Warren Sounds Alarms for US Future
Monday, July 16, 2012
“I’m scared for America’s future. That’s why I’m in this race,” she said. Warren discussed several areas in which America has faltered and opposed its own working middle class families. “Right now, we’re investing 2.4 percent for our future, and the Republicans are looking for a way to cut that too. Not only does 2.4 percent not invest in the future, it doesn’t fund the present.”
Investing in the Future
Warren discussed her education and work with bankruptcy law, saying that with this background, she came to understand what families go through. America, she said, has shifted its focus.
“We made that investment together and created a future for our children. We invested heavily in research. We didn’t know what it would produce or create a huge business or what would be cured,” Warren said. “What we did believe was that if we created a big pipeline of ideas, it would create opportunities. Look at the numbers, for half a century, GDP continued to go up. Median family income, just kept going up.”
Warren said that with the rising costs of healthcare and education, Americans should be concerned about the future.
“This is a real question of who we are as a people and what kind of country we are going to build,” she said. “We believe in accelerating success and that each of us has an obligation to pay forward to make sure everyone has an opportunity.”
America’s mentality then, she said, was much different than today’s “I’ve got mine and you’re on your own” attitude.
“We had invested in opportunities that changed us and who we are. We were committed to the notion that it’s not how you’re born, it’s what you’re doing,” she said. “We made sure children had the opportunities to grow and flourish, but then in the 1980s, it starts to shift. A new leader tells us the job of government isn’t to help us invest together in things we can’t do alone. The job of government is to protect those who have already made it. Let’s roll this forward and see where we stand today.”
Warren took several questions from the audience, many of which had to do with healthcare costs.
“For middle class hard working families, one bad diagnosis and they end up over the financial cliff,” Warren said. She gave her stance on healthcare, speaking about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
“The fight right now the Republicans want to wage is take that fight too many years in the making and so much fight in the making and they want to repeal it,” she said. “They want to tear it up and continue fighting over even basic coverage in healthcare. This is about defending the Affordable Care Act.”
One audience member raised the subject of 9/11 and the Iraq War. When asked whether she would have voted to go to war in Iraq, Warren said no.
“The important lesson to take out of Iraq now is a lesson on how to pay for a war,” she said. “The question at the front end – we have such a dedicated military. We have such a responsibility in terms of thinking about when it is appropriate to use them. It’s easy to say that now. We know it was not.”
“This was the first time we did not pay for a war as we went along. If we believe it is important enough that we are sending our troops in, we have to be really committed. If there is so little support for a war that our administration believes the people shouldn’t be paying for it as we go, we shouldn’t be there,” Warren said.
Calls for More Regulation
Two issues that Warren called for more regulation included the housing market and student loans.
“You’re talking to the woman who has stamped her foot, when talking about mortgages,” she said. “The foreclosures that came out of this economic downturn… The trickery that came, and the risks. They made extraordinary profits,” she said. “They were multiplying risks in the system, and they still haven’t been held accountable.”
Warren called for more regulation, saying, “No one should be able to steal your purse on Main Street or your pension on Wall Street.”
Student loans were another issue she touched on, calling out banks that give out inappropriate loans to students, and colleges that give them degrees which will not help them get a job. “We need more legislation and more regulation on this issue,” she said.
“This is it,” she said. “We have come to a fork in the road. We’ve withdrawn support and left out children on their own. I know sometimes when you see a fight, you’ve got to square your shoulders and walk right into it. I’m ready for this fight.”
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