Are you ready for Hillary? Ready or not, here she comes. As proven by her speech Monday, Clinton's campaign is in full swing. This was Clinton's first major speech since launching her campaign in April. Speaking at the New School in Manhattan in Greenwich Village, Clinton officially outlined out her economic platform.
So far, Clinton is the obvious frontrunner for the Democratic nominee, although Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is gaining growing support. In Clinton's first major interview of her campaign Tuesday, CNN's Brianna Keller brought up Sanders' plan to raise taxes, and asked about Clinton's economic stance. Clinton, dodging the question, noted, "I will be laying out my own economic policies ... I will be making a speech about my economic proposals on Monday. And then I look forward to the debate about them."
True to her word, she called for more profit-sharing between corporations and their employees, stronger support for unions, higher wages, and closing the gender-based pay gap. Not holding back, she called out Republican economic policy — notably, Jeb Bush saying Americans should work more hours. The overall theme of her speech? Fair growth and increasing income equality in the United States.
You can read the full transcript below, via Hillary for America.
you, thank you, thank you so much. Thank you very much President Van
Zandt, and thanks to everyone at the New School for welcoming us today.
I’m delighted to be back.
know, over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to
Americans’ concerns about an economy that still isn’t delivering for
them. It’s not delivering the
way it should – it still seems to most Americans that I have spoken with
that it is stacked for those at the top.
I’ve also heard their hopes for the future: going to college without
drowning in debt… starting that small business they’ve always dreamed
about… getting a job that pays
well enough to support a family and provide for a secure retirement.
generations of Americans built the greatest economy and strongest
middle class the world has ever known on the promise of a basic bargain:
“If you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead. And when you get ahead, America gets ahead.
“But over several decades, that bargain has eroded. Our job is to make it strong again.
35 years, Republicans have argued that if we give more wealth to those
at the top – by cutting their taxes and letting big corporations write
their own rules – it will
trickle down, it will trickle down to everyone else.
every time they have a chance to try that approach, it explodes the
national debt, concentrates wealth even more, and does practically
nothing to help hard-working Americans.
now in the past 20 years, a Democratic president has had to come in and
clean up the mess. I think the results speak for themselves.
President Clinton – I like the sound of that - America saw the longest
peacetime expansion in history … nearly 23 million jobs... a balanced
budget and a surplus for
the future. And most importantly, incomes rose across the board, not
just for those already at the top.
years later, President Obama and the American people’s hard work pulled
us back from the brink of Depression. President Obama saved the auto
industry, imposed new rules
on Wall Street, and provided health care to 16 million Americans.
today, today as the shadow of crisis recedes and longer-term challenges
come into focus, I believe we have to build a “growth and fairness”
economy. You can’t have one
without the other.
can’t create enough jobs and new businesses without more growth, and we
can’t build strong families and support our consumer economy without
“We need both, because while America is standing again, we’re not yet running the way we should.
profits are at near-record highs and Americans are working as hard as
ever -- but paychecks have barely budged in real terms.
today are stretched in so many directions, and so are their budgets.
Out-of-pocket costs of health care, childcare, caring for aging parents
are rising a lot faster
“I hear this everywhere I go.
single mom who talked to me about juggling a job and classes at
community college, while raising three kids. She doesn’t expect anything
to come easy, but if she got a
raise, everything wouldn’t be quite so hard.
“The grandmother who works around the clock providing childcare to other people’s kids.
She’s proud of her work but the pay is barely enough to live on, especially with the soaring price of her prescription drugs.
young entrepreneur whose dream of buying the bowling alley where he
worked as a teenager was nearly derailed by his student debt. If he can
grow his business, he’ll be
able to pay off his debt and pay his employees, including himself, more
“Millions of hard-working Americans tell similar stories.
“Wages need to rise to keep up with costs.
“Paychecks need to grow.
“Families who work hard and do their part deserve to get ahead and stay ahead.
