Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., offers a mixed critique of President Obama's economic policy.
"When I think about the president, it's about both halves," she tells Salon
. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB], period."
Warren helped form the CFPB.
"He was the one who refused to throw the agency under the bus and made sure that his team kept the agency alive and on the table."
But then there's the downside to Obama. "He picked his economic team, and when the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street," Warren proclaims.
"They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education. And it happened over and over and over."
So what's the bottom line? "I see both of those things, and they both matter," she notes.
"I spoke to the New England Council . . . on infrastructure and basic research. And I made the pitch about the importance of both of those. You know, gave some of the basic stats on why both are so important to building a future for this country," Warren adds.
"Then I did the basic stats on how we're falling short. . . . The Society of Civil Engineers says we've got $3.4 trillion in infrastructure underfunding — work that we need to do to bring our infrastructure up to current standards. So I talked about this and about the importance of it in building a future," she argues
"So how could this happen in a country like America? . . . Nobody would run a business like this. To underinvest in the key pieces to help build a future. So how does this happen? It happens because there are a lot of people in Washington who say the answer to everything is, cut taxes. . . . And a lot of people have the corollary to that, and that is — cut spending. And it's spending in all of the basics that help build a future: cut spending in education, in resource management, in infrastructure, in research, in core pieces we need to build a future."
It may surprise you to learn that liberal Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman is easier on Obama.
"I don't care about the fact that Obama hasn't lived up to the golden dreams of 2008, and I care even less about his approval rating," he writes in Rolling Stone
. "I do care that he has, when all is said and done, achieved a lot."
Krugman cites Obamacare, tax increases on the wealthy and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
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