GOFFSTOWN — Billionaire Tom Steyer stopped by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Monday with a clear message: Our government is broken, but the American people can fix it.
Although Steyer, a Democratic presidential candidate, believes that economic success should not be something that is scorned, he told the audience at Monday’s Politics & Eggs event that he believes the rich and powerful have influenced our political system so deeply that it can no longer serve average people.
In that vein, Steyer stated his support for a wealth tax, and emphasized the past ten years that he has spent as an activist fighting against corporate tax loopholes, tobacco lobbyists and oil companies.
He spoke on health care costs and what he said was the lack of action by Congress to negotiate better pharmaceutical prices, stating that even though he supports a public option over expansion of the current Medicare system, immediate action is needed.
Pharmaceutical companies “are killing us, sometimes literally, and it’s not right. So I have no qualms pushing back,” he said. “They are going to make arguments about needing money for research, and (those claims) are bogus.”
Steyer referred to his advocacy work on those issues and his early support of impeachment of President Donald Trump as a key part of why he should be elected. He said Trump’s business acumen is fake and that Trump’s role has been counterproductive to the economy, but that the President will still use his reputation as a businessman as an asset in reelection efforts.
Trump “said, ‘You guys don’t like me, and I don’t like you, but you’re all going to vote for me, because if Democrats get control, they will destroy the economy in about 15 minutes,” said Steyer. “That’s what he’s going to run as. When he was going to be impeached, he said, ‘You can’t impeach me; the economy will fall apart.’ Really?”
He said he believes the Democratic National Committee should lower participation thresholds to debates to encourage a wider array of viewpoints.
Steyer did not go into significant detail regarding one of his key policies, enacting term limits of 12 years for members of Congress. In a statement following the event, he acknowledged it would be difficult to achieve this constitutionally, but he circled back to a key theme of his platform: term limits, direct democracy and other reform efforts can only come once power is given back to the people.
“The first thing that has to happen is for the people of the United States to decide through the presidential election process about what they think is important. I’m talking about what I think has gone wrong in the United States is that the corporations have bought the government, and I’m trying to talk about some of the solutions,” he said.
“In fact, the actual steps of getting there are significant, but that’s not the point of the presidential election. The point of the presidential election is that the people will break the corporate stranglehold on government and we will go after (term limits) right after that, with the will of the people at our back.”