Elizabeth Warren has a rare talent for distilling political messages. In 2011, as she was running for the Senate seat that she won the next year, the former Harvard law professor delivered the kind of concise, pointed rationale for public investment -- and the taxation to support it -- that the White House had been striving to master for the previous three years.
Speaking inside a supporter's home, her remarks captured on a crude video that has since been viewed more than a million times, Warren addressed a prosperous, albeit entirely make-believe, business owner who was presumably questioning his tax burden:
"You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.
"Now, look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless -- keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."