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The Ironic Tie Between Elizabeth Warren’s Hypocritical Home Flipping and Mitt Romney

By: Benjamin Weingarten

Massachusetts political roots aside, you might think that the comparison of Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is absurd.

Warren, the progressive populist who in both rhetoric and regulation has sought to shackle “predatory” financial institutions as a means of supposedly protecting “the little guy,” and Romney, the patrician and wealthy denizen of the financial establishment of 47 percent infamy, would appear to be polar opposites.

Elizabeth Warren delivers her famous “You didn’t build that” speech.
(Image Source: YouTube screengrab)

But alas, as is so often is the case in politics, Warren’s public face is contradicted by her private actions – actions that we will soon see are similar in nature to those that made Romney a millionaire.

Warren, like Romney, profited by buying assets at low prices and through either improving said assets or waiting for the market to strengthen, selling them at higher prices.

As Jillian Kay Melchior and Eliana Johnson lay out in a recent National Review exposé, Warren “bought and sold at least five [residential] properties for profit,” generating at least $240,500 before accounting for remodeling costs.

Several of the homes Warren purchased and then flipped had been foreclosed upon.

The focus of the piece is the rank hypocrisy that Warren would execute such profit-seeking transactions, given that she has called the idea of buying and selling properties quickly for profit a “myth” that contributed to our economic woes, and decried the banks that foreclosed on the homes of working class Americans.

Rightfully, the column closes with the following flourish:

In her 2014 autobiography, Warren wrote of the events that precipitated the financial crisis that “everyone seemed to have a story about someone they knew who was getting rich by flipping houses.”

She omitted a crucial one.

But it ought to be pointed out that not only were Warren’s actions counter to her stated principles – they mimicked those of the private equity companies and other financial institutions that she has spent her entire public life railing against.

What private equity professionals like Mitt Romney, and investors in general seek to do is “buy low and sell high.”

Firms like Romney’s Bain Capital scour the market for businesses they believe are undervalued and/or have significant growth potential. They seek to buy these businesses at a low price, and grow them while making them more profitable and efficient by cutting costs, closing non-core operations while strengthening core ones and implementing new and improved strategies and practices to better their business models.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

By improving the companies in which they invest, the end goal is to sell them for many times the price at which they were bought.

What Romney did at the macro level in investing in businesses worth hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, Warren did at the micro level in investing in homes worth thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The difference however is that Romney’s investing in many cases led to the creation of ever-better goods and services at ever-lower prices, with the benefits accruing to not only Romney, Bain’s investors, and the employees of the strengthened companies, but all consumers – that is, you and me.

Certainly Warren’s investments in home remodeling may have created work for construction companies and home suppliers, but those benefits pale in size and scope to the benefits to the public of successful private equity investments.

Too, many progressives are queasy about the idea of gentrification, which they argue prices poorer people out of their neighborhoods, replacing them with the more “privileged,” all supposedly to the detriment of the character of said communities. Warren supported this process by improving several of the homes she purchased that had been in disrepair, and selling them at a significant premium.

No one should begrudge Elizabeth Warren for her apparent investing acumen.

And one suspects that no one on the left will begrudge her for her home-flipping hypocrisy, given that the truly ill-gotten riches of the Clintons who partnered with all manner of tinpot dictators and civil rights squelchers do not seem to offend the left’s sensibilities.

But all should recognize that the very business for which Romney was castigated by large swaths of the public is in essence the same business in which Warren was an active participant, only at a smaller scale and with far more modest benefits.

This is not an indictment, but a compliment, even if Warren herself would not like to hear it.

More broadly, we should be celebrating those who create wealth, and crucifying those who destroy it — namely government bureaucrats whose resources only exist because they bilk the individuals and businesses that did build that.


EXCLUSIVE: The Day-by-Day Clinton Scandal Tracker

Doug Ross @ Journal

Just so you can keep ’em all straight. Summarized and sanitized for your protection!


