We live in a world today where there are several hundred million people starving to death. They’re starving to death right now. All over this country today, there is a certain demoralization and the demoralization is that some people believe that what goes on in the White House and what goes on in the Congress reflects the will of the American people. And by assembling here today as the Rainbow Coalition and as other groups from 46 states in America, what we are saying very loud and clear is that Ronald Reagan and his billionaire friends do not represent America, but we do. In some of the largest cities in America, 50 percent of the kids are not graduating high school. The cost cost of college education in this county is zooming up so you have to be a wealthy person to send your kid to college. There was once a dream that my parents had, and many people’s parents had, that if you work hard and go to school you can get a college education. …but what people like this gentlemen do not know, for example, that in Scandinavia, in Sweden, you have had socialist governments for decades, that in fact that country is probably in most regards more democratic than the United States. They have 80 or 90 percent of the people voting. They have strong labor unions. They have a more open media. They have a healthcare system guaranteeing healthcare to all of the people. Not to say that’s a utopia. But at a time when the wealthiest people of this country have seen a tremendous increase in their income, while at the same time the standard of living of working people and poor people has declined, I will be damned if I will vote for a proposal which will stick it to the middle class and the working people. …and Mr. Speaker, I’ve got a problem, I’ve got a problem with a president and a congress which allows 5 million children to go hungry, 2 million people to sleep out on the streets, cities to become breeding grounds for drugs and violence. And they say we’re getting tough on crime. If you want to get tough on crime, let’s deal with the causes of crime. Let’s demand that every man, woman and child in this country have a decent opportunity and a decent standard of living. Let’s not keep putting poor people into jail, and disproportionately punishing blacks. …while our children go hungry and sleep out on the streets, lack adequate healthcare or educational opportunity, the wealthiest people in this country have grown far richer while their tax burden has declined. We have an approach to campaign financing which, to a very large degree, allows wealthy people and major corporations to buy and sell politicians. The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. And ordinary Americans are shut out of the political system. The United States today is one of two nations in the industrialized world that does not have a national health care system. That has to do with campaign finance reform. The United States today, the chief executive officers are seeing their salaries soar, and the gap between the rich and the poor grows wider. 10 million Americans are unemployed. That has to do with campaign finance reform. The system, by and large, is owned and controlled by big money interests and the president of the United States, and much of the Congress does the work of protecting the big corporations and the wealthy people who control the economic and political life of this nation. This country, this great country, this democracy is evolving into an oligarchy. And an oligarchy is a country in which a few people have tremendous wealth and tremendous power and exercise that wealth and that power over all. We have seen a situation where we give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and you have 2 million people sleeping out on the street. Billions of dollars into all kinds of obsolete weapon systems and you have 5 million children who are hungry. Let us give hope to people in America today who have lost hope. Let us provide jobs for the jobless. Housing for the homeless. Food for the hungry. Workers in the United States today are working longer hours, significantly longer hours, taking less vacation time than they used to take. And is there any wonder so many millions of Americans feel stressed out? They need to work longer hours, they need to work overtime in order to compensate for the real decline in their wages. Let’s talk about welfare for the rich and the powerful. Now we start out from a proposition that the wealthiest 1 percent of the population in this country owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. When we talk about the growth of the economy, what we should ask ourselves is who is gaining that income? And what is clearly going on is the lion’s share, the overwhelming amount of the growth in income is going to the very very wealthiest people, while the vast majority of the people are seeing a decline in their real incomes. I find it ironic that it is the taxpayers of this countrywhot are going to have to bail out banks that have made billions and billions of dollars investing in Asia. Is it morally right that CEOs of large corporations now make over 500 times what their workers make and seem to make more money to the degree that they lay off American workers. Walmart has replaced General Motors as the major employer in America, paying people starvation wages rather than living wages. We can fight terrorism, protect the American people without undermining the basic constitutional rights which make us a free country. They understand that our trade policies are failing when they note that our trade deficit is huge and growing larger every single year and it seems to me Madam President that before we go forward again in pursuit of a failing trade agenda, we might want to sit back, take a moratorium, understand why our trade policies are failing, and then put together trade agreements that work for working people and the middle class of this country, rather than just the CEOs of large multinational corporations. The wealthiest one tenth of one percent, one tenth of one percent 300 thousand men, women and children now earn more income than do the bottom 150 million Americans. No matter how many children live in poverty, no matter how high the unemployment numbers are, they want more and more and more. And I say, enough is enough. And you want to know why American people are cynical about what goes on in Washington? You want to know why the Congress of the United States has an extremely low level of support, of favorability? It is because the American people know they are getting ripped off. You got millions of people today who are working longer hours and their income is going down. Their wages are going down. This grotesque of inequality is immoral, it is bad economics, it is unsustainable. This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about. This has got to change. And as your president, together we are going to change it. When we stand together… there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. And I pledge to you that every day I will fight for the public interest, not the corporate interest. I will not abandon any segment of American society,
And I pledge to you that every day I will fight for the public interest, not the corporate interest. I will not abandon any segment of American society, whether you’re gay, or black, or latino, poor, working class, just because it is politically expedient at a given time. So let us go forward together. And let us tell the Republicans that their reaction, their agenda may work for the billionaires, but not for ordinary Americans. And we are going to defeat them. Thank you all, very much.