“There is a lot of talk coming from Citigroup about how Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. So let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi – I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Who ever said Senator Elizabeth Warren was a tough populist warrior fighting for the middle class? She’s one of the most timid politicians in Washington.
Liberals have been crowing about how terrified Republicans are since two far-left Senators—Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—assumed greater leadership positions in their party and started receiving buzz over how they should launch 2016 presidential runs. Columnists have been swaggering about how the establishment told the powerful, heroic force to be reckoned with named Warren (aka Lie-awatha) to be quiet—but she wouldn’t!—and now scared Republicans are on the run.
Proving yet again that liberals have no idea what conservatives think, Republicans are giddy at the prospect of these two stale socialists lending their economic views as the new face of the Democratic Party.
Warren, who thinks rather highly of herself for someone who claims merely to be humbly representing the downtrodden, frequently brags about her “outsider” status and how it allows her to speak hard truths that insiders like Hillary Clinton can’t.
She opposed the recent omnibus $1.1 trillion spending bill because it rolled back a provision of the Dodd-Frank reform bill on corporations trading derivatives. The provision forced FDIC-insured banks to contract their derivative trading—betting on future commodity prices to protect against loss—to smaller, partner banks. Warren explained her nay vote thus: “A vote for this bill is a vote for future taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street.” (Hey, why does Elizabeth Warren want to shut down the government and cause the U.S. to default on its debt?)
Warren’s posture supposedly represents a tough, populist stance against corporate interests and a contrast with Wall Street-friendly Clinton.
But note how Warren doesn’t come out directly against bailing out big banks. She merely supports reversing some minor regulatory efforts that might make bank failures less likely.
I’d be more impressed if Warren supported letting banks sink or swim, i.e. leaving them free to make risky investments, but also abandoning them to suffer the consequences if their investments go sour.
If the federal government regulates banks and they fail, Warren well knows that the feds will simply bail them out. Wouldn’t her anti-Wall Street pose be tougher if she supported allowing banks to go their own way and profit handsomely if they succeeded, yet fold if they failed? That’s the only scenario in which she could guarantee that the middle class wouldn’t be forced to bail out banks.
Corporations and banks are by definition larger and wealthier than your average citizen, and therefore have more to win or lose. That wealth-seeking investors took the time and capital to form corporations suggests that we’d expect a wider range of outcomes resulting from their business models, including wild successes and humiliating bankruptcies.
Throwing one’s savings into a startup company because you believe in its vision is brave. In contrast, your average taxpayer has decided, out of a desire for security, complacency, or a lack of interest in getting rich, to live out his life on a playing field with considerably lower stakes. Most of us working 9-to-5 jobs won’t become multimillionaires, but we also won’t lose our shirts and find our names splashed ignominiously through the press.
But courageous progressives like Warren will have none of this diversity of life choices. “Income inequality” is a scourge to be wiped out via heavy-handed government intervention including regulations that squash wealth creation and bring everyone down to a lower but more equal level.
Brave crusaders like Warren and Sanders are so risk-averse that they do everything in their power to prevent other people from assuming risk—and in the process diminish others’ chances of either failing or succeeding. They claim that banks and corporations’ mistakes and unfair practices harm private citizens, yet refuse to acknowledge that this wouldn’t be so if we took a hands-off approach to financial regulation and let corporations live with both the good and bad resulting from their decisions.
Liberals’ definition of bravery is: “Obnoxiously advocating the destruction of other people’s chances of making more money than everybody else.”
The other reason Warren opposed the omnibus bill is because it loosened restrictions on wealthy donors to political campaigns. Again, commentators characterized Warren and other progressives’ willingness to sabotage the bill’s passage as brave. But what’s brave about trying to control candidates and parties’ ability to get their message out and prevent Americans from deciding which views they prefer?
Despite progressives’ claims, wealthy donors don’t control electoral results, they merely allow candidates or parties to disseminate their views. A majority of voters won’t accept a repellent candidate or view, no matter how much money supporters channel to it. (See Lyndon LaRouche or Ron Paul.) Election spending isn’t directly proportional to votes earned—after a certain point, there are sharply diminishing returns, and ideas have to stand on their own.
Why is Warren afraid of Americans getting to hear the other side’s views? Is she scared that voters might prefer a free-market capitalist message to a redistributionist screed? Why do we all have to rearrange the most stable electoral system in the world to cater to her petty fears?
One of the great myths about contemporary liberals is that they’re liberty-loving and liberty-promoting. And one of the great myths about “courageous” left-wing, statist politicians like Warren is that they’re anything but cowards.
- Bernie Sanders Will Introduce Legislation Aimed At Breaking Up Big Banks (addictinginfo.org)
- Elizabeth Warren’s Crusade Against A Wall Streeter Joining The Treasury Is Going Bipartisan (businessinsider.com)
- The Federal Budget Just Gave JP Morgan’s CEO Your Savings Account (truthdig.com)
- President Obama Just Gave Your Savings Account to JP Morgan (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Wall Street Runs Washington, Sanders Says in Proposing to Break Up Big Banks (stage2omega.com)