What Will Elizabeth Warren Do?
This is the fight of our lives. The fight to build an America that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and the well-connected. It won’t be easy. But united by our values, we can make big, structural change. We can raise our voices together until this fight is won.
Washington works great for the wealthy and the well-connected, but it isn’t working for anyone else. Companies and wealthy individuals spend billions every year to influence Congress and federal agencies to put their interests ahead of the public interest. This is deliberate, and we need to call this what it is—corruption, plain and simple. That’s why Elizabeth has proposed the most ambitious set of anti-corruption reforms since Watergate to fundamentally change the way Washington does business.
We will start by ending lobbying as we know it by closing loopholes so everyone who lobbies must register, shining sunlight on their activities, banning foreign governments from hiring Washington lobbyists, and shutting down the ability of lobbyists to move freely in and out of government jobs.
We will also shut the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington and permanently ban Senators and Congressmen from trading stocks in office and from becoming lobbyists when they retire – not for one year or two years, but for life. We will make the justices of the Supreme Court follow a code of ethics and strengthen the code of conduct for all judges to make sure everyone gets a fair shake in our courts. And we will force every candidate for federal office to put their tax returns online.
Together, these sweeping, structural changes will end the dominance of money in Washington, taking power away from the rich and powerful and putting it back where it belongs – with the American people themselves.
After decades of largely flat wages and exploding household costs, millions of families can barely breathe. For generations, people of color have been shut out of their chance to build wealth. It’s time for big, structural changes to put economic power back in the hands of the American people.
That means putting power back in the hands of workers and unions. It also means transforming large American companies by letting their workers elect at least 40% of the company’s board members to give them a powerful voice in decisions about wages and outsourcing. And it means a new era of strong antitrust enforcement so giant corporations can’t stifle competition, depress wages, and drive up the cost of everything from beef to Internet access.
As the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, we can make investments that create economic opportunity, address rural neglect, and a legacy of racial discrimination–if we stop handing out giant tax giveaways to rich people and giant corporations and start asking the people who have gained the most from our country to pay their fair share.
That includes an Ultra-Millionaire Tax on America’s 75,000 richest families to produce trillions that can be used to build an economy that works for everyone, including universal childcare, student loan debt relief, and down payments on a Green New Deal and Medicare for All. And we can make a historic investment in housing that would bring down rents by 10% across America and create 1.5 million new jobs.
Our democracy faces serious threats at home and abroad. Strengthening it will require dramatic changes. That starts with a constitutional amendment to protect the right of every American citizen to vote and to have that vote counted. But it’s just the beginning.
Politicians are supposed to compete over how many voters they can persuade, not how many citizens they can disqualify or demoralize. We must eliminate unnecessary and unjustified rules that make voting more difficult, and overturn every single voter suppression rule that racist politicians use to steal votes from people of color. We need to outlaw partisan gerrymandering by Democrats and Republicans.
Our democracy is not for sale, and we need to end the influence of big money on our elections. That means overturning Citizens United. It also means ending the unwritten rules requiring anyone who wants to run for office to start by sucking up to rich donors and Washington insiders. No more donations from federal lobbyists. No more donations from PACs. And no more billionaire Super PACs.
When foreign governments sow division, attack our democracy, and interfere in our elections, we must fight back and hold them accountable. And to prevent future attacks, we must reject the efforts of those with power to weaponize hatred and bigotry to divide us. Whether black, white, or brown, we all want a democracy where every American can participate–and we’re all in the fight to build an America that works for everyone.
Four words are etched above the Supreme Court: Equal Justice Under Law. That’s supposed to be the promise of our justice system. But today in America, there’s one justice system for the rich and powerful, and another one for everybody else.
It’s not equal justice when a kid with an ounce of pot can get thrown in jail while a bank executive who launders money for a drug cartel can get a bonus. It’s not equal justice when, for the exact same crimes, African Americans are more likely than whites to be arrested, more likely to be charged, more likely to be convicted, and more likely to be sentenced.
We need criminal justice reform and we need it now. That means ending racial disparities in our justice system. It means banning private prisons. It means embracing community policing and demilitarizing our local police forces. It means comprehensive sentencing reform and rewriting our laws to decriminalize marijuana.
Equal justice also demands that everybody – no matter how wealthy or well-connected – is held accountable when they break the law. That means new laws and a new commitment to prosecuting giant corporations – and their leaders – when they cheat their customers, stomp out their competitors, or rob their workers. It means judicial nominees that follow the rule of law instead of catering to the wealthy and the well-connected.
It won’t be easy. But we will make structural change to fulfill the promise of our justice system. Our democracy demands it.
From endless wars that strain military families to trade policies that crush our middle class, Washington’s foreign policy today serves the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else.
For too long, our economic policies have left workers with the short end of the stick. We need to strengthen labor standards – and then fight to enforce them. That’s why Elizabeth will oppose Trump’s new “NAFTA 2.0” unless he produces a better deal for America’s working families. It’s time to stop prioritizing corporate profits over American paychecks.
A strong military should act as a deterrent so that most of the time, we won’t have to use it. We must continue to be vigilant about the threat of terrorism, but it’s time to bring our troops home – and make sure they get support and benefits they’ve earned.
We should also leverage all the tools of our national power, not just our military might. That means cutting our bloated defense budget and ending the stranglehold of defense contractors on our military policy. It means reinvesting in diplomacy and standing with our allies to advance our shared interests. It means new solutions to new global challenges, from cybersecurity to the existential threat posed by climate change.
Our strength abroad is generated here at home. Policies that undermine working families in this country also erode our strength in the world. It’s time for a foreign policy that works for all Americans, not just wealthy elites.