Elizabeth Warren is considered one of the nation’s most outstanding progressive voices, pushing for structural alterations that would transform the economy of the United States while rebuilding the middle class. Warren has been a courageous advocate focusing her life’s work on battling for working-class families. Warren was born in Oklahoma City in 1949. Working from the age of 13 years old, in a family restaurant, Warren grew up in what she has called “the ragged edge of the middle class.” Soon, she became the first member of her family to graduate from college. She went on to receive a law degree from Rutgers University and become a law professor at Harvard Law School. On November 6th of 2018 she was re-elected to the United States Senate for a second term by the people of Massachusetts. She has worked as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, specifically, she was a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel monitoring $700 billion TARP bank bailout program.
During last week’s debates Senator Elizabeth Warren, defended many of her progressive 2020 agendas in the face of skeptical moderates lining the stage. Thus far, the nominee remains in third-place, behind Senator Sanders by just three points. When prompted for an explanation on nearly any platform, Elizabeth Warren has responded with her catchphrase, “I have a plan for that!” So, what are some of the Senator’s plans for our nation?
- Debt Crisis: It is important to note that Elizabeth Warren predicted the 2008 financial crisis very early on, however Congress and regulators did not jump to action. Warren is now forecasting yet another looming financial crisis on the horizon. Warren has stated on her website, “We need to take concrete steps now to shore up our economy and reduce the risk of economic shocks if we want to reduce the chances of another crash.”
- Taxes: Warren has voiced strong opinions on her plans for taxes on the wealthy elite, which she has referred to as, “Ultra-Millionaire Tax”. She has proposed a 2% tax on wealth exceeding $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion. Annual 2% tax on assets above a taxpayer’s first $50 million, and 3% on assets that exceed $1 billion. The wealth tax would establish an estimated $2.75 trillion over 10 years from 75,000 families. In order to combat tax evasion, the policy would reinforce the IRS budget, institute a minimum audit rate for the exceptionally wealthy and add a 40% “exit tax” on these individuals, who may attempt to forfeit their U.S. citizenship. Additionally, Warren has suggested implementing a universal child care program that would obtain its revenues from the wealth tax to provide public and family-run centers to offer child care from birth until schooling age.
- Green New Deal: Warren has clearly supported the Green New Deal, by signing on as a co-sponsor. This past May, Warren suggested a plan that would substantially cut emissions produced by our military, which happens to be one of the planet’s largest polluters. A month later, Warren shared her most exhaustive climate plan to date. She proposed “a $2 trillion package that commits the federal government to spend $150 billion a year over the next decade on low-carbon technology, increases energy research funding tenfold, and funds a $100 billion Green Marshall Plan to aid the poorer countries projected to suffer the worst as global temperatures rise.”
- College Debt: U.S. Senator Warren and U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC) are announcing legislation to eliminate student loan debt for 42 million Americans. This newer proposal is quite similar to Warren’s earlier campaign proposal from April. Warren’s newest student loan forgiveness plan would waive student loan debt for more than 95% of future borrowers. The plan would also completely cancel student loan debt for more than 75% of Americans with student loan debt.
- Medicare: Warren has been a proponent of Medicare for All for years. During the most recent democratic debates, on July 30th, Warren and Bernie Sanders defended their “Medicare for All” plan, which would install a national health insurance system and would, therefore, eliminate private insurance.
- “Economic Patriotism:” Warren’s plan for Economic Patriotism comes “with the sole responsibility to create and defend quality, sustainable American jobs” by focusing on green manufacturing and industrial policy for clean energy.
- Capitalism: The Senator classifies herself as a “Democrat capitalist.” Warren has has stated she supports, “accountable capitalism,” a market economy that works for all Americans by supporting a competitive and open market.
- Big Tech: She is seeking to break up companies like Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook, by forbidding companies with over $25 billion in revenue from acting as operators and users of a platform.
- Corporate tax: Warren is planning to tax companies, with over $100 million in profits a 7 percent tax.
- Marijuana: The Senator is the co-sponsor of numerous bills focused on marijuana reform, including the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (also known as STATES), which would exempt state-legal marijuana activity from federal interference.Warren also co-sponsored Senator Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act to legalize weed federally.
- Electoral college: Warren has been very outspoken about ending the electoral college. She supports replacing the electoral college with a national popular vote.
- Presidential prosecution: Elizabeth Warren announced, in May of 2019, that she hopes to reverse the current Department of Justice policy that protects a sitting president from indictment, allowing Congress to amend the law to officially charge a sitting president with a crime.
- Criminal justice: Warren has been outspoken in regards our criminal justice system, claiming race is the main contributing issue. This past June, Warren released her plan to abolish privatized prisons.
- Punishment for scams: Warren has introduced legislation making it easier to jail corporate executives “who negligently [oversee] a giant company causing severe harm to U.S. families.”
- Public lands: The Senator has said, “…On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that says no more drilling — a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands.”
- Abortion: Warren has previously proposed a 4-part plan to protect reproductive rights and during the debates annouced that she would push to have access to abortion guaranteed by federal law.
- Opioid crisis: Warren has the most ambitious plan to tackle the national opioid crisis, experts say. She has proposed a 10-year, $100 billion plan providing funds to first responders, public health departments and states for prevention and rehabilitation services.
- HBCUs: Warren has claimed she will invest $50 billion in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority serving institutions (MSIs), allowing colleges the discretion to use the funds freely. This would be paid for with the ultra-millionaire tax, which is a small 2% tax on fortunes over $50 million.
- Climate change: As president, Warren would require the Pentagon to reach net-zero carbon emissions on non-combat bases by 2030. Her plan would include “$1.5 trillion for American-made clean energy products, $400 billion in funding for green research and development and $100 billion in foreign assistance to purchase emissions-free American energy technology.”
- Voting rights: The Senator plans to expand voting rights access, establishing new standards for federal elections.Warren has stated she would create a new federal agency called the Secure Democracy Administration. Furthermore, she would replace all current voting machines with more modern equipment and would require the use of a standardized federal ballot.
- Immigration: Elizabeth Warren hopes to decriminalize crossing the U.S. border without authorized paperwork, causing a reduction in detention periods. Warren also plans to increase funding for aid to Central America in hopes of confronting the issue directly.
- Foreign policy: Warren plans to expand the State Department and end granting ambassadorships to donors, though many critics believe the Senator hasn’t been progressive enough.
- Women’s rights: Plans to ensure increased opportunities and close the pay gap for all women, especially women of color.
Although Elizabeth Warren is coming out as third in recent polls, as a candidate, she is a strong, very progressive, woman who has put in the work as an activist. Her strength is what could make her a number one threat to someone like Donald Trump. Currently Warren is polling well in vital states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Although she and Bernie Sanders showed a united front during the last debates, she has separated herself from Sanders by not labeling her views as socialist. Instead she last listed herself as more of a reformer. She has said, “I believe in markets. Markets that work…I believe in a level playing field. And as long as we’ve got that then we will get the best out of markets because it means the people who come up with great ideas, who work hard are the ones who will prosper, not simply those who were born into wealth.” By pushing her stance away from both moderates and socialism, she may be giving herself a smart advantage. Regardless, Warren is someone for progressives and democrats to watch.
To read more about Elizabeth Warren’s platforms and opinions on the issues visit her website, here: https://elizabethwarren.com
Photo by Lucas Sankey