tv Bernie Sanders Town Hall Meeting in Wolfeboro New Hampshire CSPAN January 21, 2016 10:33pm-11:42pm EST
stem professionals and we need to make sure we are getting the best and brightest within the army and all the services with regard to the next generation of scientists and engineers. can you talk a little bit about how you are going to approach that issue at the army in particular and how we make sure that we have a constant structure in place to engage scientists and engineers early so we can get them into the services and doing that kind of work? mr. fanning: i think we need to start by explaining what the civilian workforce is and isn't. a gets bandied about in the political process and a lot of people assume it is a large collection of bureaucrats. our engineers, scientists, national treasurers. what hit me the most a few years back when we were furloughing civilians, what was happening to the laboratories and test ranges. these were people that can make more money doing things outside of the government that are
committed to the mission. that's where we can do the most, capturing people. finding ways to expose them to the mission and problem sets and get them excited. as we decrease the civilian workforce and convert from contractor to civilian, we need to make sure we are keeping this talent organically that is very hard to recruit and replace. sen. heinrich: thank you very much. mr. fanning: thank you senator heinrich and i have been informed my colleague might return which gives me the great opportunity to initiate a second round. you bring to this job extraordinary experience and management. one of the persistent criticisms of the department is that it has not been able to successfully pass an audit. can you give us insights as to
how you, and the army, but hopefully influence the department of defense across the board, can get the dod on track for a successful audit? mr. fanning: first of all, success needs constant senior leadership. we got a tremendous a shot the arm by secretary panetta. it's the first thing i would make to this process if confirmed. in regard to the army, there are two things. i've seen them in each military department and its different with what the right rates are. i have long been a proponent of learning through doing. we have gotten to a point across all military services where i think we have prepped enough and it was time to test what we have done. we are learning a lot from that. in 14, just now and 15, the army had an auditor that put down its pen.
and so we did not complete the army -- audit, but we are learning. we are not only learning where we have weaknesses that we need to put more emphasis, we are learning where we have made enough improvements that we can pull resource off of that and so finding the resources. in the army, the first thing is creating a series of work schedules based on those problems and holding people accountable. the second, maybe even more so to the army, the army is fortunate in that some of its systems are more robust and are fielded and making sure that you shut down the legacy systems when you are supposed to because those systems are not audit compliant. you need to force the service and workforce into the compliant areas. sen. reed: thank you. i know my colleague, senator graham, has arrived. let me forgo things in the second round.
sen. graham: have you been following media reports that there may be consideration at the pentagon to take some away from general betray us? -- general patreus? -- to take a star away from general petraeus? i just want to say for the record, i hope there is bipartisanship for this approach. that's a great answer, i think the general like everyone else fighting this war, only god knows how many years was detroit -- how many years he was deployed. he made a mistake. he took responsibility for it. and his military record stands as one of the greatest in recent
memory. and i would urge the secretary of defense to follow the recommendation and not go down this path. as to the army itself, i know you have been asked about the structure. what does it mean to have 490,000 members of the army versus 420 and terms of things you can do? what's the difference? 70,000 more people but what is it mean in terms of engagement. mr. fanning: i think when you look at 490 down to 450 in the current construct under 420, we testified when we first were targeted on the 450 number. general milley has testified the same thing i think it would require a whole new set of assumptions and guidance on what the army is supposed to do. everyone has testified and i would do it today that we could not do even as a total force, not just the active component, what we are asked to do if he went on to what sequestration would force us to do. sen. graham: president obama called for congress to give him authorized military force
against isil. i think that is reasonable. do you think congress would do it? mr. fanning: i do. sen. graham: i think you are well-qualified, would you like to see limitations on time when it comes to finding isil? mr. fanning: i think my preference would be not to have a limitation. sen. graham: if i am in the army i would not want to tell the army after three years we have to start and start all over again i think from a national perspective, we shouldn't have a limitation on time. what about geography? is there any means you want to do to take off the table?