“The defining economic challenge of our time is clear:
must raise incomes for hard-working Americans so they can afford a
middle-class life. We must drive strong and steady income growth that
lifts up families and lifts up our
that will be my mission from the first day I’m President to the last. I
will get up everyday thinking about the families of America, like the
family that I came from with
a hard working dad who started a small business and scrimped and saved
and gave us a good middle class life. I’ll be thinking about all the
people that I represented here in New York and the stories that they
told me and that I worked with them to improve.
And I will as your President take on this challenge against the backdrop
of major changes in our economy and the global economy that didn’t
start with the recession and won’t end with the recovery.
know advances in technology and expanding global trade have created
whole new areas of commercial activity and opened new markets for our
exports, but too often they’re
also polarizing our economy -- benefiting high-skilled workers but
displacing or downgrading blue collar jobs and other midlevel jobs that
used to provide solid incomes for millions of Americans.
marketplace focuses too much on the short term – like second-to-second
financial trading and quarterly earnings reports – and too little on
many Americans are making extra money renting out a spare room,
designing websites, selling products they design themselves at home, or
even driving their own car.
This “on demand” or so-called “gig economy” is creating exciting
opportunities and unleashing innovation but it’s also raising hard
questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like
in the future.
all of these trends are real, and none, none is going away. But they
don’t determine our destiny. The choices we make as a nation matter. And
the choices we make in the
years ahead will set the stage for what American life in the middle
class in our economy will be like in this century.
President, I will work with every possible partner to turn the tide. To
make these currents of change start working for us more than against
us. To strengthen –not hollow
out – the American middle class.
I think at our best, that’s what Americans do. We’re problem solvers,
not deniers. We don’t hide from change – we harness it.
measure of our success must be how much incomes rise for hard-working
families, not just for successful CEOs and money managers. And not just
some arbitrary growth target
untethered to people’s lives and livelihoods.
“I want to see our economy work for the struggling, the striving, and the successful.
“We’re not going to find all the answers we need today in the playbooks of the past. We
go back to the old policies that failed us before. Nor can we just
replay previous successes. Today is not 1993 or 2009. We need solutions
for the big challenges we face now.
today I am proposing an agenda to raise incomes for hard-working
Americans. An agenda for strong growth, fair growth, and long-term
“Let me begin with strong growth.
growth means more jobs and more new businesses. More jobs give people
choices about where to work. And employers have to offer higher wages
and better benefits in order
to compete with each other to hire new workers and keep the productive
ones. That’s why economists tell us that getting closer to full
employment is crucial for raising incomes.
businesses create more than 60 percent of new American jobs on net. So
they have to be a top priority. I’ve said I want to be the small
business President, and I mean
it. And throughout this campaign I’m going to be talking about how we
empower entrepreneurs with less red tape, easier access to capital, tax
relief and simplification.
also push for broader business tax reform to spur investment in
America, closing those loopholes that reward companies for sending jobs
and profits overseas.
I know it’s not always how we think about this, but another engine of
strong growth should be comprehensive immigration reform.
want you to hear this: Bringing millions of hard-working people into
the formal economy would increase our gross domestic product by an
estimated $700 billion over 10 years.
there are the new public investments that will help established
businesses and entrepreneurs create the next generation of high-paying
“You know when we get Americans moving, we get our country moving.
let’s establish an infrastructure bank that can channel more public and
private funds, channel those funds to finance world-class airports,
railways, roads, bridges and
let’s build those faster broadband networks – and make sure there’s a
greater diversity of providers so consumers have more choice.
really there’s no excuse not to make greater investments in cleaner,
renewable energy right now. Our economy obviously runs on energy. And
the time has come to make America
the world’s clean energy superpower. I advocate that because these
investments will create millions of jobs, save us money in the long run,
and help us meet the threats of climate change.
let’s fund the scientific and medical research that spawns innovative
companies and creates entire new industries, just as the project to
sequence the human genome did
in the 1990s, and President Obama’s initiatives on precision medicine
and brain research will do in the coming years.
