DETROIT, MI – On stage Tuesday night, John Delaney struck a chord highlighting his call for real solutions, not impossible promises. During the debate, Delaney drew a contrast between his policy proposals, and extreme policies that would keep President Trump in the White House.
Delaney’s answers and closing statement are transcribed below.
“Well I’m right about this. We can create a universal healthcare system to give everyone basic healthcare for free. And I have a proposal to do it. But we don’t have to go around and be the party of subtraction, and telling half the country who has private health insurance that their health insurance is illegal. My dad the union electrician loved the health care he got from the IBEW. He would never want someone to take that away. Half of Medicare beneficiaries now have Medicare-Advantage, which is private insurance, or supplemental plans. It’s also bad policy, it’ll underfund the industry, many hospitals will close, and it’s bad policy.”
“What I’m talking about is really simple. We should deal with the tragedy of the uninsured and give everyone healthcare as a right. But why do we have to be the party of taking something away from people. That’s what they’re running on. They’re running on telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal. It says it right in the bill. We don’t have to do that, we can give everyone health care and allow people to have choice. That’s the American way.”
…”I’m the only one on the stage who actually has experience in the health care industry. And with all due respect, I don’t think my colleagues understand the business. We have the public option which is great, the public option is great but it doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t go far enough. I’m proposing universal health care where everyone gets health care as a basic human right for free, but they have choices. My plan, BetterCare, is fully paid for without raising middle-class tax options. So when we think about this debate, we have Medicare for All, which is extreme.”
“So listen, this is what I don’t understand. President Trump wants to build physical walls and beat up on immigrants. Most of the folks running for president want to build economic walls to free trade, and beat up on President Obama. I’m the only one running for President who actually supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Obama was right about that. We should be getting back in that. Senator Warren just issued a trade plan that would prevent the United States from trading with its allies. We can’t isolate ourselves from the world. We have to engage in fair, rules-based trade.”
“…So, that was the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think President Obama was right. He did include environmental standards, he did include labor standards. We would be in an entirely different position with China if we had entered the Trans-Pacific Pacific partnership. We can’t isolate ourselves from the world. We can’t isolate ourselves from Asia. Senator Warren’s plan basically – that she put out – we would not be able to trade with the UK, we would not be able to trade with the EU. It is so extreme that it will isolate the American economy from the rest of the world.”
“Well first of all because it ties its progress to other things that are completely unrelated to climate, like universal health care, guaranteed government jobs, and universal basic income. So that only makes it harder to do. My plan, which gets us to net-zero by 2050, which we absolutely have to do for our kids, and our grandkids, will get us there. I’ll put a price on carbon, take all the money and give it back to the American people in a dividend. That was introduced by me on a bipartisan basis. It’s the only significant bipartisan climate bill in Congress. I am going to increase the Department of Energy research budget by fivefold, because we fundamentally have to innovate our way out of this problem. I am going to create a market for something called direct air capture, which are machines that actually take carbon out of the atmosphere, because I don’t think that we will get to net-zero by 2050 unless we have those things. I’m going to increase investment in renewables, and I am going to create something called the Climate Corps. That is a plan that’s realistic, it’s a bet on the U.S. private innovation economy, and creates the incentives to get us to net-zero by 2050. For our kids.”
“I think wealthy Americans have to pay more. Listen, I grew up in a blue-collar family, first in my family to go to college, became a successful entrepreneur, created thousands of jobs, supported thousands of entrepreneurs around this country, and I have done well financially. I think I should pay more in tax. I think wealthy Americans should pay more in tax. But we have to have a real solution. The real solution is to raise the capital gains rates. There is no reason why people who invest for a living should pay less than people who work for a living. That’s ridiculous. It’s the biggest loophole in our tax code. We act like wealthy individuals are endangered species, and if we raise their taxes they won’t invest. That’s crazy. That’s how we get more revenue from wealthy individuals. We roll back the Trump tax cuts to wealthy individuals. I think the wealth tax will be fought in court forever, it’s arguably unconstitutional, and the countries who have had it, have largely abandoned it because it is impossible to implement. But here again, real solutions, not impossible promises. Raise the capital gains tax, roll back the taxes on wealthy Americans. That we can do in our first few months as President.
“…This is not about whether wealthy Americans should pay more. I think we’re all in agreement on that. It’s a question if you have a real solution to make it happen? We can raise the capital gains rate to match the ordinary income. You know the last president to do that was actually Ronald Reagan. We can do that in our first year. I’ve called for that to be done and it will double the Earned Income Tax Credit. I’ve called for the expansion of universal Pre-K so that every American has Pre-K. And I do it through an additional tax on net worth Americans. But we don’t need to come up with new taxes that are arguably unconstitutional, that will be fought in court for years.”
“John F. Kennedy famously said ‘We should not seek the Republican answer, we should not seek the Democratic answer, we should seek the right answer.’ He was right when he said it, and he is right today as well. Donald Trump is a symptom of a disease, and the disease is divisiveness. And I’m the only one on the stage talking about curing that disease, with big ideas like national service, by focusing on actually solving problems. If we work together we can fix health care and build infrastructure. We can invest, not just in technology, but in people and entrepreneurs, whether they be in Storm Lake, Iowa, or Detroit, Michigan, or Baltimore, Maryland. We can fight climate change and reimagine our education system, but we have to do it with real solutions, not impossible promises. Isn’t it time we had a president who was a leader in both the private sector and in government to lead us into the future? I promise, as president, I will restore vision, unity, and leadership and decency to this country. That’s why I’m running for president. Thank you.”