If you have 9 minutes and 43 seconds to spare today, I’m going to highly suggest you take that time to watch Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s amazing speech she gave on the Senate floor Friday night. The more I hear Warren speak, the harder it is for me to not want her to run for president. While I’m sure she has her flaws, she seems to be one of the few politicians I hear in Washington who seems to speak from her heart instead of simply regurgitating talking points she’s been handed by political advisors based on polling data.
But nothing I can say will do what she said Friday night justice, so here are some of the best parts of her speech:
Democrats don’t like Wall Street bailouts. Republicans don’t like Wall Street bailouts. The American people are disgusted by Wall Street bailouts
And yet here we are, five years after Dodd-Frank with Congress on the verge of ramming through a provision that would do nothing for the middle class, do nothing for community banks, do nothing but raise the risk that taxpayers will have to bail out the biggest banks once again.
So let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi. I agree with you Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces.
If this Congress is going to open up Dodd-Frank in the months ahead, then let’s open it up to get tougher, not to create more bailout opportunities. If we’re going to open up Dodd-Frank, let’s open it up so that once and for all we end too big to fail and I mean really end it, not just say that we did.
Instead of passing laws that create new bailout opportunities for too big to fail banks, let’s pass something that would help break up these giant banks.
A century ago Teddy Roosevelt was America’s Trust-Buster. He went after the giant trusts and monopolies in this country, and a lot of people talk about how those trust deserved to be broken up because they had too much economic power. But Teddy Roosevelt said we should break them up because they had too much political power. Teddy Roosevelt said break them up because all that concentrated power threatens the very foundations up our democratic system.
And now we’re watching as Congress passes yet another provision that was written by lobbyists for the biggest recipient of bailout money in the history of this country. And its attached to a bill that needs to pass or else we entire federal government will grind to a halt.
Think about that kind of power. If a financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country hostage, that alone is reason enough to break them up.
Enough is enough.
Enough is enough with Wall Street insiders getting key position after key position and the kind of cronyism that we have seen in the executive branch. Enough is enough with Citigroup passing 11th hour deregulatory provisions that nobody takes ownership over but everybody will come to regret. Enough is enough.
Washington already works really well for the billionaires and the big corporations and the lawyers and the lobbyists.
But what about the families who lost their homes or their jobs or their retirement savings the last time Citigroup bet big on derivatives and lost? What about the families who are living paycheck to paycheck and saw their tax dollars go to bail out Citi just 6 years ago?
We were sent here to fight for those families. It is time, it is past time, for Washington to start working for them.
I just don’t see how any rational person could be against what she said. We’re not talking about partisan politics, this is just common sense stuff. I’m not sure why anyone would honestly believe that it’s a good idea to have one of the most corrupt institutions in this country, the financial sector, directly influencing (or damn near writing it themselves) legislation that makes it easier for them to pull the same kind of bullshit they pulled prior to our 2008 economic collapse. That’s like giving a burglar the password to the alarm and keys to your house. It makes absolutely no sense.
But I would encourage everyone to take a few minutes of their time and watch her full speech, because it’s easily one of the most spot-on speeches I’ve ever heard a politician make.
Watch it below via C-SPAN:
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