mr. fanning: i don't. sen. graham: thank you. i look forward to voting you for secretary of the army. >> i don't i got a can top that. let me just say as the staff has said, there are no more of my colleagues that are returning. let me thank you. on behalf of senator mccain, the meeting is adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
then david delight in of the center for medical progress will talk about his organization's primary role in the secret planned parenthood staff. you can join the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. friday, tim kaine will visit supporters for hillary clinton at devonport. announcer: c-span's campaign 2016, taking you on the road to the white house. this weekend, live coverage from nashua, new hampshire with eight gop candidates. rand paul, jim gilmore, jeb bush, john kasich, chris christie, carly fiorina, rick
santorum, and marco rubio. saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, live coverage of a campaign rally in waterloo, iowa with ted .ruz and glenn beck sunday afternoon at 1:00, live coverage from muscatine, iowa at rally for donald trump. for a full schedule, go to our www.c-span.org. announcer: california governor jerry brown delivered his state of the state address in sacramento. he outlined his goals for the state. this is 20 minutes. gov. brown: friends and fellow citizens, it was 41 years ago that i first address this
chamber. my father was surprised that i made it to the governorship at such a young age. now i am kind of surprised that i'm still here. and three more years to go. take my surplus campaign fines and put a ballot fourth termo allow governors to seek a final fifth term. [applause] gov. brown: it is a light note. back then, california was amazingly dynamic and it still is. those who live here know this land as any place which draws
people from every part of the world because of the tolerant, creativity, and share openness. there is much to be thankful for. we live today in a world that is profoundly uncertain. what happens far away can touch us directly. a slowdown in china or turmoil in iraq or syria or anywhere can send the stock market reeling input california jobs in state revenues in jeopardy. in the battle far away, some comes right to our soil is the unprovoked and brutal attack in san bernardino. what occurs daily consummate -- what occurs daily in so many parts of the world could occur .ere area that is what we have to be prepared and vigilant. i wish that was not the case, but it is. at the state capital, we think we have more control over things that we actually do. the global events and policies set the pace and shape the world we live in. the challenge is to solve today's problems without making those of tomorrow even worse. we face a future that is partly determined, and yet in many ways unknown.
our job is to face the fact that we do now and prepare for the many unknowns as best as we can. you are not going to hear me talk about new programs today. i'm going to focus on how we pay for the commitments we already have. let's start with the budget. since the second world war, we have experienced 10 recessions. none of them expected or accurately predicted. economists are unable to pinpoint when a recession will begin or how long it will last. historically, california's budgets have been built around forecast that assume uninterrupted growth. just looking at the last two recessions, we noticed that ongoing state spending accelerated into the downturn.
if you add up the deficits and surpluses to the year 2000-2016, you find the total deficits for several times as large as the surplus, resulting in painful and unplanned cuts. schools, child care, courts, social services and other state programs were deeply affected. so were our universities, we had to reduce classes and double tuition. i do not want to make those mistakes again. the next recession will cut our revenues by $55 billion over three years. that is why it is imperative to build up the rainy day fund, which was just recently approved by the voters and invest our temporary surpluses into badly needed infrastructure. or in other ways that will not lock in future spending. let us also be realistic of our current tax system. california is a very progressive, but volatile income tax that provides 70% of general fund revenues.
if we were to minimize the zig-zag of spend, cut,spend, we must build a very large reserve. we also know that inequality has risen sharply in recent decades. we have seen the disappearance of many lower-class dobbs and -- many middle-class jobs and the growing share of income taken by the top 1%. even more so by the top 0.1% this contrast sharply with the virtual stagnation in the -- -- stagnation in the wages of so many americans. such inequality is reinforced by national, regulatory, and tax policies and driven by globalization and relentless influx of cheaper goods at
outsourcing of higher-paying jobs. technological change also plays its part. sophisticated software, robotics, and global communication. of course, this creates jobs and makes available phenomenal amounts of information, but it also makes for higher pay at the top and a huge number of low-paying service jobs. california has not been passive. we have expanded many programs to counteract these powerful trends. we raised the minimum wage. we are now the first income tax credit -- we strengthened strong prevailing wage laws. we made sure that 6.5 million workers will be paid for sick leave. for low income students, would -- we provide over $2 billion in
grants and pagan roman fees for 65% -- pay enrollment fees for 65% of college students. in may, we will start providing full health care coverage of the children of undocumented workers. [applause] gov. brown: most importantly, this is truly monumental, we wholeheartedly embrace the affordable care act. [applause] gov. brown: as a result, we are now enrolling 13.5 million californians at another 1.5 million and covered california. this is a historic achievement that will provide health security to so many who have not otherwise afford it. under the area where we are
-- another area where we are leading the nation, is providing health services to people in their own homes. in the process, give jobs to their providers. over the past two years, we have expanded this and home service -- this in-home services program by serving more recipients in giving current recipients more cowards -- hours of care and giving overtime pay to those workers who provide those services. [applause] gov. brown: while these programs are enormous, so is the cost. both now and into the future. in four years, total medi-cal cost are growing by $23 billion . as the state begins to pay for each year of the millions of new enrollees, the cost of the fund will also rise. in 2012, the general fund paid $15 billion for medi-cal. by 2019, that number is expected to be $25 billion, an increase of 2/3.
