In the right-wing media, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is often portrayed as an enemy of free-market capitalism. But the Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential hopeful has asserted that she is a “capitalist to my bones,” stressing that capitalism works best when it is more inclusive. And Sheila Bair (who served as chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, from 2006-2011) makes a Republican argument in Warren’s favor in an op-ed this week for the Wall Street Journal.
Asserting that Warren is by no means the “left-wing radical” her critics claim she is, Bair writes, “I am a Republican and have known and worked with Ms. Warren for many years. She is a capitalist and prairie populist, in the tradition of William Allen White and Teddy Roosevelt. She believes in a market economy. She just wants it to work for everyone.”
Bair explains that she worked with Warren extensively during the Great Recession and found that she “always took a market-based approach to the issues. She abhorred the generosity of the bank bailouts not because she was a Wall Street-hating socialist, but because she knew that markets can’t work without accountability.”
Bair goes on to outline some of the ways in which Warren is very pro-free market — for example, she “wants to break up the big banks by restoring the separation of commercial and investment banking. This would encourage competition and end the implied taxpayer subsidies that too-big-to-fail institutions enjoy.”
Moreover, Bair writes, Warren “wants to tackle monopolistic practices of big tech,” encourage rigorous “competition” and “even the tax treatment of workers and rich investors by eliminating preferences for capital gains and dividends.”
Wrapping up her op-ed, Bair emphasizes that she believes Warren has a more “market-oriented” outlook than President Donald Trump.
“Ms. Warren would have strong crossover appeal,” Bair asserts. “Indeed, she is more market-oriented than the incumbent president, whose economic policies rely on near-trillion-dollar budget deficits, aggressive monetary policy, more tax loopholes, and government-managed trade. Ms. Warren promises structural reforms to strengthen the long-overlooked middle class. President Trump promised that in 2016; Ms. Warren might deliver.”