The economy tops the list of voter concerns according to both Gallup and Pew Research. The American economy is not only number one in the minds of voters, it’s the number one reason that we have the most powerful military in the world. Our foreign policy, strategy against terror, and every other aspect of American power is predicated upon economic strength.
Who do you trust more to protect this country from another economic collapse, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMisguided recusal rules lock valuable leaders out of the Pentagon Biden's soft touch with Manchin, Sinema frustrates Democrats Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Congress makes technology policy moves MORE (D-Mass.) or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R)? According to The Washington Post in 2007, Bush’s tenure as governor wasn’t perfect:
"Yet, while his tenure coincided with a sizzling economy and an overflowing treasury, Bush's back-to-back terms were marred by frequent ethics scandals, official bungling and the inability of the government he downsized to meet growing demands for state services, including education and aid for the infirm and the elderly."
It’s important to remember that “sizzling” economies combined with “frequent ethics scandals” lead to bursting economic bubbles. Imagine Florida’s economy under Governor Bush, but magnified by another Bush in the White House.
Warren represents a refreshingly honest approach to politics. Less than seven years removed from the greatest financial collapse since 1929, few voices can be heard over the roar of Wall Street lobbyists and an apathetic Congress desperately passing a spending deal. Sen. Warren, however, serves as a courageous loudspeaker in the Senate Banking Committee intent on making sure America doesn’t repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
The 2008 financial crisis, not terrorism or any other recent threat, posed the greatest risk to this country since the Cold War. Furthermore, even Allan Greenspan realized the error of not providing tougher regulations on risky derivatives trading. In a 2008 New York Times article titled, Greenspan Concedes Error on Regulation, the former Fed Chairman was forced to change his tune on regulating derivatives:
"He noted that the immense and largely unregulated business of spreading financial risk widely, through the use of exotic financial instruments called derivatives, had gotten out of control and had added to the havoc of today’s crisis. As far back as 1994, Mr. Greenspan staunchly and successfully opposed tougher regulation on derivatives.
"But on Thursday," the Timea article continued, "he agreed that the multitrillion-dollar market for credit default swaps, instruments originally created to insure bond investors against the risk of default, needed to be restrained. 'This modern risk-management paradigm held sway for decades,' he said. 'The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year.'”
A champion of the free market, even Greenspan acknowledged that not only did he not see the crash, but certain aspects of deregulation that he and others espoused actually helped cause this financial catastrophe.
If you feel this vantage point is merely “populist” hyperbole and Warren’s position on the spending deal isn’t warranted, then read what David Ignatius wrote in a 2008 Washington Post article about Hank Paulson’s real time view of the crisis:
"What's agonizing for Paulson is that he says he saw the storm clouds gathering two years ago when he became Treasury secretary…
He also warned about the growing use of derivatives -- financial instruments so complicated that they confuse even the people who buy and sell them -- and how they posed a fundamental risk to the markets.
"…If Bear Stearns had been allowed to collapse, for example, what would a bankruptcy judge have done with the billions of dollars in derivatives contracts -- and what would the other parties in these contracts have done in assessing their potential losses?"
$22 trillions of dollars in lost wealth later, has our country learned the pitfalls of allowing Wall Street to engage in the same behavior that led to 2008? According to Warren in an NPR interview, the recent bill exemplified America’s dangerously short-term memory:
"Republicans slipped in a provision at the last minute that would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and then get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system.
“You know, it was literally never introduced in the Senate. It had no hearings. There was no discussion about this. And let's keep in mind about this provision, this is a provision that Citigroup lobbyists literally wrote. And then, just to make sure that everybody got the point, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, personally made phone calls to House members to push for this change.
“Well, you know, that is the risk we run right now, is that we have a handful of giant banks in this country that were too big to fail in 2008, got bailed out by the taxpayer and are now bigger than they were then, and are again loading up on risks.”
America needs a president who isn’t intimidated by Wall Street. We need a president willing to save Wall Street from itself and save the American people from another future filled with economic catastrophes and bailouts.
Elizabeth Warren, not Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE or Jeb Bush, should be president in 2016.
Goodman is an author and journalist who contributes to numeous publications.