for in-home support services in , just two years, total spending will jump by $2 billion in 20% increase. as the economy reaches a turn point, it is crucial to plan for these increased costs. in this regard, i ask you, republicans and democrats, to seriously consider the newly revised financing reform. other states have taken advantage of this federal program and california should not shortchanged itself. this is not a tax increase, no matter what anyone tells you. arithmetic is simple. california comes out a clear winner. please, give it your consideration. [applause] gov. brown: do i detect a few republicans? [laughter]
gov. brown: the strong economic recovery and the passage of proposition 30 has allowed us to increase spending in public schools and community college to $47.3 billion in 2011 to $71.63 billion this year. that is a 51% increase in overall spending -- with significant sums allocated in the local control formula to provide for the unique challenges that face low income students, english learners, and those in foster care. this pattern of educational spending reverses the historic practice of assuming that all students encounter similar circumstances. they do not. the local control formula now in its fourth year recognizes this fact with extra funding to enable educators to overcome the barriers that confront non-english speaking families and those with low incomes.
i am proud of how california has led the country in a way that is returning control to local school districts. the last two decades, it has been a national movement to micromanage teachers from afar. to increasingly minute and prescriptive state and federal regulations. california has successfully fought that movement and has now changed its overly intrusive test heavy state control to a true system of local accountability. we also know that the state has made other commitments. ones we have yet to fully pay for. our retirement liabilities and lifelong health benefits for state and university workers total $220 billion. aat is a -- that is assuming favorable return of 7.5% forever. each year, the budget must allocate billions to slowly chip away at these obligations. we have taken steps to reduce
the future costs of these pensions and put the teacher system back on its solid fiscal building. still, we have more to do. to date, we have set aside a total amount to pay for 72 billion of future retiree health benefits. these liabilities are so massive, that ignoring them will not allow us to pay them off. and there is little satisfaction in the notion of chipping away with an obligation of three decades to pay for something that is already been promised. yet, it is our moral obligation to do so, particularly before we make new commitments. workers theser benefits in exchange for serving the public. acknowledge to
these commitments, they will unfairly burden future generations of californians with these debts. another obligation we have to face is our deteriorating infrastructure. levees and facilities and our parks, prisons and state hospitals, serious deficiencies abound. in this year's budget, i am proposing that we use $10 billion to repair and replace aging structures. neglecting what we have built over many years and move -- -- and letting it further deteriorate makes no sense. our overall state deferred maintenance estimates $70 billion. most of that is in our roads, highways and bridges. here is the challenge. we have no choice but to maintain our transportation infrastructure. yet, doing so without an expanding and permanent revenue source is impossible. that means, at some point, sooner rather than later, we
have to bite the bullet and create new fees for this purpose. ideology and politics stand in the way. but one way or another, the roads must be fixed. [applause] one of the bright sides in our contentious politics is the joining together of both parties to secure passage of proposition 1, the water bond. [applause] that together with our california water action plan, it establishes a solid program to do with the drought and longer-term challenge of using our water wisely. our goal must be to preserve california's natural beauty and ensure a vibrant economy on our farms, cities, and for all the people who live here.
there is no magic bullet. but a series of actions must be taken. we have to recharge our aquifers, recycle, capture storm manage the groundwater, recycle, capture storm water build and reliable conveyance, improve efficiency everywhere, invest in new technology, including's -- including desalinization, all the while, recognizing that there are limits. achieving balance between all of the conflicting entries is not easy. i pledge to you that i will listen and were patiently to -- and worked patiently to achieve results that stand the test of time. [applause] gov. brown: water goes to the heart of what california is and what it has been over centuries. putting fish against farmer misses the point and distorts reality. every one of us and creature
that dwells here forms a complex system that must be understood and respected. i would even say reverenced. besides the immediacy of drought, there is the overarching threat of a warming climate. incredibly the last year was the , hottest on record. there are still those, particularly in washington who are in denial. but even the deniers can't deny that carbon pollution that exist all over the world is causing serious injury and respiratory diseases to people of all ages, especially the young and very old. thankfully, the rest of the world has heard the message. humankind must change the ways and radically de-carbonize the environment. california was there leading the way. [applause]
gov. brown: over 100 states have now signed to our mo2mou. the goal is to bring capital greenhouse gases to two tons per person. that will take decades, but we are on our way. [applause] gov. brown: we know that disasters happen. fires, floods, earthquakes, they will occur and we must prepare to respond. that, too, requires maintaining a solid reserve. this morning, i talked about the difficulties that lie ahead. let us not forget how far we have come. in 2011, the state deficit was $27 billion. our credit rating was the worst in the nation. unemployment was 12%.
