A public official who stands for us!
by Jim Hightower
The first thing you need to know about Elizabeth Warren is that the big shots of Wall Street despise her. And isn't that refreshing.
Again and again, grassroots America has had to watch in dismay and disgust as our Washington officials (both Republicans and Democrats) have rushed to pat the hands and soothe the fevered brows of the very banksters who stole the American dream from millions of ordinary folks. Isn't anyone on our side?
Meet Ms. Warren, presently the head of an independent agency set up by Congress to monitor the government bailout of Wall Street bankers. "Dang gummit," she says in her Oklahoma twang, "somebody has to stand on behalf of middle-class families." Not only has she been doing that by fearlessly grilling Gucci-clad bankers and weak-willed treasury officials, but also by conceiving of and pushing hard for a new regulatory agency that would protect us consumers against banker greed. Wall Street profiteers shudder in fear at the very mention of Warren's proposal for a totally independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and they're lobbying ferociously to kill it and demonize her.
Coming from a working class family, she knows what it is to face financial crisis and feel the crushing power of uncaring banks. "I learned early on what debt means, how vulnerable it makes people," she recently told the New York Times. Despite her success as a lawyer, she hasn't forgotten her populist roots and purpose. Warren is Wall Street's worst nightmare: a middle-class champion who gives a damn about workaday people, is smart and tenacious — and can't be bought.
Arrogant and avaricious bankers are right to fear her, and we're right to be cheered by her advocacy. To support Warren's push for a real consumer agency, call Americans for Financial Reform, 202-263-4533.
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