Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) could be helpful as well as harmful to the manufactured housing industry on several levels. The same could be true of the new darling of the political left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D). Before diving into specifics on both further below, let’s begin with statements from Warren’s 2020 Democratic presidential nominee campaign.
Senator Warren has said that she decided to eschew big donors and PACs.
The following are pull-quotes from Warren campaign messages to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.
“It’s been estimated that up to 70% of a congressional candidate’s time is spent with potential wealthy donors – trying to get them to give, or as a reward for doing so. It’s safe to assume that goes for presidential campaigns too, and presidential donors are disproportionately white, male, and wealthy. Look at the 2016 election: The electorate was more diverse than ever, and yet 91% of donors were white. Only three percent of Americans were millionaires, but 17% of donors were. The wealthy and well-connected have been taught by politicians to expect that more money buys more access – they’ve done it for generations, and it too often closes out women and communities of color. We have to do things differently.”
Warren continues, “That means no fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write the big checks. And when I thank the people giving to my campaign, it will not be based on the size of their donation. It means that wealthy donors won’t be able to purchase better seats or one-on-one time with me at our events. And it means I won’t be doing “call time,” which is when candidates take hours to call wealthy donors to ask for their support.” Note to new or first-time readers, pull quotes are often turned bold and brown by MHProNews to make them ‘pop’ but the text is otherwise as sent.
We won’t fact check those claims above at this time, other than to note that other sources say similarly.
As a reminder, MHProNews stated that in 2020, at some point we plan to endorse a candidate with each major party plus among independent(s) candidates. Thus, from each of those three candidate pools MHProNews believes – based on the facts, claims, and evidence – we’ll spotlight the ones that appear to be superior to their contenders. Once we get into the general election, we’ll plan to endorse the candidate that MHProNews believes is best for the industry, our current and prospective homeowners, as well as the nation at large. In our view, that plan is going to make for the most robust debate and bring the most clarity to issues that matter to manufactured housing professionals.
That said, before proceeding, let’s be clear. Quoting Senator Elizabeth Warren doesn’t mean that we editorially agree with all that she says, or even that we necessarily agree with what is quoted. A quote is what it is, something she and/or her campaign said on her behalf.
For example, Senator Warren said in a statement that she made a strategic decision not to be on Fox News, as several other Democratic candidates have and are doing.
Here’s how Warren’s team says the Massachusetts Democrat and prior Harvard Law professor said it. “Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists. I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune in to an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates.” What balderdash that is aimed at pleasing her base. First, Fox has a split between Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and other political perspectives. Second, some of the Fox anchors and commentators are well known to be Democrats. Is she calling a fellow Democrat a racist? Third, is Fox more conservative than several other networks? Absolutely. Does being conservative make someone racist? Hardly. So that was political hyperbole, not worthy of her or anyone else to spew or claim.
We’ll look at Senator Warren’s fundraising points in a uniquely Constitutional way, further below.
But next, let’s turn to a similar point that freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY-D) pointed out in a truly interesting video clip that follows.
A Point that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) and Warren See Similarly
When a new Congress gets sworn into office, they must immediately begin their plans for reelection. Safer to say that after the voting outcome is known, and prior to being sworn into office, their preparations include their plans for reelection. That’s goes to the core of Warren’s statements on fund raising and being beholden to special interests, which the senator has made on other occasions.
With that in mind, AOC had the following exchange during a congressional hearing. Whatever one’s politics, it is frankly an issue of importance.
Tipping the hat in her direction on that exchange, one ought to ask, what’s the solution to what is tantamount to the selling of votes?
Sweep a lot of stuff aside from your mind for the next few moments. Because this will be different than most Americans have been led to think.
Our tax, regulation, and legislative system have been increasingly adrift for at least a century. How so and why? In a phrase, because America’s political leaders allowed themselves to steadily move further away from a strict reading of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
Step back to Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution, which establishes a separation of powers and puts the legislative power in the hands of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. A key basis for Americanism is that the founders wanted to avoid a concentration of power. Three ‘co-equal’ branches of government – the legislative, executive branch, and the judiciary – were supposed to be a safeguard against that threat.
