Warren: US ‘headed in wrong direction’

Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Wednesday warned that the country is headed in the wrong direction and pushed Democrats to demand a government that does more for working-class citizens.

In remarks before the Center for American Progress, the newest member of Senate Democratic leadership argued that the public broadly supports major pieces of the Democratic agenda, but she implied that the party has lost sight of its priorities in recent years.

{mosads}“Our country is headed in the wrong direction,” she said. “The American dream is slipping out of reach.

“There is a long way to go before Democrats can reclaim the right to say we’re working for America’s people … but don’t forget the good news: our agenda is America’s agenda,” Warren added.

Senate Democrats added Warren to the leadership team following a midterm election drubbing that saw the party lose its Senate majority. As a strategic policy adviser, she will serve as a liaison to progressive groups.

Many liberal groups continue to hope Warren runs for the White House in 2016, something she has repeatedly ruled out.

With Democrats facing diminished influence in the Capitol and a president with a high unfavorability rating entering the final stretch of his second term, Warren argued Democrats should fight to reclaim their activist mantle.

“The Republicans have a pretty simple philosophy. They say if those at the top have more, more power for the Wall Street players to do what they want and more money from tax cuts, then somehow they can be counted on to build an economy for everyone else,” she said. “Well, we tried it for 30 years, and it didn’t work.”

The big-bank critic made an impassioned case Wednesday for a more involved government, arguing for a swath of government investments in a host of areas like education and infrastructure.

She said that the government used to make investments in the next generation a priority, and that such an agenda had fallen by the wayside with GOP control of government dating back to the 1980s.

Citing the skyrocketing levels of student loan debt, Warren said the current crop of graduates was being handcuffed by those obligations, calling the loans “a thousand-pound rock of debt on their backs.”

And the former Harvard Law professor pointed to her own story as evidence of what the government used to do for Americans.

“I am the daughter of a janitor, and Mom worked a minimum wage job at Sears, and today I’m a United States senator,” she said. “Sure, I worked hard, but I succeeded because I grew up in an America that was investing in kids like me.

“I believe that we can build that America for every one of our kids, but I know we’re going to have to fight for it,” she added. “So we better get ready.” 

Tags Democratic Party Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren

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