Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren's Fake Wonkery

All too often, the Massachusetts senator and 2020 hopeful gets key details wrong.

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Ronen Tivony/Sipa USA/Newscom

Although the 2020 Democratic primary race is barely more than a month old, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has already worked to define her role: She is running as a policy wonk.

Warren laid the groundwork for her campaign with detailed proposals to tax wealthy individuals and impose significant new regulations on large corporations. Yesterday, CNN published a profile of Warren describing her as a "wonky professor." Warren herself has embraced this perception, saying last month that her strategy to win over Democratic primary voters would be to "nerd out." As The New York Times reported last month, "Ms. Warren's passion for policy minutiae has become her way of standing out in an increasingly crowded Democratic field." At the moment, this is the central message of her campaign: She cares about the details, and she will get them right.

Warren's penchant for wonkery, however, has been vastly overstated. Although she is probably more familiar with the mechanics of economic policy that many of her 2020 rivals, she is also prone to relying on dubious, and arguably dishonest, methodology in order to support the progressive policies she favors.

Just yesterday, for example, Warren released a proposal calling for a vast new program to federally fund child care. The program would make childcare free for families earning up to about $50,000 a year and would subsidize care for families earning more. The program would be expensive; Warren puts the cost at about $700 billion over the course of a decade. She says would pay for the program using revenues from her wealth tax, pointing to estimates from UC Berkeley economists that the tax would raise $2.75 trillion over the same time—more than enough to offset the cost of the program.

There are reasons to suspect that a wealth tax wouldn't raise nearly as much revenue as Warren estimates, which is why a majority of the OECD countries that have tried such taxes have done away with them.

But there is a much bigger problem with Warren's figures: As The Washington Examiner's Philip Klein wrote yesterday, she's using estimates that rely on two different sets of opposing assumptions. Warren's cost estimate relies on dynamic scoring, which builds growth effects into the model. Basically, it assumes that widely subsidizing child care would boost the economy by allowing more people to work, either in an enlarged child care sector or in other types of jobs. That assumption is built into the cost estimate, giving it credit for any economic benefits it might provide.

The revenue estimate for Warren's wealth tax, however, relies on what's known as a static analysis—it counts no growth effects into its assumptions, presumably because a wealth tax, by taxing the sort of people who are likely to make large, economy-building investments, would have a negative impact on growth. In other words, it ignores any negative impacts. As Klein writes, "Warren is relying on two different methods of analysis, one of which makes her spending seem less costly, and one of which makes her tax plan seem like it would raise more money." Either this is a deliberate attempt to mislead, or it is an oversight that just so happens to be extremely convenient.

These are admittedly wonky details. But that's what Warren says she's focused on, and she is not getting them right. Nor is this the first time that she has launched major policy initiatives based on dubious evidence.

More than a decade ago, Warren, then a Harvard professor, co-authored a scholarly paper finding that more than 40 percent of bankruptcies were the result of medical bills. This research garnered reams of media coverage and made a substantial impact on public policy debates. The paper contributed to Warren's reputation as an economic policy superstar, and, eventually, an influential U.S. senator with a national profile and ambitions to higher office. It is not a stretch to say that this research helped put her on the path that eventually led to her current presidential campaign.

That research, however, was based on dubious methodology that plausibly appears to have been designed to research a specific conclusion. It relied on survey data from about 1,800 Americans who had gone bankrupt, and then counted how many of them had medical debt over $1,000, claimed medical bills had caused the bankruptcy, missed weeks of work due to illness, or mortgaged a home as a result of medical bills.

The problem was that the survey relied on a limited selection of people who had already gone bankrupt rather than the public as a whole. The research wasn't really measuring what most people who read about it probably believed it was measuring; namely, how many people were driven into bankruptcy by medical bills. Instead, it measured how many already bankrupt people had a moderate amount of medical debt, or said they had experienced some sort of medical shock to their household. It was an unusual choice of metric that ended up vastly inflating the public perception of the role medical bills play in causing bankruptcy.

The research and its methods were widely criticized at the time by both academics and journalists (my wife, Megan McArdle, was among the critics). As health economist Craig Garthwaite told The New York Times last year in a look back at the bankruptcy research, "There are no reputable economists who I deal with who believe the number in the paper or the methods in the paper are appropriate in trying to get at the true underlying question."

The team behind the research adamantly defended the work, and even published a follow up raising the percentage of medical bankruptcies to 62 percent, leading to headlines declaring that medical bills caused a majority of bankruptcies. Warren herself tended to stay out of the fray, but continued to work with the same co-authors for years, implicitly standing by the work.

