Mary Jo White, the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has made Elizabeth Warren angry. And Warren is absolutely right to be angry.
In a strongly worded letter earlier this week, Senator Warren told White that her leadership at the SEC had been extremely disappointing, and that White had intentionally misled Warren and others about a rule regarding CEO pay.
What Warren is referring to in her letter is the fact that under White’s leadership, the SEC has been granting waivers to CEOs and banks who commit crimes, which has basically allowed these criminals to walk free without fear of any further government sanctions against them.
Some of these waivers have been granted to banks that have settled cases with the Justice Department after admitting to wrongdoing. And by wrongdoing, we mean scamming consumers out of money to enrich their shareholders.
Warren’s anger stems from the fact that during her confirmation hearings in 2013, Mary Jo White promised that she would crack down on banking criminals, and end the cycle of corruption that has become standard operating procedure on Wall Street. So far, White has offered more of the same – no prosecutions, no indictments, and no accountability.
But this story is about much more than Elizabeth Warren being angry at Mary Jo White. Warren’s anger is the people’s anger. Senator Warren is not angry that we aren’t filling our prisons with white collar criminals; she’s angry about the fact that American investors were scammed out of their life savings – out of their retirement funds – and they have virtually no recourse to get that money back. The criminals who perpetrated these crimes are still receiving millions of dollars in pay and bonuses, while those who were the victims are forced to take on second or even third jobs to make ends meet. Their dreams of a peaceful retirement have been shattered, and that is what Elizabeth Warren is angry about, and it is something we should all be angry about.
Warren’s desire to stay on top of the issue of Wall Street criminals also highlights a very serious and obvious distinction between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. When you listen to what these two camps are saying, you begin to understand which party is really on the side of the American people.
Right now, we have Republican candidates giving stump speeches about issues like Religion, the mythical threat of same-sex marriage, terrorism, war, and government overreach.
On the Democratic side, we have candidates and leaders out there discussion issues like climate change, the student loan debt crisis, the economic consequences of the TPP, and the fact that Wall Street criminals can steal your life savings and actually be rewarded within their own company for doing so.
The difference between the rhetoric of these two parties is night and day. Republicans are discussing abstract concepts without offering solutions to anything while Democrats are talking about problems that people are actually facing and how we can solve those problems. This is because the Democratic Party actually has ideas and solutions, and more importantly, they have empathy for the American public. The Republican Party does not have any of these things.
And the Republicans know that they lack these qualities. In their 2012 Party autopsy, they found that the perception of the Republican Party among the American public is that they simply do not care about people. And it wasn’t that they don’t care about a certain demographic or certain people – it was ALL people. Humanity. The public agrees that the GOP of today does not give a damn about human beings, so maybe it’s time that those people out there who call themselves Republicans take a good hard look at what they’re doing to the rest of the country by continuing to support a soulless Party.