WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., shared her vision for big structural change with hundreds of Iowa voters at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines on Monday evening.
The 70-year-old senator took aim at corporations and billionaires, including one who just entered the presidential race, during her speech that lasted approximately 35 minutes.
She blamed the “climate crisis” on the inactions of corporations and the Koch brothers.
“You want to understand the climate crisis today? It is 25 years of corruption in Washington that brought us here,” Warren said.
Warren also bemoaned the role that money plays in politics.
“If there is a decision to be made in Washington it has been influenced by money. It’s been shaped by money, it’s had exceptions created by money. It has been nudged by money,” she said while never acknowledging that money is spent on her side of the aisle as well.
She introduced her anti-corruption plan that includes ending lobbying “as we know it.”
“Block the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington,” she explained.
Again, Warren didn’t acknowledge that the left has their own special interest groups that spend money to lobby on behalf of their causes including issues such as labor, public education, climate change, and abortion.
Warren also promised to break big corporations up starting with “big ag.”
“So let me tell you what structural change in our economy looks like. We have a real problem in this economy and the problem is giant corporations,” she explained.
“It’s not just about the economy, it’s power: power over their workers, power over their customers, power over the communities where they are located, and power to call the shots in Washington. It is time for a president who has the courage to enforce our anti-trust laws and break these guys up,” she added to cheers from the crowd.
While power, according to Warren, must taken away from corporations, she explains that unions must be given more power.
“We need more balance in the system, and that means more power in the hands of workers. Make it easier to join a union and give unions more power when they negotiate. Unions built America’s middle class, and unions will rebuild America’s middle class,” Warren said.
Warren also explained her wealth tax that she says will help pay for the big structural change she wants to bring about as president.
Her wealth tax calls for an additional two percent tax on income between $50 million and $1 billion. The percentage increases for income beyond $1 billion.
When discussing her wealth tax plan she noted that some billionaires don’t like the plan and convinced one of their own to run, a veiled shot at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who officially entered the presidential race this week.
“Others have called their billionaire friends and urge them to run for president. Yeah, some people have figured out it would be a lot cheaper spending a few hundred mil just buying the presidency instead of paying that two cent wealth tax,” Warren said.
Warren labeled how she would spend the income raised by the wealth tax as “the fun part” of her plan and she outlined the pre-K, K-12, and higher education investments she would make with the money that included free tuition and student loan forgiveness. All, she believes, through income raised by the wealth tax.
Watch her full remarks below:
The Warren campaign also chose three people to ask her one question each during her Q&A time where she discussed her Medicare for All plan, climate change, and advice on how her supporters can convince fiscal conservatives that her spending plans are reasonable.