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CNN NEWSROOM

Hillary Clinton Economic Speech. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 22, 2016 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:30:00] HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: He just continues to spout reckless ideas that will run up our debt and cause another economic crash.

CLINTON: I'm here today to offer an alternative. I have a clear vision for the economy and it's this. We need to make sure our economy works for everyone. Not just those at the top.

(APPLAUSE)

Not just for the rich or the well-connected, not just for people living in some parts of the country or people from certain backgrounds and not others, I mean everyone. And I have a plan, I have a plan to get us there.

Five steps we can take together to drive growth that's strong, fair and lasting. Growth that reduces inequality, increases upward mobility, that reaches into every corner of our country.

The measure of our success will be how much incomes rise for hard working families, how many children are lifted out of poverty. How many Americans can find good jobs that support a middle class life.

(APPLAUSE)

And not only that, jobs that provide a sense of dignity and pride. That's what it means to have an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That's the mission. And I'm asking all of you to join me in it.

Now we have to overcome some big challenges, I will admit that. First, too many of our representatives in Washington are in the grips of a failed economic theory called trickle down economics.

Now, I do not doubt their sincerity. But it has been proven wrong again and again. But there still are...

(APPLAUSE)

There still are people in Congress who insist on cutting taxes for the wealthy instead of investing in our future. They careen from one self- inflicted crisis to another. Shutting down the government, threatening to default on our national debt, refusing to make the common-sense investments that used to have broad bipartisan support, like rebuilding our roads and our bridges, our tunnels, our highways, our airports. (APPLAUSE)

Or investing in better education from zero through high school and college.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, look, I -- I like to look at evidence. I plead to that. I think evidence is important when you're making decisions that affect other people's lives.

(APPLAUSE)

And if the evidence were there to support this ideology, I would have to acknowledge that. But we have seen the results. Twice now in the past 30 years, a Republican president has caused an economic mess and a Democratic president has had to come in and clean it up.

(APPLAUSE)

And yes, we know, too many special interests with too many lobbyists have stood in the way of progress while protecting the perks of the privileged few.

And it's not just Washington. Too many corporations have embraced policies that favor hedge funds and other big shareholders and top management at the expense of their workers, communities and even their long-term value.

They're driven by Wall Street's obsession with short-term share prices and quarterly earnings. Now, a recent survey of corporate executives found that more than half, when asked, would hold off making a successful long-term investment, maybe in their workers or plant and equipment or research, if it meant missing a target in the next earnings report.

So corporations stash cash overseas or they send it to top shareholders in the form of stock buybacks or dividends instead of raising wages or investing in research and development. And then this pressure, this

[14:35:00] short-term pressure, leads to perverse incentives and outrageous behavior.

CLINTON: It is wrong to take taxpayer dollars with one hand and give out pink slips with the other hand.

(APPLAUSE)

And no company should be moving their headquarters overseas just to avoid paying their taxes here at home

(APPLAUSE)

And in addition, there have been big changes in how American families live, learn and work. But our policies haven't kept up. And there are so many examples of this. Over the past several decades, women have entered the workforce and boosted our economy, yet we are the only -- the only developed country that doesn't provide paid family leave of any kind.

(APPLAUSE)

We're asking families to rely on an old system of supports in a new economic reality. And no wonder so many are struggling. The bottom line is that too many leaders in business and government have lost sight of our shared responsibility to each other and to our nation. And...

(APPLAUSE)

... they let Wall Street take big risks with unregulated financial activities. They skew our tax code toward the wealthy. They fail to enforce our trade rules. They undermine workers' rights. They have forgotten that we are all in this together and we are at our best when we recognize that. Excessive inequalities such as we have today reduces economic growth. Markets work best when all the stakeholders share in the benefits.

So the challenges we face are significant. It's not easy to change Washington or how corporations behave. It takes more than stern words or a flashy slogan. It takes a plan. And it takes experience and the ability to work with both parties to get results.

(APPLAUSE)

And that means -- that means we need a president who knows what we're up against; has no illusions about what we need to do to move ahead, but can actually get it done. And that is why I am offering -- because there is good news. The good news is everywhere I go, smart, determined men and women are working hard to reverse these trends.