Last year, however, a different team of researchers attempted to answer the same question by examining a much larger trove of data based on credit reports of people who had been hospitalized in the state of California. The study, titled "Myth and Measurement: The Case of Medical Bankruptcies," criticized previous research for "[assuming] that whenever a person who reports having substantial medical bills experiences a bankruptcy, the bankruptcy was caused by the medical debt." It concluded that large medical expenses only caused about 4 percent of bankruptcies, a result that might represent a slight undercount but is almost certainly closer to reality than what Warren and her co-authors concluded.

Warren's political fame and policy wonk persona are thus founded in large part on poorly designed research that led to a wrong but attention-generating conclusion. Although she is more conversant in the language of economic policy than most of her fellow legislators, she is best understood not as a straight-shooting academic but as an advocate who cherry picks convenient data and conclusions to support a predetermined narrative. We have a word for someone like that, but it's not "wonk." It's "politician."

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163 responses to “Elizabeth Warren's Fake Wonkery

    1. “Although she is probably more familiar with the mechanics of economic policy that many of her 2020 rivals…”

      That’s damning with the faintest of praise indeed. Economic imbeciles all.

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  1. “…We have a word for someone like that, but it’s not “wonk.” It’s “politician.””

    In her case, it’s “liar”.

    1. Which is a synonym for “politician”.

  2. Obviously what we need is a big orange baboon who doesn’t know shit about anything.

    1. He knows how to beat Hillary….

      *drops mic

      1. Talking about Putin?

        1. Putin beat Hillary, like Trump beat Hillary?

          I mean, we all knew that Obama beat Hillary and Trump beat Hillary but I had no idea that Putin ran election 2016 on the ballot.

          1. Dumbass Tony still can’t comprehend that Her Hagness came across as a toxic mess with absolutely no articulated policy goals. Nope, it must have been Putin that robbed her of Her Turn.

            1. Any argument about her popularity must contend with the fact that she was the more popular candidate.

              I know, I know, Californians aren’t real people.

              1. OK, I’ll give you that.

                Let’s instead go with “Tony still doesn’t understand the purpose of the electoral college and its role in protecting against mob rule — is instead convinced Putin robbed Her Hagness of Her Turn.”

                1. The Electoral College serves no useful function. It never has. We have ample evidence that it is, indeed, not only antidemocratic but positively harmful, as the times it has overturned the will of the people it gave us Bush and Trump, the worst and second-worst presidents in history, some might say.

                  1. One could argue whether or not the Electoral College is good or not. I happen to think it was a brilliant device to temper democracy (i.e. tyranny of the majority). You believe it is not good and is counter to the principles you believe in. All well and good. Men of good will often disagree.

                    But, them’s the rules of the game. It has been so since the Constitution was ratified. If you want it changed, by all means try to get like minded people together and press for a Constitutional Amendment. But, you can’t complain that it robbed someone of victory.

                    Analogy:
                    Dodgers vs. Yankees in World Series.
                    Dodgers score 35 runs, Yankees score 30.
                    Yankees win 4 games to 3.

                    The Yankees win the World Series. Because that is how the game is set up. Strategies are set according to those rules. Those rules haven’t changed. Everyone goes into the World Series knowing that.

                    Same is true for the Presidential Election.

                  2. “The Electoral College serves no useful function.”

                    Shut up and take the L bitch.


                  3. The Electoral College serves no useful function.

                    So, no, you don’t understand. You can’t possibly think pure democracy is a good thing, except that you’re such a moron it’s possible you don’t understand why two wolves and sheep shouldn’t vote on what to have for dinner.

                  4. That’s because our founders, and specifically Thomas Jefferson, feared not just the tyranny of a ruler…but that of the 51% of a pure democracy.

                  5. Of course it’s antidemocratic, you ignorant cousin-molesting hick. THAT’S THE POINT! The US is a *republic*, a *confederation* of states, and the executive branch is supposed to preside over those states equally.

                    Anyway, so Trump’s the second-worst president in history, huh? Please do articulate *exactly* what he’s done that’s worse than putting an entire race of people in prison camps? Or re-segregating the military and government? Murder-droning wedding parties and American citizens? Saying “I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for 200 years”?

                    Give specific examples of things Trump’s done as president that are worse than the ones I listed above.

                    1. No, Trump is the first worst president in history. I didn’t think we could top Bush, but there it is.

                      Thanks Electoral College. What a brilliant job you’ve done defying the will of the American people.

                    2. Man, that’s some convincing list of specific examples! I for one am convinced!!!

                    3. Well he is putting people in camps.

                      Most of your ilk don’t think of them as people, of course, which is similar to past, more rudimentary eras, though you should know better since you’re the one bitching about the practice.