now, the budget is in surplus. [applause] gov. brown: standards have -- standard & poor's has raised our credit ratings three times. [applause] gov. brown: we paid down accumulated debt, $26 billion worth. [applause] gov. brown: you should applaud, because there may not be too much coming after this. [laughter] gov. brown: we created funds to offset the next economic downturn. [applause] gov. brown: we have increased funding for schools by 51%. [applause] we are covered under medi-cal, 13.5 million people and a 74% increase. [applause]
we enacted for the first time an earned income tax credit. [applause] we raised our minimum wage to $10 an hour and that is 80% higher than the same minimum. 2 million new jobs have been created and unemployment has dropped in half. the global recovery has a lot to do with that. we should applaud, but we cannot control good health. -- we should applaud what we can control, too, because it helps. it is clear that california is still the great exception. we care to do what others only dream of. difficulties remain and they always well, that is the human -- they always will. that is the human condition. and finding the right path
forward is formidable. we will find it as we have in the past and as we have done so again with courage and confidence. thank you. [applause] announcer: coming up, senator ernie sanders campaigning in new hampshire. after that, hillary clinton speaking in iowa, in davenport. announcer: january 22 marks the 43rd anniversary decision of the supreme court on roe v wade. on "the next washington journal -- on the next "washington journal," donna crane. daleid will talke about his organizationn's primary role in the secretly recorded videotapes of planned parenthood staff. journal" is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. you can join with your calls and comments on facebook and
twitter. announcer: the u.s. conference of mayors winter meeting continues friday with a discussion of the nations refugee resettlement system. at 9:30 eastern on c-span 2. announcer: c-span's campaign 2016 is taking on the road to the white house on -- to the iowa caucuses. you livering pre-caucus covers, taking your phone calls, texts and tweets. then we will take you to a republican caucus on c-span. in its entirety, join in on the conversation on c-span radio and on www.c-span.org. announcer: senator bernie held a campaign town
hall thursday night. >> what a pleasure to get to be here. you only have to wait a couple more minutes and then the main act will arrive. we are just kind of warming you up. hered get one vermonter after another to get you into the mood. there is nothing that new hampshire likes more than people from her monde coming to tell you what to think about the world. it really is good to be here. burlington on the day in june when bernie announced his candidacy. i got to introduce him than a little. two,s bernie and the other
ben and jerry. it was good. it was really great. it was all kinds of good feeling. told, didow, truth be any of us really and truly in our heart of hearts believe that , six months later, he was going to be kind of winning this thing? [cheers and applause] we didn't completely believe that. it didn't feel like a lock. it felt more like the 2004 red sox. meansle, but not -- by no guaranteed. but the last six or seven months has been incredibly exciting. and it is partly because bernie himself.
but mostly because of the response that has been all over the place. i have tried a few times to figure out what accounts for that response. why people everywhere -- i will give you just three possibilities. people somehowat just understand his authenticity. we and vermont have known it for a a while. way, if he were a fake or a phony, he would have been found out long ago. andybody and vermont, even if they don't agree with him, understands that he is the absolute real deal can be has been down every age or road and to every town meeting.
every dirt road and to every town meeting. every politician knows he is for the little guy. everybody gets that bernie is [indiscernible] think part ofs i the thing is he has been offering big solutions to big problems. and there is something very realistic about that that we are starting to respond to because we have big problems. he has been highlighting the crazy inequality in the world we have been living. there was a study last week that showed the richest 62 people on planet earth have more assets than the poorest 3.5 billion people on planet earth. 62 people is about the first eight rows here. --se people have more money it is as if everyone of them had won the powerball two weeks ago.
