Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts sat down with host Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" on Sept. 23, and during the interview, she fielded questions about her rumored presidential candidacy and her opinion on the “trickle down” economic theory (video below).
Warren became a star of the Democratic party after giving an impassioned speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She made her name for her unbending scrutiny of Wall Street. She is very popular within her party, especially the more liberal sect, and many voters have urged her to run for president.
Colbert, three weeks into his new job as CBS’ late night host, has been bringing on a bevy of lawmakers to his show, asked Warren if she has had a change of heart and will run for president.
“You are a household name in American politics,” Colbert told her. “And yet, you are one of the few household names that is not running for President of the United States. Are you sure you’re not running for President of the United States?
"Have you checked the newspapers lately, because a lot of people have jumped in, you might have done it in your sleep. ... These days politicians have to check the ‘opt-out’ button. It’s like unsubscribing from an email.”
“I’m sure I’m not,” Warren replied.
Colbert then asked what her what her reservations were, asking her why she “would be such a terrible choice to be President of the U.S.?”
"The game is rigged," Warren responded.
She then went on to sidestep Colbert's question and instead focused on the state of the economy in the U.S.:
“Here we are, the richest country on Earth. We have so much going for us, and yet we have a federal government that works great for millionaires. It works great for billionaires. It works great for giant corporations, for anybody who can hire an army of lobbyists, an army of lawyers, give lots of campaign money … For the rest of America, it’s just not working and it’s time to take that government back and make it work for us.”
Warren then took aim at “trickle down” economics, the prevailing conservative theory. According to "trickle-down" believers, lowering taxes for the rich will enable them to spend more; their wealth will then feed an economy and eventually make its way to the lower income earners.
Warren added that this belief is fundamentally untrue.
"What trickle-down economics was all about was saying to the rich and powerful, the government will help you get richer and more powerful," she said. " …So starting in 1980 when it was all about ‘fire the cops,’ it was called deregulation, cut taxes for those at the top, which means there was less to invest on education, on infrastructure, on basic research.
“One hundred percent of income growth in this country since the 1980s has gone to the top ten percent and that’s not only wrong, that is going to destroy our country unless we take our country back!”
Warren's takedown of trickle-down was met with applause.
"You don't sound like you're running for President, I'll tell you that," Colbert joked.