Mayors are pioneering innovative ways to work with the private sector, to invest in their cities. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are building and hiring in places that bigger companies have abandoned. Unions are providing training programs that add value to the companies that employ their members. Union pension funds -- union pension funds are already investing in infrastructure projects that have supported more than 100,000 jobs here in our country.

(APPLAUSE)

So do not grow weary. Do not grow weary. There are great ideas out there. And we are going to be partners in a big, bold effort to increase economic growth and distribute it more fairly, to build that economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

I believe the federal government should adopt five ambitious goals. First, let's break through the dysfunction in Washington...

(APPLAUSE)

... to make the biggest investment in new good-paying jobs since World War II.

(APPLAUSE)

Second, let's make college debt-free for all.

(APPLAUSE)

And transform the way we prepare Americans for the jobs of the future.

Third, let's rewrite the rules so more companies share profits with their employers and few

[14:40:00] ship profits and jobs overseas.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: Finally, let's make sure that Wall Street corporations and the super rich pay their fair share of taxes.

(APPLAUSE)

And all of this -- all of this depends upon putting our families first, and matching our policies to how we actually live and work in the 21st century.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, briefly about these five points. Let's start with jobs. Every American willing to work hard should be able to find a job that pays enough to support a family.

(APPLAUSE)

And I know we can do this, because I've seen it in the past. You know, I remember when I was growing up, and America had come out of the upheaval of depression and World War, our leaders worked together to invest in a new foundation of American power and prosperity, highways to connect up our entire nation, college and housing for returning veterans and their families, unprecedented scientific research.

And it worked. We built the greatest middle class the world has ever known.

(APPLAUSE)

And now -- now, we've got to get ambitious again. There is nothing we can't do. Let's be just as ambitious to build our 21st century American economy to produce the same results for hard-working Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

In my first 100 days as president, I will work with both parties to pass a comprehensive plan to create the next generation of good- paying jobs. Now, the heart of my plan will be the biggest investment in American infrastructure in decades, including... (APPLAUSE)

Including establishing an infrastructure bank that will bring private sector dollars off the sidelines and put them to work here.

(APPLAUSE)

And I've talked -- I've talked with local leaders around America, and I've seen the dire need for investment. In Tampa, for example, I saw how a smart targeted highway investment near a major port can create thousands of good-paying jobs, support the local economy and unlock national commerce.

We can create millions of good-paying jobs while preparing America to compete and win in the economy. So, let's set these big national goals. And you know, I know how important it is to rebuild our roads, our bridges and our airports. But we've got more work to do.

Let's build better, and let's connect every household to broadband by the year 2020.

(APPLAUSE)

Let's build a cleaner, more resilient power grid with enough renewable energy to power every home in the country.

(APPLAUSE)

Let's fix failing water systems, like the one that poisoned children in Flint, Michigan.

(APPLAUSE)

Let's renovate our public schools, so every child in every community has access to safe, high-tech classrooms, laboratories and libraries.

(APPLAUSE)

Our 100-days jobs package will also include transformational investments in key drivers of growth. Advanced manufacturing, so we can make it in America, and compete and win in the global economy.

(APPLAUSE)

Making -- making America the clean energy super power of the 21st century, which will create millions of jobs and help protect our planet.

(APPLAUSE)

Recommitting to scientific research, which can create new whole industries, just like we did in the '90s, when we started mapping the human genome. And small businesses, which should be the engine for creating new jobs across America, they need to be free of red tape, they need access to credit. We need to slash unnecessary regulations, making it's easier to get

start-up capital from community banks and credit unions. If you have an idea for a small business, we want you to get started.

(APPLAUSE)

[14:45:00] CLINTON: Let's free entrepreneurs to do what they do best: innovate, grow and hire and make sure that the new service and care giving jobs being created today are jobs that pay well, too.

And that does mean raising the national minimum wage.

(APPLAUSE)

So many of these jobs are so personal to us that they need to be respected and lifted up. And I know -- I know, too, that we've got work to do -- to stand with those who are fighting for raising the minimum wage.

