ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)


By Matt Murphy

BOSTON, JUNE 4, 2018....With Democrats eyeing a takeover of the House and possibly the Senate, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Monday that if her party runs on nothing but its opposition to the $1.5 trillion GOP tax cut it will win.

Warren, who facing re-election herself this fall and has drawn three potential Republican opponents, said the tax cuts have taken away money that the federal government could be spending on education, health care and infrastructure to create jobs and make it easier for families to get ahead.

"If we fight this election on nothing but the question of a giveaway to the richest people in this country, we're going to do very well," Warren said.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren greeted attendees of an Alliance for Business Leadership lunch discussion in downtown Boston. [Photo: Matt Murphy/SHNS]

Warren spoke Monday afternoon to a group of more than 50 progressive business leaders in downtown Boston as part of a lunchtime discussion series hosted by the Alliance for Business Leadership. She fielded questions from the audience on everything from how to get involved in the mid-term elections to whether the Democratic Party needs to find a singular message.

The senior senator from Cambridge said that on core issues, like tax cuts for the wealthy, Democrats have done a good job speaking with one voice, but she said the party also needs to show "a little tolerance" for candidates running in states and districts that aren't as progressive as Massachusetts.

"People are running their own races, to some extent, and a race in Massachusetts, to some extent, doesn't look like a race in Indiana," she said.

Warren opened the event with a short speech that focused on her ability to rise as the daughter of a janitor in a lower, middle class family in the midwest to become a college professor and U.S. senator. "I grew up in an America that invested in me," she said.

In remarks reminiscent of her famous "You Didn't Build That" speech from the 2012 campaign in which she laid out her populist economic message that no one got rich on their own, she lamented a shift in America to "trickle down" economics that, she said, has starved infrastructure and threatens scientific research.

"If the Republicans wouldn't cut taxes for the richest in this country, we'd have more money to be able to keep down the cost of health care family by family by family," she said.

The Republicans running this summer for the GOP nomination to challenge Warren in November supported much of the federal GOP tax bill, which the White House trumpeted as a massive middle-class tax cut that would simplify the tax code and help working families by doubling the standard deduction and increasing child tax credits. The plan also slashed the corporate tax rate and lowered the income tax rate for the top bracket.

MassGOP endorsed party candidate Rep. Geoff Diehl has a record of voting against higher taxes in Massachusetts, while businessman John Kingston says he supports "lower rates across the board." In a recent appearance on CNN, former Mitt Romney and Scott Brown advisor Beth Lindstrom said that while she often disagrees with President Donald Trump's style, tone and use of Twitter, she agees with "a lot of his policy."

"Tax reform, I think he's done great things.You've seen the lowest unemployment rates here in the country," Lindstrom said.

The unemployment rate, in fact, hit an 18-year low in May when it dipped to 3.8 percent nationally, fueling the Republican argument that the tax bill is working to bolster the economy. But Warren said those statistics are misleading.

"I am delighted whenever more people have jobs. I am delighted whenever more people are doing better. But I think many of the national statistics no longer represent the reality for lots of hard-working middle class families," Warren said.

Asked whether the anti-tax cut message wold resonate with voters at a time when the economy appears to be strong, Warren said, "Right now in America, there are people working, two, three, sometimes even four jobs to try to make ends meets. Today, a minimum wage job will not support a momma and baby and keep them out of poverty. A rising stock market helps those who have stock but for the more than half of all Americans who don't it doesn't reflect their reality and doesn't boost their prospects."

She continued, "We need an America that doesn't just work for a thin slice of those at the top. We need an America that works for all of us."

Senate Democrats, according to Warren, are defending 26 seats, and "going after" a handful more.

While she said democratic institutions like an independent judiciary and a free press are under attack, she also cited the women's marches of 2017, students moved by school violence to organize around the mid-terms and spontaneous demonstrations against Trump's immigration policies as evidence that democracy is "rewiring itself and it is happening at lightning speed."

"I fundamentally believe, that if everybody votes, we win," Warren said.


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