                    4. 1) You’re equating incarcerating non-citizens who cross the *illegally* with putting US citizens in concentration camps for the crime of having Asian descent? That’s just…gobsmackingly stupid.

                      2) What’s even more gobsmackingly stupid is that you consider that some kind of problem unique with the current president. Where the hell were you when Omaba’s DHS was doing the exact same thing. In addition to being genuinely retarded, you’re also a hypocrite.

                    5. So yeah, it looks like Tony’s full justification for considering Trump the “worstest president evar” is that he’s doing something that every president before him also did.

                      As always, I’m humbled by your logic, Tony.

                    6. Bad when Obama did it. OK when Trump does it. Do you think that the refugees are less human than the Japanese? Even the children? Do you think they have better conditions even? Or do you even care so long as a guy with an (R) after his name gets points on the board?

                      Fucking psychos.

                    7. Bad when Obama did it. OK when Trump does it

                      So Trump’s the worst president ever for doing something Obama also did? How does that work?

                      Give it up Tony, you can’t defend irrationality.

                    8. I love watching Tony clumsily attempt to gain power by championing people he actually despises.

                    9. You have to love when the press went full retard pushing the pictures of kids in cages and blaming Trump only to discover that these pictures were actually taken in 2014 when Obama was president. The instant silence from the media on this subject was deafening. They are now bringing it back up in the hope that Americans have a short attention span and considering Tony is blaming Trump whilst totally forgetting that Obama actually put kids in cages is pathetic.
                      The truth is, that you cannot put children in adult prisons when they are brought across the border illegally and you also have to establish that the adult with the child is actually the child’s parent or guardian and is not just using a random.
                      If any of these people want to become an American citizen, the come across at a legal port of entry like every other legal immigrant did. If you are seeking asylum then your case will be looked into like every other asylum seeker.
                      Crossing the border illegally is breaking the Laws of America and you will not be rewarded with instant citizenship by doing so. Every illegal understands this and they know they are taking the risk of being caught and they also know the consequences. Anyone making the horrendous journey to get to America with their children know that they will be separated from their child if they are caught.

                    10. Good to know that Tony is now of the opinion that Obama was actually Hitler in blackface. Totes woke.

                    11. I look at what I wrote above, and realize it is like explaining quantum mechanics to my rat terrier. I really don’t know why I bother.

                    12. Meant to tell you that. All Tony really cares about is that he was denied something he wanted. The reasons are irrelevant.

                    13. By the way you creep, fuck you for calling me a racist.

                      You’re the one who’s come out time and again as a full-bore racist on the comment treads.

                    14. You’re the one who’s come out time and again as a full-bore racist on the comment treads.

                      I wouldn’t call him a racist. His persistent obsession with cousin-fucking is more telling.

                    15. He’s also a racist. Admittedly so in a recent thread.

                    16. I love watching Tony go full sour grapes.

                    17. Tony|2.20.19 @ 5:17PM|#
                      “No, Trump is the first worst president in history.”

                      Tough shit, you loser scumbag:
                      1) DeVos
                      2) Gorsuch
                      3) Kavanuagh
                      4) Ajit Pai, end net price fixing
                      5) Major reduction in the growth of regulations
                      6) Dow +30%
                      7) Unemployment at 3.8%
                      8) The US Manufacturing Index soared to a 33 year high
                      9) Got repeal of the national medical insurance mandate.
                      10) Withdrawal from Paris climate agreement.
                      11) Not sure about the tax reform; any “reform” that leaves me subisdizing Musk’s customers is not what I hoped for. Let Musk run a company for once.
                      12) In the waning days of 2017, the Trump administration pulled its support for the $13 billion Hudson Tunnel project.
                      13) More than 16,000 jobs have been cut from the federal leviathan
                      14) MIGHT have a deal to de-nuke NK.
                      And finally:
                      15) Still making lefties steppin and fetchin like their pants is on fire and their asses are catchin’

                    18. You mean the will of 1/4 of the American people.

                    19. Hey, Trump has murdered people with drones too, just like
                      Obama, Bush Jr, and whoemever succeeds him so that point is not valid. However, I admit, I hate Trump for being a shameless huckster. Still, that doesn’t change the math of the electoral college one little bit. Nor is it a reason to dispute the results,

                  6. “….as the times it has overturned the will of the people…”

                    Show me when the people all voted to ignore the Constitution.

                    Oh, never?

                    OK. Then STFU, whiny bitch.

                  7. The federal government is to coordinate action among the states not the people. Each state is sovereign. That’s why the EC.

                    1. The facts that you note in your first two sentences are almost indiscernible in how the federal and state governments operate today. Hence the common confusion about why the Electoral College functions as it does.

                  8. That’s what a Russian bot would say.

                  9. “The Electoral College serves no useful function. It never has.”

                    It kept Hillary Clinton out of the White House!

                    1. So if it put Hillary Clinton in the White House against the popular vote, you’d not like it very much, would you?

                  10. Considering we aren’t supposed to be a direct democracy, it seems that the electoral college works exactly as intended.

                    Of course you fucking idiots (and that includes the DNC) are throwing a temper tantrum because you don’t like the agreed upon rules.

                    Oh, and 1/4 of the country doesn’t speak for all of it.

                    1. Nobody defends the fucking slave-compromise abomination that is the electoral college. Nobody except you people because it helped Trump win. It’s ridiculous.

                    2. It wasn’t a slave compromise dipshit. That is a historical revisionist myth. The 2/3rds compromise was a slave compromise but at the time of the signing of the Constitution all states allowed to slavery. The 2/3rds compromise was the northern states, with lower slave populations trying to keep the south from counting slaves for the purpose of house seats. Slavery had nothing to do with the fact that the framers wanted to avoid allowing direct voting for president. In fact not until 1824 did voting even matter, since before that most states selected the EC representatives by the State legislatures not by the people’s votes.

                  11. “The Electoral College serves no useful function.”

                    But ‘super-delegates’ are a swell idea

                    1. I couldn’t give the slightest skinny shit about superdelagates, Bernie Bro.

                  12. “Some might say?”

                    Some might say Obama was the worst president in history, by far.

                  13. The senate also serves no useful function for the same reasons, I guess. Each state, no matter how big or small, gets the same number of senators.

              2. This is known.

    2. Hey dummy, this article is about a lying, fake-Indian moral scold. Take off the TDS glasses.

      1. What was Trump’s graduate thesis about?

        1. Is “yeah, but but TRUMP!” all you have? Want to instead comment on the article?

          Show us on the doll where the bad orange man touched you.

          1. It’s all he had during the Bush years, why think anything has changed?

          2. It’s somewhat likely that he will be the only alternative to Warren or whichever other Democrat is chosen, so he is relevant to the discussion.

            He is the president. I know it’s hard to believe, and none of us wish it were true, but it is.

            1. The evidence would appear to be that at least 40% of America does want Trump to be President.

              See, there you go again inserting your own opinion over the actual opinion of actual people who have already made their opinions quite clear.

              1. I don’t know what you’re trying to boast about. Has Trump acted like a good president? Are you willing to give him so much extra retard credit that the decades it will take to clean up his global embarrassment will not even be pinned on him? What is it with Republicans and the goddamn retard bonus points?

                1. Trump has done good things, and he has also done bad things by by own set of values. You might recall I defended Obama when I thought he did good things, as well, and even preferred him over Romney.

                  One thing I can say about Trump is that we know what we’re getting. With Obama, by the time we realized he was lying about everything it was already too late.

                  Your flailing hyperbole is endlessly pathetic though.

                  1. *Romney should read McCain, although Romney was shitty he was about even on shitty with Obama

                2. Has Trump acted like a good president?

                  He kept Hillary out of office and is making leftists commit federal felonies out of sheer rage, so he’s already done plenty to make me happy. Anything else is just a bonus.

                  1. Oh, they’re not reporting on all the Trump associates being convicted of felonies on FOX News, huh? Will you be in for a surprise, assuming they report on it when his own children go to prison.

        2. What was JFK’s? How about LBJ’s? Jimmy Carter’s?
          Bush jr. got an MBA from Harvard Business School.

          Warren is a fucking lawyer. Her Bachelor’s degree was in speech pathology and audiology. So what?
          Obama is a fucking lawyer. He got a poly sci degree.
          Hilary is a fucking lawyer. She got a poly sci degree.

          What is your point?

          1. That Trump is an idiot, and as evidence I present his every waking moment?

            1. Your side got beat by an idiot. What does that make you?

              1. Part of a minority of intelligent Americans?

                1. Intelligent? You keep it well hidden.

                2. Tony|2.20.19 @ 6:02PM|#
                  “Part of a minority of intelligent Americans?”

                  No, just one more fucking whiny lefty.

