Senator Warren Not Pure As the Driven Snow [OPINION]
Most Massachusetts Democrats are very proud of the seemingly enlightened efforts by Elizabeth Warren to rein in corruption and unfair practices by the rich and powerful.
I wanted to show the voters of Massachusetts why I think everything she says about bankers and a "rigged game" is a great big, fat, hypocritical joke. Examine how she, as a member of Congress, enjoys the biggest wealth-rigging of them all.
In 2012, Warren challenged incumbent Republican Scott Brown, who was elected in a special election following the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. Brown was fighting the real rigging. He tried in vain to stop the exclusive insider trading advantage that only Congressional members can make. Let me explain.
When Scott Brown came to Washington in 2010, he discovered an outrageous right enjoyed by Congress that would cause incarceration for any other American doing the same thing.
For example, let's say Congress is about to vote on a bill to restrict emissions for coal in America. A member of the House or Senate can (legally) speak to other members to learn how they will vote on the bill. Once the member understands how that vote will go, he or she can pick up the phone, call their stock broker, and command a removal or adding of funds into the coal stock well before the public can react to the vote once announced. Unlike the rest of those investing in the stock market, Congressional members cannot lose.
A CEO of a business whose stock is publicly traded could know about devastating things about the company's future, but is legally restricted from removing his or her personal holdings in the company or from alerting others until after the bad news is made public. No unfair advantage is allowed. It's called insider trading.
Senator Scott Brown basically shamed Congress into changing the rules to stop this through a vote of the Stock Act in April of 2012. Well, Democrat Elizabeth Warren slid into Scott Brown's position as Senator representing Massachusetts in January of 2013 and by mid-April of that year, President Obama reversed most of the enacted rules to stop this horrid injustice. Today, Congress can go right back to their exclusive insider trading.
Oh, Elizabeth, you just and virtuous leader, you.
How has Warren financially fared personally? Well, it's actually confusing to gauge, depending on where you look. According to CNN Money, in 2011 the Warren couple had an ambiguous worth of over $3.7 million to $10 million , not counting their $1.9 million home in Cambridge. They "earned $981,000 in 2009 and $955,000 in 2010, according to tax returns she released while running for office."
In the years leading up to her election, OpenSecrets.org showed Warren and her husband lost just over $3 million from $10 million to $6.68 million from 2010 and 2011. After being in office for several years, Warren's reported net worth showed an impressive rise to over $7.82 million, and possibly as high as $10.8 million by 2015, making her the 28th-richest U.S. Senator and easily putting her in the top one percent of income earners in the nation.
Newsweek reported "According to the 2017 tax statements, Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, reported an adjusted gross income of $913,000. Together, they paid $302,000 in taxes that year and are eligible for nearly $34,000 in refunds.
The Washington Free Beacon discovered that Elizabeth Warren, who took advantage of a loophole in ethics laws to avoid disclosing a $1.3 million credit line against her home, is now warning that incomplete financial disclosures from cabinet nominees put the country at risk.
What else is she failing to disclose? Perhaps nothing else, but it seems that Warren is not comfortable with her base knowing the exact wealth that she has accumulated, how it was accumulated, or where the investments were made. Most of her investments were determined to be "unknown," according to an effort by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Her heaviest investments are with Teachers Insurance Annuity Association investments, exclusive to non-profit or governmental agencies. Insurance guarantees grow in income no matter the market. Her position as a member of Congress also gives her incredible advantages in the stock market.
She has the audacity to call the banking and investment game "rigged," while she is operating as one of the referees. Where's the whistle on these things, Liz?
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @RadioKenPittman. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.