SALEM — East Grove Farms was packed on Sunday night but not for the kind of concert they are used to hosting. Community members brought their lawn chairs and donned their patriotic colors to hear 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) speak.
Katie Aranda, of Mt. Pleasant, attended the evening with her husband and their four children. Although all were in elementary school or younger, she said she felt it was important to bring the kids out for the “family experience.” She said they had watched coverage on television and although her kids are young, they understand what is happening and she wanted them to have an experience with it.
Chid care was one topic Sen. Warren covered in her speech Sunday. She proposed issuing an ultra-millionaire tax, an extra tax for the top 75,000 richest families in the nation, to produce funding to rebuild the economy. Part of her plan for those funds is universal child care for every child age zero to 5 and universal preschool for all 3-and-4-year-olds. Her plan is to create a government subsized program that would accommodate families at multiple income levels.
Sen. Warren’s proposed ultra-millionaire tax would add a second element for those struggling with student loans. She plans to utilize a portion of that funding for student loan debt relief to free up funding ensuring Americans can make investments in markets such as housing.
“Forty-five million Americans have student loan dept,” she said. “It is crushing an entire generation. It is changing people’s plans on what they can and can’t do.”
Because so many Americans are buried in debt, they are not able to purchase homes. Sen. Warren said by using funding from the wealth tax, she has a plan to implement 3.2 million new houses to accommodate people at multiple price points which she estimates will bring rent down by 10 percent and create 1.5 million new jobs.
She said the housing stock for new construction is full and Americans who need homes at different price points are suffering from lack of affordable housing.
Sen. Warren’s plan to eliminate debt and create affordable housing both stem from her proposal of a wealth tax. She said the biggest problem Washington faces is the correlation between money and Congress.
“We need to address the corruption head on,” she said. “I have the biggest anti-corruption bill since Watergate.”
Her plan includes ending lobbying to “block the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington” to stop conflicts of interest.
Dave Hellman, of Mt. Pleasant, said he was glad to have Sen. Warren in town and was even more excited to see how many people came out for the event. He said the duty of citizens is to come out to events and get informed because their influence at the polls is what helps determine the nation’s leaders.
“Every citizen should be involved in politics,” he said. “This is how leaders are chosen.”