Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is back in Iowa and hoping her policy proposals will resonate across the purple landscape.
Warren has cast herself as a champion of the middle class and those struggling for a toe hold in it.
In an interview with IPR, she said she includes many farmers in those groups and she’s concerned about how small and medium-size independent farms will fare following several recent consolidations.
“I worry about how they’re getting squeezed out by the giants,” she said. “You know, a generation ago, farmers got 37 cents of every food dollar spent in America. Today it’s down to 15 cents.”
If she is elected president, she said she will work to reverse the merger of Bayer and Monsanto.
“Remember, you can continue to consider the monopolistic impact of these mergers even after they occur. So this is not one of those where, ‘darn, now it’s happened and so there’s nothing we can do but wring our hands’. ”
Warren says her message to voters is that policies are personal and her ideas will help everyone, not just the rich and the large corporations that she says are getting a disproportionate amount of benefits from the current government.
For example, she has a proposal to tax the wealthiest one-tenth of one percent of the population, which she says will generate more than a trillion dollars.
At an event in the Iowa State University Memorial Union, she encouraged people in the audience to pull out their smartphones and bring up a tool on her website that will calculate a borrower’s loan forgiveness under her proposal.
“So the first thing it should ask you is, 'do you have student loan debt?'. Are you guys walking through this?” she asked, her years as a school teacher and law professor resonating in her tone.
Warren says her plan would forgive 95 percent of current student loan debt and she called on an audience member who tried the calculator.
“Whoa, she got $50,000. We have a winner!”
Warren says the two percent tax on assets over $50 million would also fund child care, preschool, technical education and public college for most people.