It's not always how we think about this. But I can tell you another engine for growth and job creation would be comprehensive immigration reform. It will bring...

(APPLAUSE)

It will bring millions of workers into the formal economy so that you don't have an unlevel playing field, so that workers who are competing for those jobs get undercut because employers go out and find undocumented workers to do those jobs for a lower wage.

(APPLAUSE)

And so I really believe it's not just the right thing to do, but it will be great, it will be smart for our economy. I want people to be able to compete. And I don't want - I don't want to have that disadvantage that exists in too many places, where people are being priced out of the jobs they've always done.

So we can work toward a full employment and full potential economy and that does mean we can't ignore those who are still stuck on the sidelines or working part-time when what they really want is a full- time job.

(APPLAUSE)

Or those trapped in long-term joblessness, whether they're veterans, workers with disabilities, people coming home from prison or young people who tried to start their careers in the midst of the great recession.

(APPLAUSE)

I particularly want young people to feel that they're going to get good jobs that will give them that ladder of opportunity that they deserve to have in America.

(APPLAUSE)

That's why I want to expand incentives like the new market's tax credit, empowerment zones and other ideas that bring business, government and communities together to create good jobs in poor or remote areas. Places that have lost a factory or a mine, where generations of families used to work.

Anyone willing to work should get the help they need to qualify for and find that good job. And that means breaking down the barriers of systemic racism and discrimination...

(APPLAUSE)

Those barriers, they hold back African-Americans, Latinos, Asian and Native Americans and women from fully participating in our economy. We need to reverse the long-term neglect that has dried up jobs and opportunity in communities of color, in poor communities.

You know, it's not by accident that the unemployment rate now among black Americans is twice as high as among whites. Back in the '90s we were closing that gap. Incomes were going up for everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

So I think we have to invest money to create jobs for young people because right now, I'm worried that if young people don't get that first job when they're young, learn about work, understand the obligations as well as the promise of work, it will be even more difficult to get them into the work force later on.

(APPLAUSE)

And it is way pastime for us to guarantee equal pay for women, which is...

(APPLAUSE)

So you see...

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

CLINTON: So you see,

[14:50:00] it's -- it's -- it is not enough to have an affirmative agenda. We've got to knock down these barriers.

And as you have seen here in North Carolina, discriminating against LGBT Americans is bad for business.

(APPLAUSE)

So make no mistake, we will defend American jobs and American workers. We'll say no to bad trade deals and unfair trade practices, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which does not meet my high bar for creating good-paying jobs.

No to assault on the right to organize and bargain collectively. No to every attack on the dignity of working families. We're going to make this economy work for everybody. And it's time we started building it from the ground up, from every home and every community, all the way to Washington.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I know very well that if you don't have the skills for the jobs of tomorrow, it's going to be difficult. Education is still the pathway for greater opportunities.

(APPLAUSE)

Let's start at the beginning with making quality, affordable childcare and preschool available in every community in the next 10 years, so that we get our littlest Americans off to the best start.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, Jim Hunt was a pioneer in this. Why did he care so much about children zero to five, besides that fact that he cared about them? Because he knew there was a direct line to how the youngest children were treated, educated and prepared for school, and what kind of jobs and economic competitiveness North Carolina would have. So we're going to start by helping families be their child's first teachers, and we're going to give them the support they need to do that.

(APPLAUSE)

And when it comes to primary and secondary education, I pledge to you we're going to make sure all kids have good teachers in good schools, no matter what zip code they live in.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, for many years, thanks to people and leaders like Jim Hunt, North Carolina was a leading state when it came to education. Now, unfortunately, thanks to your governor and the legislature, the average teacher salary can barely support a family.

(APPLAUSE)

It should not be a surprise that thousands have quit in recent years. We should support our teachers, not scapegoat them.

(APPLAUSE)

And then let's make sure every student has options after high school, whether it's a four-year degree, free community college, an apprenticeship or other forms of higher education.

