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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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