Barack Obama in Take Back America 2007 Conference

On Education: Pay teachers more money & treat them like professionals

Itís time to turn the page on education, to move past the slow decay of indifference that says some schools canít be fixed, that says some kids just canít learn. As president, I will launch a campaign to recruit and support hundreds of thousands of new teachers across the country--because the most important part of any education is the person standing in front of the classroom. Itís time to treat teaching like the profession that it is. Itís time to pay our teachers what they deserve. Pay them more money.

And when it comes to developing the high standards we need, itís time to stop working against our teachers and start working with them. Teachers donít go in to education to get rich. They donít go in to education because they donít believe in their children. They want their children to succeed, but weíve got to give them the tools. Invest in early childhood education. Invest in our teachers and our children will succeed.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

On Energy & Oil: Cap-and-trade carbon emissions; raise CAFE standard

Itís time to turn the page on energy, to break the stalemate thatís kept our fuel efficiency standards in the same place for 20 years, to tell the oil and auto industries that they must act, not only because their futureís at stake, but because the future of our country and our planet is at stake.

As president, I will place a cap on carbon emissions and require companies who canít meet the cap to buy credits from those who can, which will generate billions of dollars to invest in renewable sources of energy and create new jobs and even a new industry in the process. Iíll put in place a low carbon fuel standard that will take 50 million cars worth of pollution off the road. Iíll raise the fuel efficiency standards for our cars and trucks because we know we have the technology to do it and itís the time to do it.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

On Government Reform: Half of us donít vote; time for taking it back

Politics has never been pure, but thereís a sense that over the last several years, the race for money & influence & power has left the hopes and concerns of most Americans in the dust. All you see from Washington is another scandal or petty argument. And so we get discouraged. Half of us donít vote. The half of us who do vote were voting against somebody instead of voting for something.

We know what fills the void: the lobbyists, the influence peddlers with the cash and connections. Itís the pharmaceutical companies that get to write our drug bills. Itís the oil lobbyists that get to meet with the same White House that silences the scientists whoíve warned us about the destruction of our planet. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills. They get the access; you get to write a letter. They think they own this government, but we are here to tell them today that our government is not for sale and we are taking it back, right here and right now. We are taking it back.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

On Health Care: Health plan cuts typical familyís premium by $2,500 a year

My plan will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical familyís premium by up to $2,500 a year. Itís a plan that lets the uninsured buy insurance thatís similar to the kind members of Congress give themselves. And if you canít afford that, youíll get a subsidy to pay for it.

It goes further than any other proposed plan in cutting the cost of health care by investing in technology and preventive care so that children are getting regular check ups instead of having to go to the emergency room for treatable illnesses like asthma, and by breaking the stranglehold of the drug companies and the insurance industries--we are tired of them dictating our health care markets--and helping businesses and families shoulder the cost of the most expensive conditions so that an illness doesnít lead to bankruptcy. And I promise you this: I will sign a universal health care plan that covers every American by the end of my first term as president.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

On Homeland Security: Close Guantanamo and restore the right of habeas corpus

Why donít we close Guantanamo and restore the right of habeas corpus, because thatís how we lead, not with the might of our military, but the power of our ideals and the power of our values. Itís time to show the world weíre not a country that ships prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far off countries. Weíre not a country that runs prisons which locks people away without ever telling them why theyíre there or what theyíre charged with. Weíre not a country which preaches compassion to others while we allow bodies to float down the streets of major American cities. Thatís not who we are.

Weíre America. Weíre a nation that liberated a continent from a mad man, that lifted ourselves from the depths of depression, that won civil rights and womenís rights and voting rights for all our people. Weíre the beacon that has led generations of weary travelers to find opportunity and liberty and hope on our doorstep. Thatís who we are.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

On Jobs: Make the minimum wage a living wage

Itís time to turn the page for all those Americans who want nothing more than to have a job that can pay the bills and raise a family. Letís finally make the minimum wage a living wage. Letís tie it to the cost of living so we donít have to wait another 10 years to see it rise. Letís put the jobless back to work in transitional jobs that can give them a paycheck and a sense of pride. Letís help our workers advance with job training and lifelong education. Letís invest in infrastructure, broadband lines, and rural communities and in inner cities. Letís give jobs to ex-offenders--because we believe in giving a second chance to people. And letís finally allow our unions to do what they do best and lift up the middle class in this country once more.
Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

On Principles & Values: A ďhopemongerĒ, having seen the power of hope

Some of my more cynical friends in the media tease me from time to time because they say, heís always talking about hope, heís out there peddling hope again, heís a hope-monger. I talk about hope because Iíve seen its power. Iíve seen the power of hope, the power of faith.

When I got to the Illinois State Senate, people said it was too hard to take on the issue of money in politics, our state had too long a history, too many entrenched interests. But I knew then that we had the people of Illinois on our side. I even found a few folks on the other side of the aisle who were willing to listen. And we passed the first major ethics reform legislation in 25 years.

I know that change is possible. I know where hope leads us. The only reason Iím standing here before you is because of hope. I know whatís possible in America. When I talk about hope, it isnít just the rhetoric of a campaign; itís been the cause of my life, a cause I will work for and fight for every single day as your president.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

The above quotations are from Take Back America 2007 Conference, in Washington DC, June 18-20 2007, sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future.
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