that is all the money. that is not a sustainable world. you can't keep it together like that much longer. and you'd definitely can keep the world together in the face of the other problem he has been talking about -- climate change. we found out yesterday, as we suspected, that 2015 had been the hottest year ever measured on this planet. not by a little weird by a lot. -- not by a little. by a lot. 68 degrees on christmas eve. and notweird and spooky right at all. the world now, the consequences are getting so real. a story that has in haunting me all week in the newspapers is this emergent disease in south america and latin america called zika.-- called
it is a mosquito-borne disease. this thing is gruesome. get -- 4000 babies were shrunkenrazil with heads because their mothers had been bitten by one of these mosquitoes during their pregnancy. brazillth minister's of and colombia and jamaica today advised women not to become the time being. it is like a science fiction story. something like that plays out around the world every day with this cycle of drought and flood and things. it is a huge problem and it is not going to yield to just tiny little one step at a time baby step kind of solution. it is going to take the kind of focus and energy that bernie -- they asked him in the debate. what is the biggest problem
facing the world. he said flat out, is probably climate change. that is indicative of the kind of focus that it will take to deal on these kind of issues. the third reason i think maybe the most important that people heays point out is because has said over and over and over again that it is not about him. it's about building a movement that can make real change happen. and fact, the coolest thing you can do would be elect him -- the cruelest thing you can do would be to elect him and then walk away to let him do it himself. it is going to take a movement to make things happen. change has to happen, our history shows it only happens when people build movements.
and it can happen, even when the odds don't look good. i will just close by telling you the story about the beginnings of this fight against the keystone pipeline four years ago. chanceght we had no real and no one ousted either. everybody said big oil never loses this kind of fight. took poles of the energy insiders in washington. 93% of these experts said that the transcanada company would have its permit by the end of 2011. starting tople write millions of e-mails to the senate and public comments and posts -- and mark in public protests. in the beginning, when no one in washington wanted anything to do it this day because you would have to stand up to the richest companies on earth, the only senator who would help us, the only one was bernie sanders.
[cheers and applause] and he couldn't have been more forthright and tough and helpful and committed all the way through. not because it was going to do him any favors. it caused him more trouble. you knew it was the right thing. and because he believed in the power of moments to change things. of the you guys are part movement that is going to change things in a big way. applause and it is exciting as hell. for those of us who live on the other side of the connecticut -- we lookook at with some jealousy at some of you.
new hampshire was speculated to be the more important in our political system and get to decide the presidency. and i am always impressed when i come here with how seriously people take it. but more seriously this year than ever. you guys, for the next two or three years, have superpowers. things as youzing knock on doors and as you spread the word. and if you do, then you will send bernie sanders out of new hampshire with the same kind of mediahat the mainstream has given donald trump for the last, you know, six or eight months. you will make him absolutely -- everyone will have to deal with him. it will be inescapable. you do that work. it.it is so important to do and so much fun because it represents actual hope for the future. more pleased than
to just come voucher the sky. i am going to introduce one more person to introduce him, ok? [laughter] someone who can vouch for him even better than i can. levy, the son of the next president of the united states. [cheers and applause] larry sanders: thanks very much for coming. that was a really great speech, bill. levy sanders and i live in claremont with my wife and three children for the last 12 years in claremont, new hampshire. the person i am going to introduce i know just a little teeny bit.
he is my father. i have a hard time articulating what bernie sanders means to the people of america. he is someone who gives people hope, that things can change, that there can be a better america. in america where you can make a living wage and not have to work to and sometimes three jobs just to make ends meet. an america where you can go to public colleges and universities tuition free. an america where racial profiling and police brutality is a thing of the past. [cheers and applause] we, as a country, should be able to live in a democracy where the size of your wallet does not dictate if you can run for political office. applause]d
levy: we demand to live in a society where we don't have to debate whether we should have clean air and water. [cheers and applause. i can go on and on. but i only have two minutes. but this is not about bernie sanders. this is about each and every one of us. please give a warm welcome to bernie sanders, the next president of the united states.
