOLLARS STANDS OUT IN THE TAX BILL, BUT
GENERALLY, JUST A LITTLE TILT IN YOUR DIRECTION,
AND THEN NEXT MONTH, A LITTLE MORE TILT.
NEXT YEAR, JUST A LITTLE MORE TILT.
UNTIL IT’S AN AMERICA THAT’S WORKING BETTER AND BETTER FOR A SMALLER
AND SMALLER GROUP AT THE TOP .
WHAT KIND OF A COUNTRY ARE WE GOING TO BE AT HOME AND AROUND
THE WORLD? I THINK THAT’S WHAT’S ON THE
TABLE. BUT I WANT TO SAY ON THIS, I
HAVE REAL HOPE. I CAME HERE TO TALK ABOUT
DEMOCRACY. I CAME HERE TO TALK ABOUT
AUTOCRACIES THAT ARE ON THE RISE. BUT I CAME HERE IN THE WAKE OF A
HUGE ELECTION WHERE AMERICANS SHOWED
UP TO VOTE. AMERICANS SHOWED UP TO SAY, MY
ISSUES MATTER. AMERICANS SHOWED UP TO SAY, MY
VOICE MATTERS. AND WHETHER THEY FRAMED IT AS
BECAUSE IT MATTERS ON THE ENVIRONMENT, OR WHETHER THEY FRAMED IT AS BECAUSE IT
MATTERS, BECAUSE I WANT TO HEAR FROM SOME WOMEN OR FROM PEOPLE OF COLOR OR
PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT JUST PART OF THE
ESTABLISHMENT, OR WHETHER THEY FRAMED IT AS STUDENT LOANS , THE CORE PART OF IT WAS, I’M
HERE WITH THIS FUNDAMENTAL OPTIMISM THAT MY VOTE MATTERS,
THAT MY TURNING OUT MATTERS, THAT MY VOLUNTEERING MATTERS,
AND THAT I’M GOING TO BE HEARD BY THIS
GIANT GOVERNMENT IN WASHINGTON. THE WORLD CHANGED IN 2016. IT CHANGED AGAIN IN 2018.
I BELIEVE IT’S GOING TO CHANGE AGAIN IN 2020.
[APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU.
THANK YOU, SENATOR. WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR YOU
COMING TO AU TO SHARE YOUR VISION, YOUR WISDOM, AND YOUR
HOPE. AND WE WISH YOU WELL AND THANK
YOU FOR BEING WITH US TODAY. WE’RE ALL GOING TO STAY SEATED.
SHE NEEDS TO EXIT THE BUILDING QUICKLY.
SO IF EVERYONE WILL STAY IN THEIR SEATS, BUT JOIN ME IN
THANKING HER FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.
[APPLAUSE]

33 thoughts on “A Conversation with Elizabeth Warren

  1. WORKING CLASS AMERICANs HAVE BEEN BETRAYED OVER AND OVER  BY THE INBRED BRAINDEAD CUCKSERVATIVEs=CORPORATE DICK LICKERs!!!!

  2. Hey if it isn’t that lying fraud Pocahontas! When is this embarrassment going too write another Pow WOW Chow Indian cook book? Lol pathetic

  3. Sorry Trump is fixing all these problems and Democrats want to set the stage for one world order agenda 21 the TPP which Hillary Clinton would’ve pushed would’ve destroyed American sovereignty connecting Mexico US and Canada together would’ve destroyed everything America stands for the constitution would no longer exist everything would be run from the US in the 1% would run the UN and not have to deal with Congressman and Senators. Elizabeth Warren wants to take us in the same direction Hillary Clinton wanted to take even worse. This woman is a manipulating devil

  4. Elizabeth Warren works for the very people she’s talking about she’s a David Copperfield manipulator of peoples minds she will choke America below the knees for nothing works toward turns into a ghost town when she’s done

  5. So she stealing from Trump trade trump will fixed trade deals. Elizabeth Warren is the problem what she did with banking crippled America thank God for tromp bringing us out of that hell hole Elizabeth Warren put Us in

  6. Bill Clinton destroyed America with NAFTA Democrat which sent all our manufacturing overseas Hillary Clinton passed a bill were Wal-Mart could build on swampland. We’re water Used to come in land in filter and go back out into the ocean now there’s a Walmart superstore at center in all those locations and they wonder why we have water on the coast line intruding into people’s properties because there’s no more swampland because of Hillary Clinton for this water to come in land where it has for thousands of years

