John Kerry will deliver a major speech on Monday, October 1, offering a 21st Century economic strategy for America’s middle class. The speech will be delivered at Faneuil Hall in Boston at noon. Steve LeBlanc reports for AP News:
President Bush is leaving a tarnished economic legacy that will haunt the middle class and their children, according to U.S. Sen. John Kerry, who is urging his party to embrace what he calls a “bold new age in progressive politics.”
Under Bush, the economic gains made by the middle class and minorities during the Clinton administration have not only been eroded, but reversed, Kerry, D-Mass., said in prepared remarks to be delivered Monday at the historic Faneuil Hall in Boston.
“This is Bushnomics: those at the top get the benefit, and you and future generations get stuck with the bill. That is the Bush legacy to America’s economy,” Kerry said.
As he lashes out at the Bush administration in his speech, Kerry also lays down a “challenge for leaders in his own party, who he said have to do more than just offer piecemeal and incremental solutions for towering problems.”
He said the country is now as far away from the New Deal as the New Deal was from the Civil War and the time is ripe for a new set of bold initiatives geared for the challenges of the new century.
“We need big sweeping changes, not bite-sized ideas that are poll tested, sound bite ready and destined to be mere footnotes to the times we live in,” Kerry said in the prepared remarks. “It is now time for progressives to match Franklin Roosevelt’s vision, not just mimic his rhetoric.”
Chief among those challenges is creating a system of universal health care for all Americans, young and old, Kerry said.
Universal health care is not just a moral imperative, but an economic one, according to Kerry, who said the inefficiencies of the health care system make the country less competitive and force companies to either cut benefits for workers or move jobs abroad and offer little or no coverage.
“It’s offering more and more middle-class Americans the equally lousy choice of clawing to hold onto inadequate insurance coverage at skyrocketing prices, or simply praying for good health,” Kerry said.
Kerry also took a shot at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for turning away from the Massachusetts health care plan he helped create “so fast he’s going to need a good health care plan to treat him for whiplash.”
John Kerry’s speech Monday is the latest in a series of speeches looking at topics “ranging from the Iraq War to energy and health care.”
In past speeches, Kerry has called for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and outlined an energy plan for the country that called for reducing oil imports, increasing the number of cars powered by renewable fuels and focusing on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Kerry planned to return to both themes on Monday, calling the war in Iraq “rooted in deception and waged with self-deception” and saying “it’s time to worry about the next generation’s world, not the next quarter’s bloated profits for big oil.”
On an interesting side note, I said here when Hillary Clinton unveiled her healthcare plan that it reminded me a lot of Kerry’s plan from ’04, that he updated to include universal healthcare in ’06. I wasn’t alone in that thinking. On 9/21/07, the Monterey County Herald (CA) noted, “Under the Clinton plan, the “national pool would be the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Program, meaning that Clinton merely adopted an idea that has already been trotted out by John Kerry.” In fact, a side by side comparison of key points of Kerry’s plan to Clinton and Obama’s plans show that Hillary Clinton’s plan is the most like Kerry’s.
So when Kerry steps up to the podium on Monday to deliver his speech on the economy, you can bet that the Democratic candidates will no doubt pay some heed to what he’s saying. I know, I’ll be listening (and the text of Kerry’s speech will be posted here when it is available.)