bernie sanders: thank you. thank you. thank you so much. love you, too. outk you so much for coming this evening. this is a wonderful, wonderful turnout. friendalso thank my dear bill mckibben. i trust all of you know that bill is not only an outstanding writer -- he really is a great writer -- and not only the subject -- subject matter that he deals with that he also writes very, very well. not just one of the leaders of the movement to combat climate change in this country. bill is one of the international leaders. he founded, as you know, 350.org, which has played a role
all over the world in bringing people to stand up in the fight to save our planet. [applause] and when bill talks about organizing at the grassroots level, there is nobody i know who does it better than he does. about a year and a half ago, we worrying new york city. 400,000 people, yellow -- a lot of young people, a lot of people of color, people from all over the world were marching for the man that congress and governments all over this planet recognize the seriousness of what we are going through now and move aggressively to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. [cheers and applause]
so when you hear from bill, you are hearing from a guy who is an international leader on one of the most important issues facing our country. and i am going to get into that in a moment to let me say a few words about our campaign before i get into the thrust of my remarks. we began this campaign about nine months ago. and when we began, we had no money, no organization, and frankly, my name recognition around much of the country was not very high. a lot of the media pundits were saying bernie sanders combs his hair outstandingly. [laughter] i want some recognition. i just got a haircut here. [applause] my wife said enough is enough.
so we did that. [laughter] and this campaign was considered to be a fringe candidacy. interesting, but not significant. i think a lot has happened in nine months. [cheers and applause] with your help, we have a real shot to win here in new hampshire. we are doing better and better in iowa. a recent poll had us ahead in iowa. and i think it is fair to say that we have a lot of momentum. we will win in iowa and in new hampshire if there is a large voter turnout. if working people and young
people and older people decide that it is important enough to make a statement. that's what your state does. that is where bill was saying. you are making a statement that will be heard not only all across our country but all over the world. in the statement is that we have had enough of establishment politics. we need to move in a new and bold direction. [cheers and applause] now when you come within a week or two weeks or 2.5 weeks of an election, he suddenly start hearing a lot of strange things being said. and one of the things that my opponent is saying is that bernie sanders is unelectable.
he cannot defeat a republican candidate in the general election. so it gives me pleasure to give you some fact that that might not be the case. [cheers and applause] here in your state of new hampshire, she ran here in 2008 and is working hard now. when we were compared in a recent poll just the other day in terms of how well we would do against republican candidates, this is results from new hampshire. secretary clinton loses to marco rubio by one point. we beat him by 18 points. [cheers and applause]
secretary clinton and governor kasich are tied. we beat kasich by 21 points. [cheers and applause] and here is my favorite. [laughter] my good, good friend donald trump. secretary clinton defeats mr. trump by nine points. we beat him by 23 points. [cheers and applause] all of which reaffirms my love for the smart people of the state of new hampshire. [applause] but it's not just new hampshire. the results are not quite strong, but they are also strong
in iowa. and also nationally there was an nbc washington journal poll that came out yesterday. secretary clinton to future by 10 points, we defeated him by 15 points. and even more importantly than polls is the thrust of our campaign. there is a political fact. the fact is, republicans win national elections when people are demoralized and they don't come out and vote. and last year, republicans won a landslide victory all over this country because 63% of the american people did not vote. 80% of young people did not vote. what is going on in this campaign, the campaign that has
the excitement, that has the energy, bringing working people and young people in. campaigns that have spoken to 450,000 people already all over america and has spoken to over 27,000 people in meetings like this, our campaign is the campaign of excitement, energy, momentum and will result in a large voter turnout which means a victory for democrats. [cheers and applause] let me also say this. when we began this campaign, they said we did not have money, organization, name recognition.
one of the problems we had to face right away is the fact that as all of you know, the run for president is that you need to raise an unbelievable amount of money. and what the experts were saying was, the only way i candidate in this day and age with this disastrous citizens united decision, the only way a candidate can raise the kinds of money you need is to set up a super pac. and the truth is, my democratic opponents and almost all republican components -- opponents set up a super pac. to my mind, someone that does not represent the billionaire class, does not represent corporate america, i decided that i was not going to establish a super pac. i was not going to ask them for
millions of dollars in money. [applause] but then, that is a very lovely statement but it doesn't bring in any money. how do you do it? the old-fashioned way. we reached out to the working class and middle class families of this country. i would not have dreamed we could do this. in the last nine months, we have received 2.5 million individual contributions. [cheers and applause] that is more than any candidate in the history of the united states of america up to this point in a campaign.
and at a time when candidates are so proudly having nightmares come out with $5 million or $10 million. our average contribution is $27. so what all of that means is that we have already accomplished something. we have shown the american people that despite this disastrous citizens united supreme court decision and despite all of the super pac's, one can still run a strong and i believe winning campaign based on the support from working families and the middle class. and i'm very proud of that.