(APPLAUSE) We need to provide the skills and credentials that match the job openings of today and tomorrow. That's why I'm proposing new tax credits to encourage more companies to offer paid apprenticeships that lets you earn while you learn.

(APPLAUSE)

And I will support the union apprenticeship and training programs already out there. Not every good job in the economy of today and tomorrow requires a four-year college degree.

(APPLAUSE)

We need to dignify skills training. So many young people have the talent and the will to succeed. They just need a helping hand. And that's why I want us to come together to help our young people break free from the burden of student debt.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I'm sure we all have stories. I've met so many who tell me they can't start a business. They can't even move out of their parents' basement because of all the student debt holding them back. So let's set the goal to make debt-free college available for everyone, so future students won't have to borrow a dime to pay for tuition at a public college or university.

(APPLAUSE)

And let's liberate the millions of Americans who already have student debt by making it easier to refinance, just like a mortgage. Let's make it easier to have debt forgiven by doing national service.

[14:55:00] Let's make it easier to repay what you owe as a portion of your income, so you never have to pay more than you can afford.

HILLARY: I've set out a way to do this, and we'll be talking more about it as we go forward in this campaign. Now, my third goal is to rewrite the rules, so more companies share profits with employees and fewer shift profits and jobs overseas.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I know there are a lot of businesses thriving here at North Carolina and across our country who see employees as assets to invest in, not costs to cut. They're building companies, not stripping them. They're creating good jobs, not eliminating them.

But too many -- too many businesses take the opposite view. Now, I am not asking corporations to be more charitable, although I think that is important. I'm asking corporations to realize that when more Americans prosper, they prosper, too. Right?

(APPLAUSE)

When your paycheck grows, America grows. We are a 70 percent consumption economy. If we want higher growth, we have got to raise incomes, so people have more disposable dollars to be able to spend, instead of holding back out of fear of what will happen.

So, let's bring a long-term view back to board rooms and executive suites. Let's restore the link between productivity growth and wage growth.

As president, I will make it a national priority for more companies to share profits with employees, on top of, not instead of good wages.

(APPLAUSE)

Let's recognize the people doing the work, putting in the hours. They're the ones who should be sharing the rewards. And we should continue to crack down on wage theft and make overtime count, so that companies that pay well can't be undercut by competitors paying poverty wages.

(APPLAUSE)

And I believe we should strengthen unions which have formed the bedrock of a strong middle class.

(APPLAUSE) It should be easier to bargain collectively. That's not only fair, it makes workers more productive, it strengthens our economy. And let's close the loopholes that help companies ship jobs and profit overseas. Let's make companies that outsource jobs to other countries pay back the tax breaks they received while they were here in America.

(APPLAUSE)

If corporations try to move their headquarters to a foreign country to skip out on their tax bills, let's slap a new exit tax on them, and then put that money to work in the communities left behind.

(APPLAUSE)

And we should extend the rules passed in Dodd-Frank on Wall Street in crisis, and strengthen them both for the big banks and the shadow banking system. And I will veto any reforms to repeal those rules, and vigorously enforce the law with accountability, so Wall Street can never wreck Main Street again.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, fourth, let's make sure Wall Street corporations and the super rich pay their fair share of taxes. When people say the game is rigged, the best evidence is the tax code. It's riddled with scams, loopholes and special breaks, like the carried interest loopholes that lets some hedge fund managers pay a lower tax rate than teacher or nurse.

That's not only unfair, it's bad economies. And we're going to stop it. I have been saying that for years. As president, if Congress won't ask -- act, I will ask the Treasury

Department to use its authority to use its authority to close that loophole.

(APPLAUSE)

And here's another idea (inaudible). Let's pass the so-called Buffet rule, so top executives can't pay a lower rate than their secretary.

(APPLAUSE)

And let's ask the wealthiest Americans to pay more, including a new tax on multi-millionaires. That's not only the right thing to do, it's smart for our economy, because these steps will help pay for the investments we need in jobs and education, without increasing our national debt.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: In fact, every program I have proposed in this campaign, I tell you how I will pay for it.

Now, Donald Trump and I disagree on a lot of things and one of them is simple math.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

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