Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture: Hartmann: Elizabeth Warren cut right through the BS. 21 September '11
This is Elizabeth Warren - and she's running for the United States Senate from Massachusetts against incumbent Republican Scott Brown.
And according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling - she's winning.
And THIS is the reason why she's winning:
I hear all this, you know, “Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.” — No! There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.
You built a factory out there—good for you! But I want to be clear:
- You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.
- You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.
- You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.
- You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.
But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
She nailed it.
She cut right through the poll-tested B.S. about job creators - and class warfare - and got right to the heart of what's going on in America - where our social contract has been broken by greed - and the middle class is dying.
The millionaires and billionaires - the corporate CEOs - the oil oligarchs - those who've become wildly successful and now have more money than they can spend over five lifetimes - are NOT job creators - as Republicans call them.
They are NOT "producers" as Ayn Rand called them.
And they are NOT what keeps this nation going - they are NOT who we should be depending on.
They are success stories - success stories that are only possible because the rest of us made them possible.
Without all of us - you, me and everybody we know - without us - the millionaires and billionaires wouldn't be millionaires and billionaires - there would be no Koch Industries - there would be no ExxonMobil - there would be no Goldman Sachs.
From the worker who toils forty hours a week on an oil rig in the Gulf - to the mother on food stamps who dug quarters out of her couch to fill her car up with gas - to the student at a public university who invented a new gadget that helps with business efficiency - we as a nation - we as a GOVERNMENT - built prosperity - hour by hour - purchase by purchase - idea by idea.
As Elizabeth Warren said - nobody in the country got rich on his own.
Those who enjoy enormous wealth today are merely, to paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton, standing on the shoulders of giants - past generations who, day in and day out, did what they're supposed to do - showed up for work - paid their fair share - raised their families - and laid the groundwork for prosperity and a nation where opportunity became the touchstone.
And it's about time those who've achieved so much success as a result of all of our and our ancestor's work and sacrifice - start paying their fair share - help our nation establish basic economic, health, housing, and workplace security for all of us.
We're not asking too much here - there will still be millionaires and billionaires - there will still be people rich beyond our wildest imaginations - but it's a travesty that these modern-day Kings and Queens are driven to work in their limousines along streets lined with poverty and desperation.
President Obama is not engaging in class warfare - he's simply saying that it's time that those who've benefited the most off America - should pay their fair share - pay the same tax rate as the rest of us who don't have private jets and vacation homes - so that future generations can achieve the same sort of success.
That's the social contract that Elizabeth Warren spoke about.
That's what we need to bring back in America.
And that's what I'm trying to do every single night on this show - and it's what you should be doing too.
If you want to see more of Elizabeth Warren, by the way, her website is ElizabethWarren.com.
You can check it out - and pass along the good word. Also, there's a number of great candidates out there, but also Bernie Sanders is a real champion of the middle class. He's been out there speaking in ways that for years, frankly, for decades, in ways that have such an incredible honesty and accuracy that there's an incredible response to that.
Louise and I used to live in Vermont during the Bush years, and you'd drive up north, up into the north country, the very rural areas, very conservative, very Republican areas of Vermont. And there would be a Bush for President sign, this was 2004, Bush for President sign on the front yard next to a Bernie sign. bernie.org is his website. So, ElizabethWarren.com, bernie.org
That's The Big Picture for tonight.