“I will set ambitious goals in all of these areas in the months ahead.
today let me emphasize another key ingredient of strong growth that
often goes overlooked and undervalued: breaking down barriers so more
Americans participate more fully
in the workforce – especially women.
are in a global competition, as I’m sure you have noticed, and we can’t
afford to leave talent on the sidelines, but that’s exactly what we’re
doing today. When we leave
people out, or write them off, we not only shortchange them and their
dreams — we shortchange our country and our future.
movement of women into the workforce over the past forty years was
responsible for more than three and a half trillion dollars in economic
that progress has stalled. The United States used to rank 7th out of 24
advanced countries in women’s labor force participation. By 2013, we
had dropped to 19th. That represents
a lot of unused potential for our economy and for American families.
show that nearly a third of this decline relative to other countries is
because they’re expanding family-friendly policies like paid leave and
we are not.
should be making it easier for Americans to be both good workers and
good parents and caregivers. Women who want to work should be able to do
so without worrying every day
about how they’re going to take care of their children or what will
happen if a family member gets sick.
know last year while I was at the hospital here in Manhattan waiting
for little Charlotte to make her grand entrance, one of the nurses said,
“Thank you for fighting for
paid leave.” And we began to talk about it. She sees first-hand what it
means for herself and her colleagues as well as for the working parents
that she helps take care of.
time to recognize that quality, affordable childcare is not a luxury –
it’s a growth strategy. And it’s way past time to end the outrage of so
many women still earning
less than men on the job — and women of color making even less.
“All this lost money adds up and for some women, it’s thousands of dollars every year.
“Now I am well aware that for far too long, these challenges have been dismissed by some as “women’s issues.”
“Well those days are over.
pay and fair scheduling, paid family leave and earned sick days, child
care are essential to our competitiveness and growth.
“And we can do this in a way that doesn’t impose unfair burdens on businesses – especially small businesses.
“As President, I’ll fight to put families first – just like I have my entire career.
“Now, beyond strong growth, we also need fair growth. And that will be the second key driver of rising incomes.
“The evidence is in: Inequality is a drag on our entire economy, so this is the problem we need to tackle.
may have heard Governor Bush say last week that Americans just need to
work longer hours. Well, he must not have met very many American
him tell that to the nurse who stands on her feet all day or the
trucker who drives all night. Let him tell that to the fast food workers
marching in the streets for better
pay. They don’t need a lecture – they need a raise.
truth is, the current rules for our economy reward some work – like
financial trading – much more than other work, like actually building
and selling things the work that’s
always been the backbone of our economy.
get all incomes rising again, we need to strike a better balance. If
you work hard, you ought to be paid fairly. So we have to raise the
minimum wage and implement President
Obama’s new rules on overtime. And then we have to go further.
“I’ll crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors or even steal their wages.
make paychecks stretch, we need to take on the major strains on family
budgets. I’ll protect the Affordable Care Act – and build on it to lower
out-of-pocket health care
costs and to make prescription drugs more affordable.
help families look forward to retirement by defending and enhancing
Social Security and making it easier to save for the future.
many of these proposals are time-tested and more than a little
battle-scarred. We need new ideas as well. And one that I believe in and
will fight for is profit sharing.
working Americans deserve to benefit from the record corporate earnings
they help produce. So I will propose ways to encourage companies to
share profits with their employees.
“That’s good for workers and good for business.
show profit-sharing that gives everyone a stake in a company’s success
can boost productivity and put money directly into employees’ pockets.
It’s a win-win.
“Later this week in New Hampshire, I’ll have more to say about how we do this.