                3. Tony, those who have to tell others how intelligent they are are rarely truly gifted. You lack any sense of self awareness, and demonstrate no ability to understand nuance. You are a sycophant with rather mundane prose who relies on trope rather than original thought, who reverts to whataboutisms, ad hominems and other logical fallacies when your sophomoric arguments prove insufficient to persuade others. All to often you rely on arguments to authority (however, your referenced authorities are often suspect) and make unwarranted assumptions that you try to pass off as fact. You confuse fact and opinion. You rarely are able to be consistent in your arguments. You lack self reflection, but have an overabundance of ego and self assuredness. You’re vain and rather shallow. Your vocabulary is peurile at best. Really, you never offer any original ideas, but rehash talking points as nauseum. Please show how you indicate advanced intelligence, because it surely is lacking in your debate style.

                  1. That’s not what your mom said.

    3. If my only two choices are a big orange baboon and Elizabeth Warren, I’ll take the baboon any day of the week. The baboon is lots less likely to do permanent damage.

      1. You mean less likely to prove your dumbass worldview wrong.

        Try caring about the well-being of humans. I realize this is nigh impossible for the socially acceptable sociopaths commonly referred to as libertarians.


        1. Try caring about the well-being of humans.

          Says the person who has repeatedly and adamantly stated that they hate humanity. Are you talking to yourself with that comment?

          1. I was quoting Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood. Don’t be a cretin.

            The north star of my political worldview is maximizing human well-being. It’s also yours, whether you admit to it or not, and you should. The only question is whose ideas accomplish this best. It’s not yours.

            1. So you know who Daniel Day Lewis is, and yet are entirely unfamiliar with the work of John Locke. That tracks.

              1. Anyone whose political worldview isn’t about maximizing human well-being, however misguided their methods, is automatically an evil cunt. Even Ayn Rand thought she was doing the most good for the world. We are all utilitarians. Sorry to break it to you at this time of day.

                1. Tony|2.20.19 @ 5:19PM|#
                  “Anyone whose political worldview isn’t about maximizing human well-being, however misguided their methods, is automatically an evil cunt.”

                  Says the lefty thug willing to have people shot if they don’t do what he wants.
                  Yeah, the left is all about ‘maximizing human well-being’. At the end of a gun.
                  Fuck off, you tire piece of shit.

                2. Considering Trump is stepping away and withdrawing from world conflicts started by previous presidents, including Obama and is instrumental in ending the conflict on the Korean Peninsular, I would say he cares far more about humanity than any president in the last 50 years.
                  Obama got the peace prise for making a speech and then went on to destroy much of the M.E. and illegally invade Syria putting America in direct conflict with Russia. Obama was a dangerous asshole who continually apologised for America’s past actions whilst continuing to carry out the exact same actions he was apologising for.
                  Trumps policies have resulted in the lowest unemployment rate for decades. Americans are starting to receive pay rises for the first time in 10 years.
                  By every single metric, Trump’s presidency is a resounding success so far despite the continuous negative press by the leftist media.

            2. You go around quoting shitty caricatures from shitty movies? You must be a blast at parties.

              1. You mean the best movie ever made, of course.


            3. The north star of my political worldview is maximizing human well-being

              Question, is that the Western worlds definition of human well-being or, say, the Middle East or China’s opinion on what human well-being is? Since, you know, ‘human well-being’ isn’t some static concept written on stone tablets and is instead the individual opinions of about 8 billion separate units.

              1. Welcome to the biggest question in philosophy and politics. We’re all just doing our best.

                Except libertarians. You’re mostly trying to figure out how not to think too hard about anything.

                1. You’re even more retarded than Chapo trolls on Reddit.

            4. “The north star of my political worldview is maximizing human well-being.”

              That utilitarianism sucks. Who decides what is maximal well-being? Each person decides for him/herself, Maximize freedom and you maximize human well-being as seen by the persons you are considering, not by you

              1. You beat me to what I was going to say BigT. The irony is that Tony substitutes his opinion for the opinions of everyone else, then calls us authoritarians when we say that isn’t our idea of well being.

              2. And that’s what I’m talking about. You think maximizing human well-being means maximizing individual liberty. I’m not totally at odds with this, though I do think some degree of cooperation and resource-pooling actually increases individual liberty far more than a laissez-faire approach.

                The point is you’re still talking about a society-wide scheme that applies to all people, are you not?

                1. A society-wide scheme of leaving everyone the fuck alone. Don’t patronize people by assuming you know what’s good for them. You don’t.

                  1. But you seem to think you do. “Leave them all alone.”

                    Not that this means anything specific. You sure as fuck don’t want to leave people alone to trespass on your property, do you?

                    1. Trespass is leaving people alone? Who knew.

                      More gems from the village idiot.


                2. You think maximizing human well-being means maximizing individual liberty. I’m not totally at odds with this

                  No, really, you are.

