My fellow Americans, I want you all to stand up and go look in the mirror. That’s right, get up off of your chairs and go look in the mirror. Are you ready?
Ask yourselves; “Am I rich?” Yes, ask yourselves that question. If the answer is yes, you can go sit back down and change the channel. If it is not—Listen up.
There are too many people in this country who vote against their economic interests. There are too many people in this country who consider themselves conservative, who vote for Republicans just because they are Republicans. There are too many people in this country who take positions on issues of which they are wholly uniformed. We will tackle that one first.
According to a Congressional survey, more than half of you believe the recent economic crisis was caused by too much regulation. Let me repeat, the economic crisis was caused by too much regulation. Do those of you that think this also believe that government regulations caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf? Do you even remember the BP oil spill? Was it caused by too much regulation? The economic crisis was caused because there was too little regulation. Investment bankers bought mortgages from banks, sold them to their clients and then bet on whether they would fail or not. Then when the housing bubble burst, these banks couldn’t pay off their bets. This shouldn’t be legal. It wasn’t legal thirty years ago and it shouldn’t be legal now, or thirty years from now. There have to be rules. Businesses will make as much profit as the rules will allow, sometimes even that they don’t allow. Yet conservatives are balking at the very same regulations that kept the financial industry healthy for half a century.
Now look in the mirror and ask yourself if you believe in rules? If you do, you can continue listening. If not, you can change the channel.
According to a CBS news poll, over half of you think that I do not have a clear plan for creating jobs. It is to those of you I direct my next comments. Are you living under a rock? Do you ever read a newspaper? Or do you get all of your news from Fox news and Rush Limbaugh? These folks are only interested in one job—Mine and me losing it. I just proposed a comprehensive jobs bill that includes, lowering payroll taxes—Yes tax cuts. State and local governments would receive $50 billion for transportation projects, $35 billion for school, police and fire department payrolls, $30 billion to modernize public schools and community colleges, and $15 billion to refurbish vacant and foreclosed homes or businesses. All of this is deficit neutral. Do we not need these things? If we do need them, wouldn’t this be a good place to create jobs? Yes, this will raise taxes on millionaires. But we’ll get back to that later.
Is this not a plan? Every Republican in congress voted against it. As I said, they are more interested in me losing my job than finding jobs for unemployed Americans. Don’t tell me I don’t have a plan. What I don’t have is a partner in congress interested in creating jobs. Since I have been elected, Republicans have proposed 44 bills on abortion, 99 bills on religion, 71 on family relationships, 36 bills on marriage, 76 on firearms, 522 on taxation, and 445 on government investigations. Not one on jobs. Where are their priorities? We need a jobs bill.
Now look in the mirror and ask yourself if you want a jobs bill. If you do, pick up your phone or sit down at your keyboard and demand a jobs bill from your congressmen and women.
Many of you are registered Republicans. I can understand that we have our disagreements. I do not have the power to outlaw abortion and I can’t help you with your marriage or your family relations. This is not the role of government. You shouldn’t use these wedge issues to distract you from what is really important. You cannot let the conservative pundits hoodwink you into thinking I’m against everything that you are for. You cannot let the Republican Party do their best to keep the economy down just so I’ll lose my job next year. If jobs is the priority, why not tell your representatives so? There will always be time to argue about abortion later. These wedge issues are preventing you from voting for your economic interests.
Now go look in the mirror and ask yourself: Am I informed? Am I voting for or against my own interests?
Most of the members of the Republican Party have taken a pledge never to raise taxes on anyone or anything. They have tied their hands behind their backs when it comes to their obligation of governance. The tax rate for millionaires was 92% under Eisenhower, 75% under Nixon, Ronald Regan lowered taxes before he raised them again. H.W. Bush raised taxes as well. What type of statesmen would they be if they had made a pledge not to raise taxes? Do you think they raised taxes because they liked taxes? Or was it because they felt an obligation to the economy and to the American people? The top tax rate under President Clinton was 39%. What was the difference between then and now? Our economy was strong. Now it’s not. There’s less money to go around and I am turning to the most affluent of us to pay their fair share, even if it’s less of a share than it was under all of the Presidents I mentioned.
Rich people pay two different tax rates. Their salaries are taxed at 35%. All income they receive from investments are taxed at 15%. This is the lion’s share of their earnings. That is why Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Is this fair?
Now look in the mirror and ask yourselves if the rich should pay a lower tax rate than you.
Some of you call me a socialist. Well, we’re all socialists. In Europe, taxes go to pay for universal health care and free college. Here, our taxes go to subsidize rich corporations. Why are we subsidizing big oil, big agribusiness, and the pharmaceutical industry? Big Oil gets generous tax breaks for exploration and they give us token royalties for what they extract from Federal Land and Seas. Big Farms are paid not to grow. Our government invests in pharmaceutical R & D. If the research fails, we lose. If it succeeds, we pay top dollar for it on the market. They are all making record profits. It is they who are the beneficiaries of American Socialism. Our activist Supreme Court erred terribly when it extended first Amendment rights to corporations. Corporations do not fulfill the obligations of our citizenry and should not be entitled to our individual rights. They are controlling our campaigns and ultimately the laws under which we live.
Now look in the mirror and ask yourselves: Do we want corporations controlling the way we live? If you don’t trust that government will do the right thing, what wind will blow when corporations call the shots? No regulation on pollution, on the banks, on anything that would impede their profits.
This is not the America I grew up in.
Go look in the mirror and ask yourselves if this is the America that you want your children to grow up in.
Thank you and God Bless America