“Another priority must be reforming our tax code.
we hear Republican candidates talk a lot about tax reform. But take a
good look at their plans. Senator Rubio’s would cut taxes for households
making around $3 million
a year by almost $240,000 – which is way more than three times the
earnings of a typical family. Well that’s a sure budget-busting
give-away to the super-wealthy. And that’s the kind of bad economics
you’re likely to get from any of the candidates on the other
“I have a different take, guided by some simple principles.
“First, hard-working families need and deserve tax relief and simplification.
those at the top have to pay their fair share. That’s why I support the
Buffett Rule, which makes sure that millionaires don’t pay lower rates
than their secretaries.
“I have also called for closing the carried interest loophole, which lets wealthy financiers pay an artificially low rate.
let’s agree that hugely successful companies that benefit from
everything America has to offer should not be able to game the system
and avoid paying their fair share…
especially while companies who can’t afford high-price lawyers and
lobbyists end up paying more.
tax reform, it’s time to stand up to efforts across our country to
undermine worker bargaining power, which has been proven again and again
to drive up wages.
governors like Scott Walker have made their names stomping on workers’
rights. And practically all the Republican candidates hope to do the
same as President.
“I will fight back against these mean-spirited, misguided attacks.
shows that the decline of unions may be responsible for a third of the
increase of inequality among men. So if we want to get serious about
raising incomes, we have
to get serious about supporting workers.
let me just say a word here about trade. The Greek crisis as well as
the Chinese stock market have reminded us that growth here at home and
growth an ocean away are linked
in a common global economy. Trade has been a major driver of the economy
over recent decades but it has also contributed to hollowing out our
manufacturing base and many hard-working communities. So we do need to
set a high bar for trade agreements.
should support them if they create jobs, raise wages, and advance our
national security. And we should be prepared to walk away if they don’t.
“To create fair growth, we need to create opportunity for more Americans.
love the saying by Abraham Lincoln, who in many ways was not only the
President who saved our union, but the president who understood
profoundly the importance of the middle
class, and the importance of the government playing its role in
providing opportunities. He talked about giving Americans a fair chance
in the race of life. I believe that with all my heart. But I also
believe it has to start really early at birth. High quality
early learning, especially in the first five years, can set children on
the course for future success and raise lifetime incomes by 25 percent.
committed to seeing every 4-year old in America have access to
high-quality preschool in the next ten years. But I want to do more. I
want to call for a great outpouring
of support from our faith community, our business community, our
academic institutions, from philanthropy and civic groups and concerned
citizens to really help parents, particularly parents who are facing a
lot of obstacles. To really help prepare their own
children in that zero to four age group.
of your brain is physically formed by age of three. That’s why families
like mine read, talk, and sing endlessly to our granddaughter. I’ve
said that her first words are
going to be enough with the reading, and the talking, and the singing.
But we do it not only because we love doing it, even though I’ll admit
it’s a little embarrassing to be reading a book to a two-week old, or a
six-week old, a ten-week old. But we do it
because we understand that it’s building her capacity for learning. And
the research shows that by the time she enters kindergarten she will
have heard 30 million more words than I child from a less privileged
of what we are losing because we are not doing everything we can to
reach out to those families and we know again from so much research here
in the United States and
around the world that the early help, that mentoring, that intervention
to help those often-stressed out young moms understand more about what
they can do and avoid the difficulties that stand in the way of their
being able to get their child off to the best
“We also have to invest in our students and teachers at every level.
in the coming weeks and months, I’ll lay out specific steps to improve
our schools, make college truly affordable, and help Americans refinance
their student debt.
embrace the idea of lifelong learning. In an age of technological
change, we need to provide pathways to get skills and credentials for
new occupations, and create online
platforms to connect workers to jobs. There are exciting efforts
underway and I want to support and scale the ones that show results.
we pursue all these policies, we can’t forget our fellow Americans hit
so hard and left behind by this changing economy— from the inner cities
to coal country to Indian
country. Talent is universal – you find it everywhere – but opportunity
are nearly 6 million young people aged 16 to 24 in America today who
are not in school or at work. The numbers for young people of color are
A quarter of young black men and nearly 15 percent of all Latino youth
cannot find a job.
