Ready or Not, Here Comes Warren!
It’s clear that Warren is ready to make some big changes in Washington. So what exactly is on her mind? These six things are likely to be on her agenda–and they’re likely to affect your wallet.
1. Reform Bankruptcy Laws, Including Student Loans
Warren made her name in bankruptcy issues. She’s quick to come to the defense of the average individual who declares bankruptcy–her published research shows that half of Americans who seek bankruptcy do so because they can’t afford to pay their medical bills. This includes people who have insurance, so it’s not about being lazy or trying to game the system. (Although her research has been criticized by some conservatives as being shoddy.)
She lobbied unsuccessfully against the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005,” which favored the financial industry by making it nearly impossible to clear student loan debt in bankruptcy, among other things. Warren has written before about how these new bankruptcy regulations are particularly damaging to women because they give priority to credit card debt over child support payments. Needless to say, one of her priorities will likely be to dismantle this act.
RELATED: How I Went Bankrupt at 23
2. Protect the CFPB
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)–whose mission it is to ensure that consumer financial products, such as student loans and mortgages, work for Americans–is Warren’s baby. She came up with the idea, and created it. But Republican leaders have been using several tactics to take the teeth out of it, like blocking her appointment to direct the agency. One bill introduced to the House of Representatives takes funding power for the CFPB away from the Federal Reserve and hands it to Congress, which means Congress could completely defund the CFPB and render it useless. Warren wrote a response on Huffington Post that was sharply critical of Wall Street, lobbyists and Congress members. The bill wasn’t expected to make it through the Democrat-controlled Senate, and it definitely won’t now that its protective mama bear is there to defend it.
3. Raise Taxes on the Wealthy
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Warren states on her campaign website that she supports returning to Clinton-era tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. She’s made it clear that she thinks wealthy Americans who have “made it” should give back via taxes.
RELATED: Why the Wealthy Feel Poor
Remember Obama’s infamous “you didn’t build that” speech? That was originally a Warren idea, as this quote from a speech she made on the campaign trail indicates:
“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 … Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
It’s safe to say Warren isn’t a believer in trickle-down economics.