Howard Schultz on Government Reform

Starbucks CEO; independent candidate for President until July 2019


Political contributions unduly influence policy

When our political parties accept millions of dollars in contributions from lobbyists, Congress acts in the interest of lobbyists, not in the interest of the America people. Pharmaceutical and healthcare companies spent $280 million last year alone to unduly influence elected officials and should we be surprised, at any level, that congress has not acted more vigorously to reduce the price of pharmaceutical drug products. During the Great Recession, big banks and automakers, who have legions of lobbyists, got bailed out. American workers who lost their jobs did not. No wonder seventy-one percent--seventy-one percent--of Americans believe that our system of government--right now, seventy-one percent believe -- the system is rigged. And it is.
Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website HowardSchultz.com , Mar 13, 2019

Gerrymandered districts reflect will of political parties

An example of our broken political system is gerrymandering. When our parties draw voting districts to favor one side or the other, Congress reflects the will of the political parties, not the will of the people. That's not how it's supposed to be done. If you're a Republican in a Democratic district or a Democrat in a solidly Republican district, or an Independent in any district, your voice and your vote is silenced, and it doesn't matter because it's been predetermined. That's not our democracy. That's not how it should be.

Our dysfunctional two-party system has also fueled political extremism on the far left and on the far right. These two extremes differ in nature, but their respective voices, while small in number, are loud and getting louder. So loud, in fact, that they now represent a clear and present danger to our democracy and our free-enterprise system--two key pillars of American democracy and our American life.

Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website HowardSchultz.com , Mar 13, 2019

Reduce partisanship with 2/3 vote for Court nominations

I would not nominate a Supreme Court justice unless he or she could be confirmed by two-thirds--two-thirds--of the United States Senate. The Courts have become yet another battlefield in the ongoing war between Democratic and Republican leaders. That's not how our democracy should work. These battles have undermined our faith in the rule of law and the impartiality of the entire judicial system. All of this has to change. We need to restore faith and confidence of in our courts so that we can get back to believing that we're all equal--all of us--under the laws of this country. Taking politics out of the Supreme Court nomination process is a critical first step.

In fact, I challenge every single candidate running for president, from both parties, to make the same commitment, right now, that I'm making. Regarding two-thirds, and to honor that.

Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website HowardSchultz.com , Mar 13, 2019

Our government's dysfunction is great & we need to fix it

Over the past several weeks I've asked every group I've met, all over the country, a question I'd like to ask of you: Raise your hand if you think the government is working well for you, your family, and the American people. Just look around. We don't have one hand up. This has been consistent throughout the country over the last five weeks. No hands go up. Well I'm here to say that I don't accept that and I believe that we as Americans deserve better. The system is broken, it's not serving us, and we need to do something about it.

The cost of our government's dysfunction is great and obviously it's impacting all of us. Our biggest problems are not being solved: Income inequality. A lack of opportunity in too many communities. The rising cost of health care. A broken immigration system. Climate change. Schools that aren't preparing young people for jobs of the future. I believe strongly that this dysfunction should not stand. I know together we can solves these problems. We can.

Source: Miami Dade College speech:2020 Presidential Campaign website , Mar 13, 2019

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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021