Further limiting federal power was to enumerate what the federal government could, and could not, do. As the 10th Amendment – part of the Bill of Rights that were needed in order to get passage of the Constitution – phrases that limitation of federal power: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That 10th Amendment is brief and to the point. If a power is not specifically given to the federal government – “the United States” by the constitution are reserved to the individual states or to “We, the People.”
What that means is that the central U.S. government – at least in the minds of the framers – was designed to do was keep the federal government from overstepping, including what they could legislate, tax and spend on.
Put that notion to random people on the street and few would be aware of it. Perhaps understandably so, because it is effectively ignored. But if you read what Article 1 Section 8 specifies, it is hard to escape the conclusion that much of what Congress does is strictly speaking unconstitutional.
What that means is that the valid concern raised by AOC could be solved by limiting the Congress – and the federal government – to its strict constitutional limits.
The two sides of the coin on this congressional authority topic are presented in this next video, immediately below. The presenter seems to favor ‘the elastic clause’ in a broad way. He is intellectually honest enough to admit that a strict reading of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment would mitigate against that posture. But as noted, why have a constitutional limits at all, why have a 10th Amendment, if Congress can do whatever it wants, so long as the president and the courts go along with it? It was precisely that sort of overreach that the founders sought to avoid.
On the YouTube page of the following video, citing the Federalist papers, Joshua222md wrote:
“As Madison stated in Federalist No. 45:
· Powers delegated to the Federal government are few and defined
· Powers remaining in the State governments are numerous and indefinite
Too many in representatives (and citizens) do not understand the authority granted unto congress; this authority is defined in the Constitution with the 18 enumerated powers (Article 1 Section 8).
Really starting at the beginning of the 1900s legislators, presidents, bureaucrats, and justices have bastardized the meaning, intent, and interpretation of these powers and our founding documents in general.
Until this is stopped and reversed, we will continue to put band-aids on mortal wounds. Some of the major violations to the pure constitution are around 3 clauses:
1.General Welfare clause
2.Necessary and Proper clause
3.Commerce clause Another large departure from original intent of the constitution is when the 14th Amendment was reinterpreted to apply the Bill of Rights (1st 10 Amendments) to the states.
This was never the intent of the founders. The entire purpose of the Constitution was to define the purpose and limitations of the general (i.e. federal) government.” The video is dated and won’t fit the style many want. But ‘Joshua’ raised the correct point. If the Constitution meant to convey unlimited power on Congress, it would never have been enacted. The point of the 10th Amendment, was to dot the i on the point that the enumerated powers were it. Any other reading, wittingly or not, is an unconstitutional power grab.
Having set the table, and noting that spelling on ‘defense’ has changed since then, here is how USConstitution.net quotes Article 1, Section 8:
U.S. Constitution – Article 1 Section 8
Article 1 – The Legislative Branch
Section 8 – Powers of Congress
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
— end of Article 1, Section 8 text —
Note that for over a century the nation more or less held to those constitutional limits. During that time, the national debt remained very low.
It was after the ‘passage’ of the income tax, the federal reserve act, and after the Supreme Court Rules on a broader understanding of the ‘promote the general welfare clause’ was used to grow government – and the federal overreach grew dramatically. The solution to the issue that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) raised is to return to the limited powers of the federal government. That’s not what AOC believes, but that is what history and logic point toward. To accomplish that will take an educational effort, because ‘term limits’ and other purported ‘cures’ – however well intended – are just a dodge. Return to the constitutional limits on what Congress can and can’t do and the opportunities for political corruption will be rapidly cut down to size.
Those who claim that government is the solution happen to be the same that often paradoxically claim that the system is broken. Senator Warren, in an address last year, floated an anti-corruption act. However well intended Warren’s measure may be, it can’t fix the system, unless it gets to the root cause. Federal spending, in large measure, ends up flowing to special interests which means specific companies and organizations. That could be remedied by simply returning to the proper understanding of Article 1, Section 8. While that arguably would have to be phased in to limit disruption, is it even possible to imagine? The short answer is yes. ‘Joshua’ above was one of millions who in the wake of the Obama revolution in government said no further, joining or forming ‘tea party’ groups. The phrase “TEA” meant ‘taxed enough already’ to many of their members.