Clinton Foundation hit with racketeering lawsuit
Clinton Foundation finds itself drawn into FIFA soccer corruption scandal


Hillary never disclosed secret shell company funneling income to Bill


Did Clinton pay-to-play arrangement hand over port container operations to UAE?


Emails reveal Hillary cared so much about Benghazi she slept through intel briefing 4 days later
Stephanopoulos joined Bill Clinton on Pedophile Island
The 15 Benghazi emails you need to read


Hillary’s Real Benghazi Problem
Hillary claim she used only one email address while at State? Another lie
Hillary Deliberately Caused Delay Of Email Release By Submitting Only Paper Copies


New Hillary Emails Confirm She Received Classified Info on Private Email
Hillary Was Pushing For Tax Breaks To Benefit Clinton Library Donors
Clinton Foundation Had $26M In Contributions It ‘Forgot’ To Disclose


Clinton Aides at State Handled FOIA Requests, Not Experts: WSJ
Hillary can’t shake email controversy
Does Hillary deserve to be President after jeopardizing national security?


The State Department’s In-Kind Contribution to the Clinton Campaign
State Dept Won’t Comment on Report Cheryl Mills Interfered with Hillary Clinton FOIA Requests


Did Hillary Clinton know of Benghazi attack in advance?
Hillary, “Sid Vicious”, and Libya


The Truth About Benghazi Slowly Emerges
Proof: US Was Running Weapons Thru Benghazi to Syria
Key Hillary Clinton Claim on Emails Was a Lie


Stop me if you’ve heard this one; Hillary took money from more companies seeking influence
‘Clinton Cash’ author: George Stephanopoulos guilty of ‘hidden-hand journalism’
‘Clinton Cash’ Author Reveals Other Ties Stephanopoulos DIDN’T Admit or Apologize For


ABC, Stephanopoulos Clinton Foundation Hypocrisy Staggering
Hillary Clinton personally took money from companies that sought to influence her
Clintons Earned $30 Million in 16 Months, Report Shows


Former Obama CIA Chief: Hillary’s Emails Compromised By Our Enemies
Guess Who Delayed Response to Stephanopoulos Scoop So Politico Could Publish First?
Clinton Foundation donors include dozens of media organizations, individuals
Stephanopoulos Another Example Of Revolving Door Journalism


Clinton Connections Paid Off for Indonesian Tobacco Tycoon
Former CIA Official: WH’s Story on Benghazi Talking Points Isn’t Credible


Clinton Foundation donor can’t explain role in Russian uranium deal
Alan Colmes: FBI Should Investigate Clinton Foundation


Clinton Foundation Donors Fill Hillary’s Campaign Coffers


Report: Clinton Foundation Tried to ‘Strong-Arm’ Leading Charity Watchdog
Federal Court Reopens State Dept. FOIA Lawsuit: “Newly Discovered Evidence” of Clinton Crimes


Stunned Reporter Grills State Dept.: Why Won’t Hillary’s Breaches Be Investigated?


Why Did a Nigerian Company Pay Bill Clinton $1.4MM for 2 Speeches?
Clinton Crime Fund Reportedly Took Funds From Human Rights Violators
Four Clinton Foundation Trustees Charged Or Convicted Of Financial Crimes


The Hill-Billy Cash Pump
Bill Clinton Puts Blame for Family’s Scandals on Accountant


The Clinton Foundation isn’t a “charity” in any normal sense of the word


Bill Clinton: Foundation didn’t do anything ‘knowingly inappropriate’
Bill Clinton on Huge Speaking Fees: ‘I Gotta Pay Our Bills,’ You Know


The Clintons, a luxury jet and their $100 million donor from Canada


The Clintons, a luxury jet and their $100 million donor from Canada
Hillary Opposed Sending Nuke Tech to India… Until Huge Donations Flowed In
Benghazi Committee Gets Some Subpoeaned Docs from State Dept.–Two Years Later


