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Warren’s Commencement Speech Hypocrisies

- May 18, 2017

ALTHOUGH ELIZABETH WARREN RAILS AGAINST HIGH COSTS OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SHE RECEIVED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS AS A HARVARD PROFESSOR WHILE RECEIVING A GOVERNMENT SALARY

For 2010 And Part Of 2011, Warren Received A Salary of $430,000 From Harvard While Also Receiving $165,300 As A Special Adviser To President Obama

In A 2017 University of Massachusetts Commencement Address, Warren Said That Tuition Costs Are "Set, In Part, By A Handful Of People." "During a commencement speech at the University of Massachusetts Friday, Warren told students that decisions made by state and federal lawmakers "heavily influenced" the amount of student loans they'll have to pay. 'As a practical matter, how much you owe and who has access [to education], is set, in part, by a handful of people who, in a democracy, are supposed to answer directly to you,' Warren said." (Jackie Wattles, "Elizabeth Warren Tells Grads With Loads Of Debt: Agitate!," CNN , 5/12/17)

For 2010 And Part Of 2011, Warren Received A Salary Of $430,000 From Harvard. "The returns did not provide many details on the source of the income. But some insight can be gleaned from a 2011 financial disclosure form, which shows Warren earned a salary of $430,000 from Harvard for 2010 and part of 2011. In 2011, the couple's total income was $616,000." (Tami Luhby, "Elizabeth Warren Is Worth Millions," CNN , 1/8/15)

  • Warren Was Paid More Than $347,000 Annually For Her Work At Harvard. "She was paid more than $347,000 annually for her work at Harvard, plus another $53,428 in royalties, according to a disclosure report filed in May 2009. Warned earned more than $116,000 as a legal consultant, and other $25,000 doing research for the Consumers Union, a nonprofit group in Yonkers, N.Y." (Scott Wong and John Bresnahan, "Elizabeth Warren's Campaign Revises Pay From TARP Panel," Politico, 9/23/11)

Warren Also Received $165,300 From The Federal Government As A Special Adviser To President Obama. "She earned about $165,300 from September 2010 through August 2011 as a special adviser to President Obama, setting up the consumer protection agency she helped establish. Before that, she collected a total of $192,722 for leading the congressional panel that oversaw the US bank bailout. That government salary covered a period that began before her latest disclosure report, spanning from November 2008 through September 2010." (Noah Bierman, "Warren Releases Financial Report," The Boston Globe, 1/14/12)

From 2008 To 2010, Warren Received $192,722 For Leading The Congressional Panel That Oversaw The U.S. Bank Bailout. "Before that, she collected a total of $192,722 for leading the congressional panel that oversaw the US bank bailout. That government salary covered a period that began before her latest disclosure report, spanning from November 2008 through September 2010." (Noah Bierman, "Warren Releases Financial Report," The Boston Globe, 1/14/12)

In 2015, Warren's Net Worth Was Estimated Between $3.7 Million And $10 Million. "Warren, the Harvard bankruptcy law professor elected to the Senate in 2012, is worth between $3.7 million and $10 million." (Tami Luhby, "Elizabeth Warren Is Worth Millions," CNN , 1/8/15)

Warren Also Received Generous Benefits From Harvard Including An Interest-Free Loan Worth Thousands Of Dollars, A Mortgage Subsidy, A Housing Allowance, And Moving Expenses

Warren Had An Interest-Free Loan From Harvard Worth Between $15,000 And $50,000. "Brown's camp also blasted Warren's financial history as she campaigns in support of low-interest student loans, saying the Harvard Law professor's interest-free loan from Harvard means she is out of touch with struggling students. Warren disclosed the 20-year interest free loan from Harvard, which lent her between $15,000 and $50,000 in 1996, in financial disclosure forms filed last year." (Hillary Chabot, "Brown, Warren Trade Jabs Over Releasing Taxes," The Boston Herald, 4/25/12)

A 1998 Crimson Article Said That, In Addition To Her Salary, Warren Also Received $133,543 In "Other Compensation," Which Included A Mortgage Subsidy, Housing Allowance, And Moving Expenses. "Elizabeth Warren, Gottlieb professor of law, also repeated as a top-salary teacher. Warren not only made $192,550 in pure salary, but she also walked away with an additional $133,453 in 'other compensation'--which included a faculty mortgage subsidy, housing allowance, moving expenses and imputed interest." ("Deans Tosteson, Clark Among Highest-Paid U. Officials," Harvard Crimson, 9/16/98)

SINCE JOINING THE U.S. SENATE, WARREN HAS USED THE STUDENT LOAN ISSUE FOR "POLITICAL THEATER" AND A "PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZING TOOL"

Warren Routinely Introduces Legislation For Higher Educations Costs That Has No Chance Of Becoming Law

In 2014, Warren Tried To Introduce Legislation That Would Allow Borrowers To "Refinance" Student Loans At Low Government Rates And Would Impose A Minimum Tax On Millionaires, Which Slate Called "Political Theater." "Elizabeth Warren is back on the student debt beat. The Massachusetts Democrat has announced that she is introducing legislation that would allow certain borrowers to 'refinance' their old education loans at today's low government rates. To help pay for her plan, she would enact the ever-popular Buffett Rule, which would impose a minimum tax rate on millionaires. This is mostly political theater. Republicans will surely vote against the bill, which will let Democrats say the GOP sided with the rich and against students. End of scene. But I must say: So far as pieces of stunt legislation go, it's a vast policy improvement over Warren's last high-profile stab at the student loan issue." (Jordan Weissman, "Elizabeth Warren's Smart, Flawed, And Obviously Doomed Plan To Help Student Borrowers," Slate , 5/6/14)

