Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) belittled working Americans during a campaign stop in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, Monday, suggesting that those who worked hard for their wealth or success did not make it happen on their own.
Warren campaigned in the Granite State on Labor Day, delivering a classic stump speech at a backyard event. She repeated typical portions of her life story to enthusiastic supporters, decried the influence of the Koch brothers in politics, and vowed to weed out corruption in Washington.
Warren also talked about her plan to implement a monstrous “wealth tax” and belittled Americans who have worked hard to enjoy the fruits of their success, echoing former President Barack Obama’s infamous “you didn’t build that” remarks circa 2012.
“We need more power in the hands of workers. We need to make it easier to join a union and give the union smart power when they negotiate. Unions built America’s middle class and they will rebuild America’s middle class,” Warren said, echoing tweets she penned earlier in the day.
“It is time for a wealth tax in America,” she continued before seemingly dismissing the hard work of individuals who enjoy the fruits of their labor.
“I’m not proposing a wealth tax because I’m cranky. Some of these guys say, ‘I worked hard. I had a great idea. I worked late’– oh yeah, unlike anybody else,” she sarcastically stated. “But ‘I worked late or inherited wealth, and so this is mine.'”
And the answer is yeah, you did. Good for you. You did have a great idea and you did work hard. No one is angry about that, but here’s the deal. You built a great fortune here in America. I guarantee you built it at least in part using workers all of us help pay to educate. Yeah. You built it at least in part, getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay to build. Yep. You built it at least in part, protected by police and firefighters all of us help pay their salaries. And we’re are glad to do it. These are the investments we make as Americans.
Warren’s remarks were eerily reminiscent of the sentiment pushed by Obama in 2012. He told a group at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia, that successful Americans “didn’t get there” on their own.
Obama said (emphasis added):
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
Warren has championed herself as one of the most pro-worker, pro-union Democrats in the crowded presidential field, but it remains unclear why she would espouse such a dismissive message toward hard-working Americans, particularly on Labor Day.