Benghazi Committee Gets Some Subpoeaned Docs from State Dept.–Two Years Later
Clinton Foundation spent more on office supplies than on charity gifts in 2013
181 Clinton Foundation donors who lobbied Hillary’s State Department


Report alleges Clintons personally profited from Hillary’s tenure at State
The Clintons lower the bar — again
If This Is the Best Defense of the Clinton Foundation, She’s in Trouble


Sunlight Foundation leader: Clinton Foundation a “slush fund”
So About the Clintons’ So-Called ‘Charity’…
Who’s Afraid of the Benghazi Hearings?


The Fall of the House of Clinton
Hillary’s Day of Wrath
Clinton Foundation distributed useless drugs to AIDS patients
For the Clinton Defense
ABC & This Week With George Stephanopoulos owe their viewers an Apology


Report: Clintons Engaged in Pay-for-Play During Efforts to Rebuild Haiti
Clinton relatives, donors got rich off taxpayer-funded Haiti contracts
Clinton Greed


Who is really drawing out the Benghazi investigation?
‘Hillary Thinks She Is Bigger Than God’
Hillary now raising funds off of … evidence of her corrupt fundraising
Muslim Brotherhood Payrolled By Clinton Foundation


How long can this train wreck continue?
Bill Clinton sold us to the ChiComs; Hillary sold us to the Russians
White House Refuses to Comment on Shady Deal Hillary Made With Russia
Many Clinton charity donors got State Dept. awards under Hillary
Clintons Lied on Tax Forms, Claiming No Foreign Money to Foundation
Oops: Clinton Foundation Re-Filing Five Years of Tax Returns Over ‘Errors’
State Dept. Documents Reveal Concern about Bill Clinton’s Activities with ‘Saudi Entities’


Cash Flowed to Clintons as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company
Former Clinton Employee Tied To Muslim Brotherhood Sentenced To Life In Prison


White House Won’t Deny Clinton Foundation Donors Got Special Treatment
The Latest Available Clinton Foundation Filings Appear Deceptive


‘Clinton Cash’ Reveals Foreign Pay-to-Play Deals with Clinton State Dept.


Newsweek: Largest donor to Clinton Foundation has trade ties to Iran
Cisco Used Clinton Foundation To Cover-up Human Rights Abuse In China


Here’s a breakdown of every scandal swirling around Hillary


Hillary Reversed Position on Trade Deal With Colombia After Huge Donation to Clinton Foundation
Hillary For Sale: At Least $1 Million From Morocco Flowing Into Clinton Foundation


Top Spy: Hillary’s Emails ‘Likely’ Hacked by China, Russia, Iran
How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House
Hillary’s Brothers Unlike Any Others


Hillary’s accidental drone email about decorating reveals BIG new problems
Hillary’s private intel chief Sidney Blumenthal also an illegal lobbyist?


Did Clinton’s Backdoor Adviser Illegally Lobby for Putin Ally?
The long, complicated story of Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi subpoena
Obstruction of Justice – A Must For Hillary
The Latest Bombshell from Mrs. Clinton’s Lawyer


Situation Normal: Hillary Clinton obstructs justice and operates outside the law


Get Hillary’s server, it’s now evidence of a potential crime
GOP: ‘Even Nixon Didn’t Destroy the Tapes’


Hillary Clinton Defies Subpoena, ‘Wiped Her Server Clean’
Hacked Hillary Emails: Getting Fed Intelligence By Her Own Private Spy Service


Clintons Received Money from ‘Front for the Government of Iran’
Did Hillary Run Her Own Intelligence Operation?
Lawsuit: Clintons are guilty of racketeering, influence peddling
Business dealings of Hillary Clinton’s brother raise new questions