  7. Democrats have sold America out generation after generation after generation I could probably write a book on everything the Democrats have done to destroy this country so sad now Elizabeth Warren wants to do it with a higher power president this can never happen she will destroy America

  8. Sorry Elizabeth Warren Trump is fixing all these problems you’re a little bit too late to put your devil stay up on this country you have done enough Farm you will never be president we will never let you destroy this country

  9. Elizabeth Warren is lying about NAFTA it’s been completely re-configured from the Bill Clinton job destroying NAFTA to all new redesigned bill that will save jobs in America with good trade deals done by Donald Trump keeping our jobs here in America Elizabeth Warren is flat out lying seems that’s all she knows how to do is lie even pretending to be an Indian to get into college stealing this position from a real Indian

  10. Obama put $90 million in an offshore tax-free account that he does not claim on his taxes so did Bill Clinton put $90 million in tax free offshore account

  11. Elizabeth Warren talks out the side of her mouth every policy she has pushed and will push will destroy America her track record proves it in her future plans prove it but she keeps talking out of the side of her mouth lie after lie after lie we need to get these people out of office like Elizabeth Warren so they can start doing harm to this country

  12. With Elizabeth Warren’s way of thinking we would go into the biggest war we have ever been in in this would be because of her way of thinking would actually cause it to happen

  13. Elizabeth Warren wants open borders millions of Muslims that we fuck in these wars the flood into America where they will reach the 50% population and you see what 4 are doing in our government Can you imagine Democrats pushing a Muslim population into America into work governments what this would do to this country it would destroy this country

  14. Her speech is carefully written to get votes but it’s what this woman does is what is so horrifying what she would actually do to this country horrifies me and millions of Americans at least people with their eyes open and know who she really is

  15. Obama depleted the military making this country a very weak vulnerable country Trump had to spend more money because of what Obama did to build our military to a place where we have strength so we don’t have to fight wars when you’re strong and powerful people don’t mess with you specially when they know you have a new strong military with technology they don’t have.This wasn’t fortunate we had to spend this kind of money but it had to be done so I think Donald Trump for getting the job done

  16. Someone like Elizabeth Warren would cause countries to blow us to smithereens with her mindset a place from weakness is where she stands. This woman is a very dangerous woman

  17. Democrats cheated during the election Hillary on electronica election machines George Soros own machines and they controlled those states Democrats have manipulated the election in everywhere they could they are criminals they cannot be voted for you cannot vote for a criminal to run our government and that’s with the Democrat party has become nothing but criminals

  18. Seth rich died because of a USB drive that he used to pull data from the DNC Democrat party computers to reveal the corruption that he knew was going on in the Democrat party and sent this information to WikiLeaks but they want to say it was Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia did not do this it’s been proven the Democrats killed Seth richTo keep their secret

  19. Elizabeth Warren is so rotten this is the most rotten woman besides Hillary Clinton which is so so rotten the Democrat party has gotten so rotten it blows the American people is mine it’s like when did this happen when did the kids so rotten

  20. the single most proficient and progressive foreign policy speech I've ever heard……..Sen.Warren is a splendiferous political tactician #Warren2020 She's my dream president since 2015

  21. @ steve sweet. First off, your crypto avatar speaks volumes about your knowledge of economic policy. I guess illegal dumping and manipulation schemes seem like great economic foundations to some. Nonetheless, your straw man attacks reek of some personal agenda removed from reality. I haven't heard anything from Warren that isn't substantiated by fact, regardless of how you skew your political lens. I'm not sure what you have to gain by trying to smear her character, but anyone with half a bit of common sense can recognize the validity and timeliness of her arguments. We need more politicians with this level of transparency and good direction.

  22. If one really wants to know what Elizabeth Warren will bring to the Presidency, go to her Senatorial YouTube channel and just let some of her performances in her Senate hearing run on … and on …. and on … and on. There is an almost endless list of great cross-exanminations and verbal beatings to incompetent and corrupt CEOs such as the corrupt Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and Trump administration officials like the incompetent and uninformed Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

    Warren's Presidential campaign channel is separate from her Senatorial channel which is here: @nelizabethwarren

    Take a look and prepare to be blown away!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *