Still trying to decide which was funnier last night on "The Daily Show" -- big-government devotee Elizabeth Warren fulminating against government greed or her conspicuous lie of omission about why government is generating "obscene" profits from the toil of college kids.
Senator Warren, making the rounds to pitch yet another preachy tome, was at her indignant, high-dudgeon finest and found a receptive audience in Stewart. (Video after the jump)
Sounding eerily reminiscent of a character out of "Atlas Shrugged," Warren lashed out at government as predatory in student lending --
WARREN: Kids who can't afford to go to college, their parents can't afford to just write 'em a check so they gotta borrow money, the United States government says we will lend you the money to go to school -- OK, that's a good thing to do -- and then piles onto the interest rates so that the government makes tens of billions of dollars in profits ...
STEWART (laughs): Yeah.
WARREN: ... off the backs of kids who are trying to get an education. I think it is obscene for the government to make profits off our kids. (audience applauds)
STEWART: It's crazy! How is, how is that legal? Because that, you know, but that doesn't strike me, so who is lobbying the government to get them more money? That's not even a corporate interest. That's a government inherent internal corruption, is it not?
WARREN (emphatically): But that is exactly the point.
WARREN: So to say, which I want to do and I think we're going to propose next month, refinancing those student loans that are outstanding, to bring down the interest rate, cut the interest rate on those student loans.
WARREN: In order to be able to do that, we've got to find someplace else in the budget to find that money. My view is, we ought to close a couple of those loopholes, make billionaires pay just as much in taxes as their secretaries do. But the lobbyists won't let that happen.
Gee, that's odd -- Elizabeth Warren railing against predatory lending ... and not blaming banks, which are always one of her favorite targets. Then again, how could she since President Obama and congressional Democrats effectively nationalized student lending four years ago in a little-noticed provision to help pass Obamacare.
In a display of misdirection shabby even for a liberal, Warren never mentioned the role of Obamacare in federalizing the student loan industry, thus leading within four years to those "obscene" profits she so fervently hates. (And geez Louise does she love the word "obscene").
Stewart dutifully went along for the ride, hilariously asking at one point if the problem stems from some "inherent internal corruption" in government. That is does, Jon -- the inevitable result of Democrats in the majority.
Warren's plan to reduce interest rates on student loans? Last year she proposed that rates for students should be no higher than the so-called discount rate at which the Federal Reserve lends money to large banks. Having apparently abandoned that unworkable proposal -- one has nothing to do with the other -- Warren is now urging that government milk the wealthy even more via the Buffett Rule whereby plutocrats pay more in taxes than their secretaries, even though they already do and have for decades. Because what could possibly go wrong if government were to acquire that much more of taxpayers' money, right?
I waited in vain for Stewart to suggest that the high cost of higher education stems in part from overly generous compensation for light work loads in academia, Warren's former demesne. Stewart missed another golden opportunity in not asking Warren whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, her beloved bureaucratic offspring, should investigate these "obscene" profits.