Clinton Nemesis Ramps Up Effort to Get State Dept. to Spill on Hillary’s Tenure


Bill Clinton ‘Unaware’ Brother-In-Law on Board of Haitian Gold Mine that Landed Rare Permit


Trey Gowdy to Hillary Clinton: Hand Over Your E-Mail Server
Now Huma Abedin is Being Scrutinized for Possible Corruption


Emails sought of nearly a dozen U.S. State Department workers under Clinton


State Dept. Employees Who Don’t Sign Separation Agreement Face Dire Consequences
Hillary committed obstruction of justice


Clintonworld’s Self-Pitying Shadiness Returns
Clintons UAE Quid Pro Quo
Hillary Clinton’s Top Five Secrecy Scandals


Hillary Clinton’s Top Five Secrecy Scandals
Clintons Cover-Up Team
Hillary Clinton should face criminal charges
The “Hillary Was Right to Break the Law Because Republicans Are Mean” Defense


Trey Gowdy: House may go to court to get Clinton email server
On Benghazi, a timeline of State Department obstruction
Hillary Clinton Lies… A Lot
Clinton camp issues clarification on deleted emails, claims ‘every’ message was reviewed


Valerie Jarrett behind leak of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal
State Department contradicts Hillary Clinton’s email claim
An Open Letter to [email protected]


Hillary Is Being Investigated for a Possible Felony
Clinton Faces Broader Email Deception Issue Involving Entire State Department


Did Hillary let friends use State Department gigs as a piggy bank?
Hillary’s Rose Law Firm Career a Sign of What Was to Come?


Hillary’s email explanation is self-contradictory – here’s how


The Hillary Email Scandal: Who Profits?
The Mendacious, Charmless, Painfully Mediocre And Unelectable Hillary Clinton
Hillary’s Train Wreck Press Conference: Spin, Lies and Unanswered Questions
Carefully scripted Hillary knocked out of comfort zone
Internet Catches Hillary in Three Provable Email Falsehoods
Hillary emerges from behind stonewall for tightly controlled press conference
Mystery location of Clinton email server seen as ‘matter of national security’
Hillary Tries To Quell Email Controversy, But Only Creates More Questions
Trey Gowdy: Hillary’s Server Or Hillary’s Testimony
Hillary’s brother got the gold mine, Haiti got the shaft


‘It will be a crime if she knowingly withholds documents pursuant to subpoena’
Clinton e-mail scandal disqualifies her for president
Hillary Clinton’s Possibly Fatal Email Mistake
Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton: What We Musn’t Forget About Benghazi
New FOIAs Probe Clinton Secret Email System, Lawsuits May Follow In 20 Days
White House: Hillary And Obama Did Email Each Other
Why Would Foreign Governments’ Donations to the Clinton Foundation Not Count as Bribes?
Wealthy at Scandal-Plagued HSBC Have Donated/Bribed $81 Million to Hillary’s Bribery Storefront


Gowdy: Huge Gaps Of “Months And Months” In Emails Hillary Turned Over
Hillary Milhous Clinton


Hillary Exposed Her Emails To Spies… To Hide Them From You
While Clinton Hid Emails, $6 Billion Went Missing in Her State Dept.


State Department: Hillary decides what emails we can see
FOIA Request for Hillary Clinton’s Email Address Went Missing


Hillary fired US Ambassador to Kenya for using personal email account
Server, Serve Her: Clinton Crumbling
Hillary Clinton Still Doesn’t Get It
Hillary’s Brother Gets Exclusive Mining Permit from Haiti After Taxpayers Sent Country Billions


Emailgate May Be the Final Scandal to Sink Hillary Clinton
Hacker Reveals Contents from Hillary’s Private E-Mails and Shows Who She Was Talking To
Bigger Question: Did Hillary use unsecured email for Classified Info?
Hillary Clinton leaked e-mail story to New York Times before tweet
MSNBC: Hillary Personal Email Use at State ‘Staggering’, ‘Shocking’ and ‘Ridiculous’


