Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren misses no opportunity to rail against the wealthy. Last week her targets were pharmaceutical company officials whose companies distribute pain-killers. She believes they should be housed alongside murderers, robbers, rapists — and other Americans who have become too rich for her tastes.
While Warren might have been playing to the crowd — a Hillary-esque political performance that included droppin’ her g’s in front of what she assumed were uncultured West Virginia yokels — and exercising her First Amendment right to speak freely, her words too closely echoed the violent language of V.I. Lenin, who had a habit of eliminating political enemies during the Red Terror.
Give Warren a bit of credit, however, for showing concern over the opioid abuse and opioid overdoses that are troubling the country. But, as one semi-famous Democrat counseled his comrades, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” So Warren took the opportunity presented by the “opioid crisis” to vilify pharmaceutical executives.
It was classic Elizabeth Warren, hotly directing her mob-approved brand of hate speech toward wealthy Americans, aside, of course, from herself and the many rich members of her party and its donors. As one would expect, the senator’s “speech” was laced with the usual threats to incarcerate those who would dare disobey her terms.
The imprisonment of others seems to have become an almost singular obsession. In April, Warren introduced a bill that, she said, “expands criminal liability to any corporate executive who negligently oversees a giant company causing severe harm to U.S. families.” She wrote a Washington Post op-ed that appeared with a headline reading: “Corporate executives must face jail time for overseeing massive scams.”
Last year she introduced the Ending Too Big to Jail Act, “to stop financial institution crime, require certain officers of companies to certify that they have conducted due diligence relating to criminal conduct or civil fraud, create accountability in deferred prosecution agreements, and for other purposes.”
“When Wall Street CEOs break the law, they should go to jail like anyone else,” she said, (confusing jails, which are short-term local institutions, with prisons, which are longer-term state and federal facilities. Shouldn’t a U.S. senator and affirmative-action lawyer know this?)
There are already laws in place against theft. But what do they matter? Warren wants executives prosecuted for “Wall Street scams” — naturally defined by her subjective standards — “and risk-taking,” which is what financial institutions do if they are to make a profit and stay in business.
It was also last year when Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which would have required U.S. corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue to “obtain a federal charter from a newly formed Office of United States Corporations.” The new charter would obligate “company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders — including employees, customers, shareholders, and the communities in which the company operates.”
Had it become law, these government-controlled companies would have had to guarantee that no fewer than 40 percent of their directors were chosen by the corporation’s employees, while also being limited in “the sales of company shares by the directors and officers of United States corporations.”
They also would have been prohibited “from making any political expenditures without the approval of” three-fourths of their directors and shareholders.
In other words, behaving as Warren would have commanded them to.
Warren’s crusade against the rich is truly her flagship issue. She stirs anger and incites raw hatred toward the wealthy, swearing that she will make things right in this country by taxing the rich into a boot-licking submission to the federal government, if not throwing them in prison. It’s emblematic of the miserable state of our political affairs that an advocate of such a rancid stew of ideas could be a U.S. senator who is being taken seriously as a presidential candidate.
Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. We’re just getting started, and we’ll be adding new features as time permits. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide.
Be sure to tell all your friends! And if you’d like to make a contribution to support our effort, feel free to click the Tip Jar over on the right.