  • Warren's Plan Would Have Used Profits Of Past Borrowers Repayments To Subsidize New Borrowers. "Worse yet, Warren was essentially arguing that the government should hand a giant windfall to new borrowers using profits it had made off of yesteryear's students. Considering that so many ex-college goers were already delinquent or in default on their debts, this seemed a bit perverse to many of those who followed student finance closely. Still, it went over well politically with student activists and colleges, who of course would have stood to benefit from a new round of cheap lending." (Jordan Weissman, "Elizabeth Warren's Smart, Flawed, And Obviously Doomed Plan To Help Student Borrowers," Slate , 5/6/14)

In April 2017, Warren Joined Bernie Sanders In Introducing A Bill That Would Eliminate Tuition And Fees At Public Four-Year Colleges For Families Making Less Than $125,000 Per Year, But The Bill Is Viewed More As A Progressive Organizing Tool. "Senator Bernie Sanders stepped into that breach Monday afternoon, introducing a bill with Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Keith Ellison, and several other members of Congress. The College for All Act aims to eliminate tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities for students from families that make up to $125,000 per year. The bill would make community college tuition-free for all income levels. Clearly the bill will go nowhere in a Republican Congress, and with Trump in the White House. But Sanders and several of the co-sponsors clearly see the bill as a valuable organizing tool. 'Our job is to bring forward a progressive agenda,' said Sanders. 'Our job now is to go out in every state in this country…. We can win this fight when millions of Americans stand up and demand this legislation.' 'We need organized events at every college campus across the country,' said Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Sanders-backed candidate who ran last year on a pledge to introduce this bill in the House." (George Zornick, "Bernie Sanders Just Introduced His Free College Tuition Plan," The Nation , 4/3/17)

The Current Legislation Warren Supports Would Cost The Government $600 Billion By Democrats Own Estimate

In April 2017, Warren Joined Bernie Sanders In Introducing A Bill That Would Eliminate Tuition And Fees At Public Four-Year Colleges For Families Making Less Than $125,000 Per Year. "Senator Bernie Sanders stepped into that breach Monday afternoon, introducing a bill with Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Keith Ellison, and several other members of Congress. The College for All Act aims to eliminate tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities for students from families that make up to $125,000 per year. The bill would make community college tuition-free for all income levels. Clearly the bill will go nowhere in a Republican Congress, and with Trump in the White House. But Sanders and several of the co-sponsors clearly see the bill as a valuable organizing tool. 'Our job is to bring forward a progressive agenda,' said Sanders. 'Our job now is to go out in every state in this country…. We can win this fight when millions of Americans stand up and demand this legislation.' 'We need organized events at every college campus across the country,' said Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Sanders-backed candidate who ran last year on a pledge to introduce this bill in the House." (George Zornick, "Bernie Sanders Just Introduced His Free College Tuition Plan," The Nation , 4/3/17)

Sen. Sanders' Own Estimate Is that The Bill Would Cost $600 Billion. "The act would have the government pay 67 percent of tuition subsidies at public colleges and universities, while asking state and tribal governments to pay the other third. Sanders's office pegs the cost of the legislation at $600 billion, and it would be financed by a tax on Wall Street speculation." (George Zornick, "Bernie Sanders Just Introduced His Free College Tuition Plan," The Nation , 4/3/17)

In 2015, Warren Claimed The Government Was Making $66 Billion In Profit In Student Loans, But According To The Congressional Budget Office, The Government Actually Lost $88 Billion, A Misleading Claim By $223 Billion

In 2015, Warren Claimed The Government Was Making $66 Billion In Profit From Loans Issued Between 2007 And 2012, But Her Claim Used An Accounting Method That The Congressional Budget Office Said Was Misleading. "Warren said student loans issued by the federal government between 2007 and 2012 are on target 'to produce $66 billion in profits' for the government. Warren accurately cites an estimate from a Government Accountability Office report -- but that estimate was made with an accounting method that the Congressional Budget Office says is misleading. As the CBO has pointed out in another report, using that accounting method, student loans are projected to generate $135 billion in 'profit' from 2015 to 2024 -- but using the CBO's preferred accounting method, they are projected to produce an $88 billion loss. For a statement that is partially accurate but leaves out important details, our rating is Half True." (Tom Kertscher, "Uncle Sam Is On Track To Make $66 Billion Profit Off 6 Years Of Student Loans, Elizabeth Warren Says," Politifact , 10/1/15)

The Government Was Actually Projected To Lose $88 Billion Loss, A $223 Billion Swing From Warren's Claim. "In a May 2014 report, the Congressional Budget Office did student loan projections for 2015 through 2024. During that 10-year period, using the official accounting method that Warren relied on in making her claim, the loans are expected to generate a 'profit' of $135 billion. But using the 'fair value' accounting method CBO prefers, the projection is an $88 billion loss to the government. That's a swing of $223 billion." (Tom Kertscher, "Uncle Sam Is On Track To Make $66 Billion Profit Off 6 Years Of Student Loans, Elizabeth Warren Says," Politifact , 10/1/15)

 

 

 


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