got to do a better way of coming up to match the growing middle class
incomes we want to generate with more pathways into the middle class. I
firmly believe that the
best anti-poverty program is a job, but that’s hard to say if there are
not enough jobs for people that we are trying to help lift themselves
out of poverty.
why I’ve called for reviving the New Markets Tax Credit and Empowerment
Zones to create greater incentives to invest in poor and remote areas.
all Americans have the chance to study hard, work hard, and share in
our country’s prosperity – that’s fair growth. It’s what I’ve always
believed in and it’s what I
will fight for as President.
“Now, the third key driver of income alongside strong growth and fair growth must be long-term growth.
many pressures in our economy today push us toward short-termism. Many
business leaders see this. They’ve talked to me about. One has called it
the problem of “quarterly
capitalism.” They say everything’s focused on the next earnings report
or the short-term share price. The result is too little attention on the
sources of long-term growth: research and development, physical
capital, and talent.
business investment -- which includes things like factories, machines,
and research labs -- has declined as a share of the economy. In recent
years, some of our biggest
companies have spent more than half their earnings to buy back their own
stock, and another third or more to pay dividends. That doesn’t leave a
lot left to raise pay or invest in the workers who made those profits
possible or to make the new investments necessary
to insure a company’s future success. These trends need to change. And I
believe that many business leaders are eager to embrace their
responsibilities, not just to today’s share price but also to workers,
communities, and ultimately to our country and indeed
not talking about charity – I’m talking about clear-eyed capitalism.
Many companies have prospered by improving wages and training their
workers that then yield higher
productivity, better service, and larger profits.
it’s easy to try to cut costs by holding down or decreasing pay and
other investments to inflate quarterly stock prices, but I would argue
that’s bad for business in the
“And, it’s really bad for our country.
“Workers are assets. Investing in them pays off. Higher wages pay off. And training pays off.
“To help more companies do that, I’ve proposed a new $1,500 apprenticeship tax credit for every worker they train and hire.
I will soon be proposing a new plan to reform capital gains taxes to
reward longer-term investments that create jobs more than just quick
will also propose reforms to help CEOs and shareholders alike focus on
the next decade rather than just the next day. Making sure stock
buybacks aren’t being used only for
an immediate boost in share prices. Empowering outside investors who
want to build companies but discouraging “cut and run” shareholders who
act more like old-school corporate raiders. And nowhere will the shift
from short-term to long-term be more important
than on Wall Street.
a former Senator from New York, I know first-hand the role that Wall
Street can and should play in our economy -- helping Main Street grow
and prosper and boosting new companies
that make America more competitive globally.
as we all know, in the years before the crash, financial firms piled
risk upon risk. And regulators in Washington either couldn’t or wouldn’t
was alarmed by this gathering storm, and called for addressing the
risks of derivatives, cracking down on subprime mortgages, and improving
President Obama’s leadership, we’ve imposed tough new rules that deal
with some of the challenges on Wall Street. But those rules have been
under assault by Republicans
in Congress and those running for President.
will fight back against these attacks and protect the reforms we’ve
made. We can do that and still ease burdens on community banks to
encourage responsible loans to local
people and businesses they know and trust.
“We also have to go beyond Dodd-Frank.
many of our major financial institutions are still too complex and too
risky. And the problems are not limited to the big banks that get all
the headlines. Serious risks
are emerging from institutions in the so-called “shadow banking” system –
including hedge funds, high frequency traders, non-bank finance
companies – so many new kinds of entities which receive little
oversight at all.
of misconduct by individuals and institutions in the financial industry
are shocking. HSBC allowing drug cartels to launder money. Five major
banks pleading guilty
to felony charges for conspiring to manipulate currency exchange and
interest rates. There can be no justification or tolerance for this kind
of criminal behavior.
while institutions have paid large fines and in some cases admitted
guilt, too often it has seemed that the human beings responsible get off
with limited consequences –
or none at all, even when they’ve already pocketed the gains.