today, we have many thousands of volunteers. and we have a wonderful organization. and with your help, if we can get a good voter turnout, i believe we can win this state and the ask for your help to make that happen. [applause] now one of the reasons that i think our campaign is doing well is because we are treating the american people as if they were intelligent human beings. that's a radical idea for a politician. we are often seen on tv or when the media will tell you what the most important issues are, we
have chosen to go a different direction. the most important issues facing us is not what appears on television tomorrow. the most important issues are the issues you are struggling with today. those are the issues that we have got to address whether the media finds them interesting or exciting or not. [applause] but what do i mean by that? i will give you a few examples. a couple weeks ago, i was in nevada. a woman in her early 30's came up to me and has a five-year-old child. she said, i am trying to support a child and pay off my student debt. tears started running down her
cheeks. i don't know what happens to my child. it is no different in new hampshire. we have many seniors who are trying to get by on social security. and if you just do the arithmetic, you can't get by. some of those seniors are cutting their pills in half, which is not a good thing to do. that they don't have the money they need to buy the medicine that they require. i try to expand the meals on wheels program but republicans resisted. people are having a hard time eating one nutritious meal a day. [applause]
and what a disgrace that is. and i go all over the country and i talk to people. young people stand up. senator, i will be graduating college very shortly. i'm going to be $60,000 in debt. having a hard time finding a job. i'm supposed to pay back $1200 a month and i have no clue how i can do that. another young man, two kids, married. he is working in sustainable energy. he is paying 53% of his limited income on student debt. they desperately want quality affordable childcare for the little ones and can't find that.
they're scared to death about going to work. we can hire somebody at half your age or half the wages. talk to the kids graduating college. talk to people and i do all the time trying to cobble together income and health care. talk to husbands and wives whose marriages are being stressed out because people are working so hard. and they don't have enough time to spend with their kids.
the truth is that our economy today is obviously in a lot better shape than it was when george w. bush left office. when bush left office, we were have raging 800,000 jobs a month. our deficit was a record-breaking $1.4 trillion. in the world's financial system was on the verge of collapse. other than that, we were in really good shape and people have the nerve to attack barack obama. so we have made progress. we've cut the deficit by more than two thirds. the world's financial system is not on the verge of collapse, and we are growing jobs rather than hemorrhaging jobs.
we must also be honest about that under republican administrations and democratic administrations, for the last 40 years, the great middle class of this country that was once the envy of the entire world has been disappearing. if you are a male worker in the middle of the american economy. you are earning an inflation-adjusted four dollars. $700 a year less than you made 41 years ago. productivity expanding, technology exploding, and you are making 40 and $700 less than you made 41 years ago.
if you are a woman, you're making $1000 less than adjusted income then you made in 2007. that is the reality. why people are so angry as they are working harder and harder. many are slipping into poverty. everyone is worried about the future of their kids. our kids will be the first generation to have a lower standard of living than we do. people are asking us, what's going on. worker productivity going on. the middle class is been in decline and more and more people are living in poverty. i would suggest that a lot of why that is happening has to do
with the fact that we have seen in the last 30 years a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class and working families of our countries to the top 1/10 of 1%. trillions of dollars owned by the middle class are now gone while the top .1% is seeing a doubling of the percentage of wealth. to my mind, and together as we try to turn this country around, one of the areas that we absolutely must focus on is the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing today. [applause] let me just bore you for a
moment with a few facts that i think is important for you to know. that is in america today, the top .1 of 1%. not 1%. .1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. got that? today, the wealthiest 20 people, that is the front row here. not these guys, though. [laughter] they own more wealth than the bottom half of america. today in america, one family walmart, owns more wealth than the bottom 40%.
and by the way, when i talk about the walton family, let me mention to you that i know that you hear a lot of welfare reform. people ripping off the welfare system. let me tell you who the major welfare recipient family in america is. not some poor family down the road. the walton family is the major recipient because you, as taxpayers, are paying taxes for medicaid and food stamps and affordable housing that walmart employees need because the walton family is not paying them a living wage. [applause]
so when we talk about a rigged economy, an economy where the rich get much richer while almost everybody else gets poor, it seems a little bit absurd that the middle class has got to subsidize the wealthiest family in this country. [applause] so i say to the walton family, the owners of walmart, get off of welfare. start paying your workers a decent wage. [applause] that is wealth. when we talk about income, despite the fact that so many