By contrast, what AOC and Warren are advocating is more government intrusion. Thus the need to re-learn and re-apply the proper constitutional limits of the federal government.
The Coming Impact of Pending Legislative Plans on the Manufactured Housing Industry
That said, let’s pivot to positions that AOC and Senator Warren are taking that could significant impact manufactured housing.
AOC has taken to social media and news outlets to promote her position that affordable housing is a right that precedes the right to earn a profit. Who does the freshman congresswoman think will build housing if there is no financial reward for doing so? One must keep in mind that federal housing programs are the ones that have delivered what she complains about. Per Common Dreams, AOC said: “Because when we talk about what housing as a right means, it doesn’t mean that you have a right to four crumbling walls and dirty floor,” she said. “What it means is that we all have a right to dignified housing, good heat, responsible structures, low noise, clean air, and clean water—that’s at an affordable price.”
“We do not have to be price gauged to live in a building with cockroaches and dirty air and that endanger our kids with lead in the paint. Another world is possible,” AOC said. “We have been conditioned [to believe] that basic rights are a luxury and a privilege when they are not.”
What she described is federally subsidized housing. This is the sad irony, the politicos who want to fix housing want to double down on the very policies that have already been proven failures for decades.
One must keep in mind that she made that statement to an audience that reportedly included manufactured home community residents, “The town hall was hosted by Housing Justice for All, a campaign led by the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, a coalition of tenants, homeless people, manufactured housing residents, and advocates in New York.”
AOC points to her Green New Deal, which was previously reviewed at the link here.
Positions Warren Has Taken That Could Impact the Manufactured Home and Affordable Housing Industry
Warren has floated a plan to “A sweeping housing bill that seeks to build more than 3 million new homes in 10 years and bring down rents by 10% was introduced today by Sen. Elizabeth Warren,” said HousingFinance. Senator Warren’s officer said, “This bill will fight housing discrimination and invest in affordable housing…”
Bills like that routinely are harmful to the interests of the manufactured home industry. As independent manufactured home community owner/operator Marge Clark said earlier this year, subsidized housing is a director competitor to manufactured homes.
But as the review of Article 1, Section 8 above outlined, Warren’s bill – or AOC’s Green New Deal – do not comport with the enumerated powers of the federal government.
A review of ‘Great Society’ poverty and housing programs by the Heritage Foundation revealed that the total amount of U.S. government spent is roughly equal to the national debt, and has made very little measurable impact on poverty.
What does comport with federal power is federal antitrust law or investigations that could serve to break the back of the forces that subtly are holding manufactured housing at historically low levels of results.
To learn more about those issues, see the topics linked above, below, and in the related reports that follow the byline and notices.
The bottom line is that manufactured housing could continue to be swept along by forces beyond its control. Learning and sharing constitutional limits on federal power could be a useful part of the solution. That’s a wrap on this installment of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.
(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.
2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.
“We as a Nation Can Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis,” Says Secretary Ben Carson, Spotlighting Manufactured Homes, Other Emerging Housing Technologies – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
” Let’s make sure people understand what’s available,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson about affordable housing, as he spotlighted manufactured homes as a key part of the Innovations in Housing display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. ” You can get one of these manufactured houses, for instance, for 30 percent less, and they are very, very resilient.
MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Washington, D.C., May 15, 2019 – With manufactured housing producers, retailers and communities offering their best homes (and related consumer protection) ever, and in light of the failure of the ostensible representation of the industry’s post-production sector to fully and effectively advance the marketing, consumer financing and, most importantly, the full acceptance of federally-regulated manufactured housing as the nation’s premiere source of non-subsidized affordable housing and homeownership, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has launched a new project and initiative to fight selected, especially egregious instances of discriminatory and exclusionary zoning targeting manufactured housing and manufactured housing consumers.