“This is wrong and, on my watch, it will change.
the course of this campaign, I will offer plans to rein in excessive
risks on Wall Street and ensure that stock markets work for everyday
investors, not just high frequency
traders and those with the best – or fastest -- connections.
“I will appoint and empower regulators who understand that Too Big To Fail is still too big a problem.
“We’ll ensure that no firm is too complex to manage or oversee.
“And we will prosecute individuals as well as firms when they commit fraud or other criminal wrongdoing.
when the government recovers money from corporations or individuals for
harming the public, it should go into a separate trust fund to benefit
the public. It, could for
example, help modernize infrastructure or even be returned directly to
reform is never easy. But we have done it before in our country. But we
have to get this right. And we need leadership from the financial
industry and across the private
sector to join with us.
years ago, the head of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Terry Duffy,
published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that really caught my
attention. He wrote, and I quote:
“I’m concerned that those of us in financial services have forgotten who
we serve—and that the public knows it… Some Wall Streeters can too
easily slip into regarding their work as a kind of money-making game
divorced from the concerns of Main Street.”
“I think we should listen to Terry Duffy.
“Of course, long-term growth is only possible if the public sector steps up as well.
it’s time to end the era of budget brinksmanship and stop careening
from one self-inflicted crisis to another. It’s time to stop having
debates over the small stuff and
focus on how we’re going to tackle the big stuff together:
“How do we respond to technological change in a way that creates more good jobs than it displaces or destroys?
“Can we sustain a boom in advanced manufacturing?
“What are the best ways to nurture start-ups outside the successful corridors like Silicon Valley?
like these demand thoughtful and mature debate from our policy makers
in government, from our leaders in the private sector, and our
economists, our academics, and
others who can come to the table on behalf of America and perform their
patriotic duty to ensure that our economy keeps working and our middle
class keeps growing.
government has to be smarter, simpler, more focused itself on long-term
investments than short-term politics – and be a better partner to
cities, states, and the private
has to be a better steward of America’ tax-dollars and Americans’
trust. And please let’s get back to making decisions that rely on
evidence more than ideology.
what I’ll do as President. I will seek out and welcome any good idea
that is actually based on reality. I want to have principled and
pragmatic and progressive policies
that really move us forward together and I will propose ways to ensure
that our fiscal outlook is sustainable — including by continuing to
restrain healthcare costs, which remain one of the key drivers of
long-term deficits. I will make sure Washington learns
from how well local governments, business, and non-profits are working
together in successful cities and towns across America.
know passing legislation is not the only way to drive progress. As
President, I’ll use the power to convene, connect, and collaborate to
build partnerships that actually
get things done.
“Because above all, we have to break out of the poisonous partisan gridlock and focus on the long-term needs of our country.
confess maybe it’s the grandmother in me, but I believe that part of
public service is planting trees under whose shade you’ll never sit.
the vision I’ve laid our here today – for strong growth, fair growth,
and long term growth, all working together — will get incomes rising
again, will help working families
get ahead and stay ahead.
is the test of our time. And I’m inviting everyone to please join me,
to do your part, that’s what great countries do. That’s what our country
always has done. We rise
“It’s not about left, right, or center – it’s about the future versus the past.
“I’m running for President to build an America for tomorrow, not yesterday.
An America built on growth and fairness.
An America where if you do your part, you will reap the rewards.
Where we don’t leave anyone out, or anyone behind.
“Thank you all. Thank you. I just want to leave you with one more thought.
want every child, every child in our country, not just the
granddaughter of a former President or a former secretary of state, but
every child to have the chance to live
up to his or her God-given potential.
“Please join me in that mission. Let’s do it all together.
Thank you so much.”