The Hillary Cover-Up and the End of Democracy
Hillary Clinton’s Private E-Mail Draws Scrutiny


Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules
Report: Hillary Clinton Evaded Government Email While Secretary Of State


New York Times Still Deceiving About Obamacare

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The New York Times is at it again. In a front page story in Tuesday’s print edition, the Times is dishonestly pushing an argument that they hope will result in a favorable Supreme Court decision for President Obama’s so called Affordable Care Act. The mantra repeated over and over again is this: those four words in the Obamacare law—“established by the state”—were actually an accident, a drafting error. And those words, according to the Times and all of the sources they chose to comment on it for the article, are being misinterpreted by some who want to, shall we say, “degrade and defeat” the law.

The plain language of the law is that subsidies were only meant for those who purchase their plans through exchanges set up by the individual states. But that’s not what the Times and their sources want you to believe. Even if the Times were to admit that is the plain meaning based on the language in the law, their argument is that it still wasn’t the intent of the lawmakers and staffers who composed and approved of the legislation.

So now comes the Times, a month before the Supreme Court is planning to announce its decision, with a front-page article that is dishonest on many levels. If you are doing a news story, as opposed to a not-so-carefully disguised editorial, you would seek opposing points of view. In reading this article, you find that there is not one person among those interviewed who even knew that there was an issue regarding subsidies as they related to state exchanges versus the federal exchange.

First, the Times posed the questions: “Who wrote [those four words], and why? Were they really intended, as the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell claim, to make the tax subsidies in the law available only in states that established their own health insurance marketplaces, and not in the three dozen states with federal exchanges?”

Then it states: “The answer, from interviews with more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law, is that the words were a product of shifting politics and a sloppy merging of different versions. Some described the words as ‘inadvertent,’ ‘inartful’ or ‘a drafting error.’ But none supported the contention of the plaintiffs, who are from Virginia.”

If this were a real news story, and not a front-page editorial disguised as a news article, these reporters would have sought out the opinion of people who disagree with those “more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law.”

I cited the evidence in a column last March when the King v. Burwell case was being argued, and the same narrative was being pushed at that time by the Times and other liberal news organizations. I linked to a National Public Radio (NPR) article that had actually practiced journalism by talking to one of the plaintiff’s lawyers in this case; he pointed out that regarding this supposed drafting error, “those words are in the bill 11 times.”

I also cited an article published in Politico, two months before the bill passed in 2010, that cited then-Senator Ben Nelson’s opposition to a federal exchange: “Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Monday that he would oppose any health care reform bill with a national insurance exchange, which he described as a dealbreaker.” If that isn’t clear enough, Politico added this: “Nelson could have deprived House Democrats from securing what they have increasingly viewed as a must-have—a national exchange rather than a series of state exchanges.”

My column cited an American Spectator piece that details Nelson’s position on this issue. And then there’s Jonathan Gruber. As I wrote at the time: “And don’t forget Jonathan Gruber. He was one of the architects of Obamacare, and a close adviser to President Obama. He received millions of taxpayer dollars, from various states and the federal government. Gruber is the person who said that passing Obamacare depended ‘on the stupidity of the American voter,’ and that it was ‘written in a tortured way’ in order to deceive the voters about all the taxes they would have to pay. Regarding the subsidies being paid only to state exchanges, Gruber said that was ‘to squeeze the states to do it [to set up exchanges].’”

So there you have it. After reading what Gruber said, what Politico wrote months before the bill became law, how NPR reported it, and what Sen. Nelson told Greta Van Susteren, it becomes clear that the Times is editorializing, and not reporting, in a front-page story intended to influence a Supreme Court decision.

I suppose it’s possible to read the Times article, and read the evidence cited in my article, and conclude that the Times is telling the truth, and respecting its readers’ ability to hear two sides of this story and decide for themselves. On the other hand, maybe not.