                3. But the mistake you are making is assuming that a free market doesn’t have cooperation and resource-pooling. It absolutely does. There is cooperation at all levels. Between the buyer and seller, between shipping company and supplier, between manufacturer and sales, etc. But it isn’t done by fiat. Everybody gets to try their own way, and the ways that are generally better (i.e. more efficient) tend to rise to the top.

                  Seriously, the problem with a pure utilitarian view is how is human well-being measured? You are right when you say welcome to the biggest question in philosophy. Or at least, one of them anyway. But it isn’t fair to say libertarians don’t think about it. At some point, values have to come in to play. Otherwise, you don’t even know what to measure.

                  1. The problem with utilitarianism, especially pure utilitarianism, is that murder is a perfectly acceptable solution in a whole slew of situations making it morally reprehensible in so, so many ways. This is why virtually every dictator and authoritarian on the planet is, at heart, a utilitarian.

                    It’s a useful guide to examine the world, but as a single method of making decisions it is immensely flawed.

                    1. Absolutely. I could make a very compelling case that be euthanizing the bottom 10% of Americans (sickest, poorest, homeless, etc.) the net gain in “well being” for the country as a whole would increase. Why would this be wrong? How can ANYTHING be “wrong” if it works!

                    2. Exactly that Bear. In fact, I often suspect that was the actual plan of the Mao’s and Stalin’s of the world. In a utilitarian world, even Hitler might have been right.

                      It’s a foil, not a real ethos.

              3. Thanks for pointing that out.

                What maximizes my well being might be very different than what maximizes somebody else’s.

                I don’t want you, or the person down the street, and certainly not Tony, and least of all some idiots in Washington deciding for me, based on their own ideas about their well being.

                Different people need different things for happiness. Let people choose for themselves.

                1. Except thieves and murderers. The Authority gets to tell them not to do what makes them happy.

                  Oh well, here’s some taxes to pay for the apparatus of courts and policing that keeps those people off my lawn.

                  But that’s where I draw the line! Oh except I do need protection from other people defrauding me… and intellectual property protection… and limited liability… and, hey why not, a reliably clean water supply! But that’s it! Also the armed forces.

                  1. Do you think you just made a point? The reason that thieves and murderers can’t do what makes them happy as you stated (a poor attempt at snark BTW) is because they can only achieve that happiness by depriving others of happiness. This is the basis of libertarian thought, the NAP. Which I am sure you are well aware of but purposely chose to ignore in a sad attempt, even for you, at a poorly constructed straw man argument.

                    1. Nice response to Tony, but I’m afraid he won’t understand. It appears he’s convinced that libertarians are simply Republicans who smoke pot.

                    2. Google “why the NAP is crap” and become educated.

        2. “Try caring about the well-being of humans”

          Okay, Tony.

          Why care about the well being of humans?
          Why do you? What do you like about them? What makes you care about them?
          How can you convince us to care about them?
          Can you demonstrate how you care about them?

          It would be helpful, perhaps convincing, if you would tell us why and how you care for humans.

          1. Because I want to reap the benefits of a society that cares for the well-being of humans, what with being a human. I want my family to as well, so I don’t have to bankrupt myself taking care of them all in old age. I can make this as selfish as you like until it fits into your ethos.

            1. The family thing makes sense, but your reasoning seems to contradict support for an extensive welfare state.

              But I’m confused as to what you mean by:
              “Because I want to reap the benefits of a society that cares for the well-being of humans, what with being a human.”

              What are those benefits?
              Is there no difference between society and state?
              Do you expect, or wish, for society to concern itself with your well-being?
              Why?
              And what does that mean?

              1. People must pool efforts and resources to merely survive, let alone multiply their individual levels of well-being and happiness. Nothing more complicated than that. Rugged individualism is the fantasy. And libertarians do their share of asking other people to do things for them, and they understand pooling resources to achieve social ends perfectly well. They simply suggest a different mix of the public and private sectors than other political persuasions.

                1. What you refer to as pooling efforts is not voluntary but forced pooling. That equates to providing for some by stealing from everyone else. This does not enhance well-being, in fact if taken to it’s inevitable conclusion it tends to create a permanent caste system of givers and takers. This leads to resentment, which often results in bigotry and violence. Hardly well being. Any pooling of resources which is not completely voluntary results in the loss of well being of one or more people to enhance the well being of others. This is inevitable but should be minimized to the greatest extent possible. Define well being and what resources should be taken from every one to achieve it? Your definition will undoubtedly be far different than a lot of people. And even your solutions to achieve that level of well being are different. However, you feel that you have the right to force us to give up some of our own resources, involuntarily, to fit your definition of well being, using your methods, even though we disagree with both. How does that enhance us and our fellow compatriots well being? Or do we just found sand?

