Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says American capitalism has been corrupted, ensuring the super-rich get richer while middle and lower-class Americans are stuck paying a higher share of taxes.
"We believe in capitalism. Capitalism is the heart and soul of the American economy, but the capital system needs to work in a fair way and there need to be rules and laws…so it’s fair for everybody," Edwards says. "What’s happened now is the whole system has been rigged by people who have the power and the money to rig it and somebody’s got to stop ’em and that’s exactly what I intend to do."
Edwards proposes a series of tax reforms that would provide tax cuts and tax credits for low- and middle-income Americans, while at the same time he’d increase taxes on America’s richest citizens — including himself.
"It strengthens the ability of middle class families to take care of their children, to be able to save. There’s some clear middle income tax relief," Edwards says. "It is true that for the highest income taxpayers who make money from their investments that their taxes under this proposal will go up and they should go up because they’re not paying their fair share right now."
Since the 2004 campaign, Edwards has been talking about what he refers to as "Two Americas" and Edwards returned to that theme during a speech this morning in Des Moines as he laid out his tax reform ideas.
"The press is constantly saying, ‘Well, what you mean by "Two Americas" is you mean the rich and the poor.’ No, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is the very rich and multinational corporations and everybody else. Those are the ‘Two Americas’ that still exist in this country," Edwards said, as the audience applauded.
Afterwards, a reporter asked Edwards if he was engaging in class warfare.
"If you have money and you’re highly educated in this country, you’re well taken care of. The question is: what about everybody else?" Edwards said. "…Somebody needs to express the outrage about what’s happening in this country. It’s not right and it’s not fair and I intend to express it and express it strongly and I’m going to do something about it as president of the United States."
Edwards plans campaign stops today in Winterset, Creston, Atlantic and Council Bluffs.