Some people might think that I enjoy picking on Elizabeth Warren. And they would be right. Seriously, she should consider changing her campaign slogan to something like: “Elizabeth Warren – because it takes a member of the 1% to micromanage the rest of the 1%.”
This morning’s Boston Herald editorial page has a field day with Warren’s recently released financial disclosures:
When a candidate initially enters a race, he or she usually conducts a vulnerability study to investigate potential problems in his or her background. One of the ultimate goals of this research is to prevent the candidate from making false claims or attacking an opponent on a difficulty they share. You don’t want to be a hypocrite.
… Warren’s people either failed to do one or decided that because Lizzy is a Democrat, they can do anything they want and never be held accountable.
… Lizzy has suggested she believes it takes a village to get rich. Her experience indicates it actually takes a part-time job at Harvard. In 2009, her salary was $350,000 and she earned $429,000 for 2010 and 2011.
She also raked in $136,000 in royalties from her books, $10,000 for lecturing at a Boston law firm, $90,000 for consulting for a Florida law firm and $43,000 for working for Traveler’s Insurance.
Wait one minute; I thought insurance companies were evil, according to the Obama administration.
Let’s not forget the Oklahoma transplant earned a hefty salary for part-time government work. As a special adviser for President Obama, she was compensated $165,000 from September 2010 through August 2011 and she received $192,000 for serving on the Congressional panel overseeing TARP.
So we can say that based on her own experience, she’s at least part right. No one gets rich on his or her own . . . when they are working for the government. Because that’s taxpayer money.
… The only thing that could make her a more hypocritical class warrior is if she anchored a yacht in Rhode Island.
The article also lists other assets including $3 million in investments plus a home worth between $1 million and $5 million – which, according to the Herald, is actually quite a modest dwelling compared to the digs owned by the Kennedys or Deval Patrick or John F. Kerry.
And here’s another eye-roller: Consider Warren’s $429,000 salary as a Harvard law professor. Then consider the fact that Warren openly supports the Occupy movement, which includes a significant number of disgruntled recent college graduates struggling to pay off six-figure student loan debts that are at least partly the result of sky-high salaries paid to ‘superstar’ university professors and administrators.
Elizabeth Warren was born in Oklahoma City, and I have friends here who know Warren personally. They have repeatedly vouched for her character and her commitment to protecting low income Americans and consumers in general from the often predatory lending and credit policies of Big Banking. I am not going to challenge the sincerity of Warren’s lifetime body of advocacy work.
But what I will challenge is her misguided and divisive embrace of class envy as an election-year talking point. It is now abundantly clear that while Warren blasts ‘the rich’ on the campaign trail, she has no problem accepting top-tier compensation for her work as a consultant, adviser, lecturer, and author — just like John “Two Americas” Edwards, who had no problem accepting nearly half a million dollars in ‘consulting fees’ from a hedge fund for his help in studying how the financial markets affect those living in poverty. To be honest, I believe that deep down inside, Elizabeth Warren and John Edwards really are bothered by the specter of poverty and the plight of low income earners. But despite their public rhetoric, the private actions of people like Edwards and Warren demonstrate that they are really no different themselves than ‘the rich’ that they seek to punish with taxes, regulations, and social stigma.