            2. I too prefer to be in a society that cares about humanity. I just question the wisdom, ethics, and efficacy of forced charity. I think forced charity also undermines people’s willingness to help their neighbor in need. For most, that get’s seen as the job of officials, to whom you’ve already handed over a big chunk of your earnings.

              Plus, viewed from a cost/benefit perspective, I question whether government is the best provider of care for anyone. Government programs are enormously wasteful, one-size-fits all, take-what-we’re-offering?’cause-FYTW, self-perpetuating monstrosities.

    4. Baboons aren’t orange. You’re thinking an Orangutan.

  3. How. Paleface Liz is heapum liar and phony.

    1. Now, now – can’t you settle your differences with her over a glass of firewater?

      1. Smoke em peace pipe. Liawatha hitting pipe hard me thinks.

  4. “”Elizabeth Warren Is a Fake Wonk”‘

    Which tribe is that?

    1. The Massachusett People?

    2. Fwonkhicans

  5. “Just yesterday, for example, Warren released a proposal calling for a vast new program to federally fund child care. The program would make childcare free for families earning up to about $50,000 a year and would subsidize care for families earning more.”

    We already have a program like that. It’s called “public schools”. Since we’re paying through the nose for people’s children already, shouldn’t we discourage people who can’t afford them rather than create yet another moral hazard?

    Instead of taxing people who aren’t having more children to pay for those who do, maybe we should be taxing the people who are having the children. So, the hospital told us you had a child today? Congratulations! Make sure you account for the penalty on your tax forms, or the IRS is comin’ after ya.

    The ideal would be to just charge parents tuition for things like school, but I don’t see why siccing the tax authorities on people who have children they can’t pay for is fundamentally worse than siccing the tax authorities on people who don’t have children.

    1. But the government needs new hosts or its various social programs will all die.

      Also, public school doesn’t take care of the under 5 crowd, and damnit, everyone should pay for my “3rd child status symbol”.

  6. “I call this one the Shawnee Shocker.”

    1. +1

    2. Comment of the month.

  7. so she wants child care to force people to go to work so that their taxes can pay for more child care. the only reason people need child care now is because it often takes two incomes to survive now. lower taxes and one family member can stay home with their kids and save the state a ton of money in required child care. The self feeding monster of government would not allow such a thing to happen.

    1. Inflation has also contributed to mothers going to work. When I was growing up almost all moms stayed home. Large families on one paycheck. End the Fed.

  8. She got her dna results correct though, you have to admit that.

  9. Be fair Peter. Warren had herself DNA tested, and she is 1/25,000ths policy wonk! Isn’t that good enough for you?

  10. “Ms. Warren’s passion for policy minutiae has become her way of standing out in an increasingly crowded Democratic field.” At the moment, this is the central message of her campaign: She cares about the details, and she will get them right.

    Well, she could start by getting right the detail that passion =/= correctness.

  11. So she’s no worse then “wonky” Paul Ryan, who y’all loved.

    1. Who is this “y’all” person?

    2. Notably, Paul Ryan turned our to also be a massive liar. Good comparison!

      1. Paul Ryan sucks

    3. Who is this Paul Ryan you speak of?

  12. I hope she does run as a wonk. My perception has long been that politicians are generally punished the more detail they give on any policies they propose, and generally rewarded for making vague claims to provide magical benefits to voters. As long as the magical benefits sound reasonably plausible to your average moronic voter.

    1. “she is also prone to relying on dubious, and arguably dishonest, methodology in order to support the progressive policies she favors.” As ECU says, we should welcome this. Far easier to dismiss and destroy than the mindless feel good pap and sloganeering that most of the other candidates indulge in.

    2. As I recall, Al Gore considered himself a colossal policy wonk. We all know how that worked out. Maybe Warren can go join him on the Good Ship Lollipop.

  13. How is she different from Paul Krugman?

    1. A second X chromosome?

      Of course, Krugs could be XXY.

    2. Paul Krugman at least did something noteworthy in his life before becoming a complete partisan hack?

      1. Dubious but I’ll allow it.

    3. How is she different from Paul Krugman?

      She has more balls and less pussy.

  14. “…estimates from UC Berkeley economists that the tax would raise $2.75 trillion…”

    There’s no way corporations miss that money. There can’t possibly be any negative consequences from taking that capital out of private investment and using it for government pet projects that will assuredly be over budget.

