BY: Andrew Stiles
Elizabeth Warren has cemented herself as the most powerful woman in the Democratic Party after forcing a “non-resident scholar” at the left-leaning Brookings Institution to resign in disgrace.
Warren was mad because the scholar in question, Robert Litan, a Democrat, wasn’t fan of a proposal she liked that would impose costly regulations on retirement investment advisers. Warren accused Litan of authoring a “editorially compromised study” report critical of the proposal, citing the fact that he had taken, and disclosed, sponsorship funding from a mutual fund group. Brookings sided with Warren, in a clear signal that the former Harvard professor is the most influential Democrat in America.
The Washington Post reports:
Litan rejected Warren’s criticism, saying that the company that sponsored his research, the Capital Group, a leading mutual fund manager, had no influence over his findings. But Litan, an unpaid “non-resident scholar,” acknowledged that he had violated a new think-tank rule prohibiting researchers with such status from citing their Brookings affiliation when testifying before Congress.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott said Tuesday that Litan “made a mistake in not following Brookings regulations designed to uphold the independence of the institution.” A Brookings spokesman added that Litan’s work on the rule came “in his private capacity, not connected with Brookings in any way.”
Brookings hasn’t always been so afraid of Warren. In 2013, the think tank published a review of her student loan reform bill. It was not positive.
Sen. Warren’s proposal should be quickly dismissed as a cheap political gimmick. It proposes only a one-year change to the rate on one kind of federal student loan, confuses market interest rates on long-term loans (such as the 10-year Treasury rate) with the Federal Reserve’s Discount Window (used to make short-term loans to banks), and does not reflect the administrative costs and default risk that increase the costs of the federal student loan program.
Setting aside this one embarrassingly bad proposal, the remaining proposals raise a set of questions that need to be answered in order to select the ideal policy.
Some of the most prominent liberal thinkers are urging Warren to enter the 2016 presidential race. Running for president would make sense for Warren, who has spent the last several months attacking Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign donors—Wall Street banks.Read Less