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Elizabeth Warren May Be Gone, but the Agency She Built Lives On


If the American Left has a Joan of Arc, her name would be Elizabeth Warren. The Harvard professor was the designer and creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the independent regulatory agency that was given the power to regulate every financial transaction in America without proper checks and balances from Congress.

The plan was for Warren to head the Bureau and conduct a reign of regulatory terror on the economy. But even President Obama got cold feet. Warren was too radical to be confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate. So Warren picked her replacement, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, packed her bags back to Massachusetts and declared a run for the US Senate.

The arrogance of power and the ignorance of history may be the best way to describe Warren and the government agency she concocted. The philosophy behind the Bureau is simple – the learned and intelligencia must control the marketplace in order to protect the simple-minded.

We were given a little insight into her philipsophy by a person who videotaped a recent campaign appearance. In Warren’s worldview, your success is dictated not by your efforts to work hard or your ingenuity, but by the state.

Warren addressed the issue of class-warfare in a manner appropriate for the Harvard faculty lounge.

“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.’ No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own –nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the 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. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.

This arrogance extends beyond a philosophical debate.

The woman who pledged to create transparency in banks and other private companies, has refused to release any information about the $10 million government bailout oversight committee she chaired.

Politico reports that :

The Congressional Oversight Panel, which existed for more than two years, has not yet disclosed any other staff salaries either — even though the five-member panel was created and run by Congress, where nearly every staffer salary and office expense, from plane tickets to bottled water, is publicly available.

In fact, Warren opposed GOP efforts to draft a budget for the bipartisan oversight panel, despite telling The Associated Press in 2008 that she wouldn’t buy a winter coat without a spending plan.

Warren declined to be interviewed for this story, and a spokesman for her Senate campaign insisted that the oversight panel had been transparent in its operations. However, late Wednesday night, the spokesman said Warren had reversed her position and now supports opening up all the committee records to public scrutiny.

Warren, thanks to the public pressure, is changing her tune and promising to release the details of her spending. But the story has bigger implications.

The news stories about Warren, her philosophy and her management is exactly what opponents of the CFPB warned about. Government agencies are not set up as personal fiefdoms. Bureaucrats are not above the people they govern. Yet that is exactly how the CFPB was established.

Warren may not be the head of the Bureau but she selected the head who shares the same arrogance and progressive philosophy. The nomination of Richard Cordray needs to be stopped. The CFPB needs to be reformed, or better yet, repealed. We cannot afford Elizabeth Warren, her protégé and her agency.

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