  15. Warren has to be one of the most unlikable characters in the Democratic party. Even Bernie has more charisma.

  16. Warren may be a wonk but her policies will drive down profits, taxes and jobs. She may raise taxes on the wealthy but after all the other wonkey policies will lower then number of the super rich that she can tax which will lower the taxes collected so the taxes will not cover all these entitlements she will be pushing so the taxes will have to go up on the not so rich. The the preceding sentence will be repeated but the taxes will have to go higher and the income that will be taxes will be lower. Son there will be no income because those who create wealth have moved to a country with lower taxes and taken their wealth and jobs with them. Now there will be more collecting these entitlements and fewer taxpayers to pay for them. Then Welcome Venezuela right here in the US.

    1. “…Then Welcome Venezuela right here in the US.”

      And the supposedly “educated” Faucahantus is incapable of reading the morning news to understand what her desires produce. And is further hoping those who vote also are ignorant of, or will willfully ignore the result.
      Investing includes the risk of markets distorted by those hoping to gain from the ‘greater fool’ theory, but the actors in the market are not driven at gun point. Warren hopes to make the ‘greater fool’ theory a national policy; paid for by your and my taxes.

      1. But it’ll be different this time. Because we are super serious this time.

  17. I am earn with Google, Im making over $2000 a month operating low maintenance. I kept listening to extraordinary humans find to me how an awful lot money they can make on-line so I tested it. everything thought of it as, became all considerable and has definitely changed my lifestyles. For more records go to below site… http://www.Mesalary.com

  18. Policy wonks cannot be politicians. That’s just the state of politics in the USA. The media hates nuance and would rather report on gimmicky one-liners that can fit into a headline. If Warren presented a workable plan for childcare the right would cherry pick everything that “looks” bad, blow it up and parade it down FOX avenue with fireworks. So Dems like Warren think they have to out-optic the right and this is the mess we get. It’s also why we got the horrible ACA structure. We didn’t need a convoluted law that made things messier and left all kinds of loopholes for graft, but because the politicians let optics and vote-getting dictate their policy that’s what we got. Warren is no different. Note that it does not make her any worse than any other politician in the land. I still think she lives up to her wonky image more than most politicians but I appreciate Reason pointing out her limitations.

  19. Which tribe is “Wonky”?

  20. I love Reason, but why do they call it fakery? It is flat out LYING and Warren knows it, just as she knew she had no substantial Indian background. How many times do these libs need to be caught lying red-handed before we just stop listening? For me, it is right now. Lizzie, youse a LIAR!!!!

  21. “she is probably more familiar with the mechanics of economic policy that many of her 2020 rivals”
    This is essentially a way of saying that the Democrat 2020 slate knows practically nill.
    If we could count on the press actually doing their job, her “policy minutiae” would provide hours of hilarious entertainment. As it is, that will be mixed with the frustration seeing her drivel quoted without scrutiny.

  22. Compared to Trump she’s a policy genius.

  23. Making shit up is a proven strategy for becoming President. I don’t see the point of this article.

    1. It’s a proven strategy for getting elected to any public office. But I agree, there’s no real point to this article other than that Ms 1/2,400 is your typical lying pol….

  24. “All too often” – when has she ever been correct?

  25. So in other words, she’s the typical lying, mendacious politician who will say and do just about anything if it will get her elected. Noted…

    1. She PRETENDED TO BE SOMETHING SHE’S NOT.

      Anyone who would do such a thing wouldn’t think twice about lying to push an agenda.

      She’s another sociopath. As if she drinks beer. I thought Natives can’t handle alcohol too well.

  26. She’s wonky alright.

  27. It doesn’t really matter anyway. The left-wing Democrats don’t care about policy wonks, much less the details involved in making any given policy work. Remember AOC? “I’m talking about what we need and all you want to talk about is whether we can afford it” (or words to that effect). The left is about passion bordering on hysteria, not rational thought. So I suppose the good news is that Warren has essentially deleted herself as a viable candidate for 2020.

  28. If you dislike President Trump, and want someone like Warren to pull the Democrats further to the left, or god forbid win, you’re nuts. If you like Trump, and think this is great, I got to warn you. Plenty of Democrats loved it when Trump won the Republican Party nomination, because they said there is not way this crazy dude could ever win the Presidency, so you too are also nuts. Warren may not even be the most left nor dishonest candidate. I admit I don’t like Trump, but when I see what the Democrats are pulling together for 2020 I want to scream. So, here goes, McAfee or Governer Johnson 2020, all the way!

  29. Don’t get drawn into her “who has the bigger wonk” battle; you don’t even need a wonk at all to wonder why people without children should be paying for the consequences of other people getting their rocks (or whatever) off.

  30. So, Warren’s Wonkery is…wonky? 😉

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