FIRST ON FOX: Deputy Chairman of of the Ministry of Finance The recently announced Racial Equality Committee wants to defund the police and put racial justice at the center of all government policy.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced Tuesday the formation of a 25-member committee called the Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity, which will identify, monitor and review aspects of the domestic economy “that have directly and indirectly resulted in disadvantages for communities of color,” according to a press release.
In the latest iteration of the Biden administration’s inclusion of critics of capitalism in federal governance, Felicia Wong, the president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, was announced to serve as vice chair of the nascent Racial Equality Committee.
Wong is a former leader of the Democracy Alliance, a network of liberal megadonors founded in part by billionaire George Soros. Since 2012, she has led the Roosevelt Institute, a liberal think tank that seeks to abolish for-profit prisons, restore capitalism, and put racial justice at the center of all government policy.
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Last year, the Roosevelt Institute published a report co-authored by Wong titled “A New Paradigm for Justice and Democracy,” which argued that “all policies, from vaccine distribution to higher education funding to tax reform, will have racialized effects. That recognizing this reality and always considering race in policy design is therefore essential.”
Wong and the authors wrote that a “skills-based, opportunity-focused liberalism” is outdated and ignores systemic racism, and that “our mainstream politics has yet to recognize, prioritize, and centralize the accountability, racial equality, and self-determination that a multiracial democracy would require.”
The report praised the idea of redistribution of wealth in the name of racial justice, arguing that “equality” means equal outcomes, not equal opportunity.
“True justice means fairness in outcome and not accepting the promise of ‘opportunity’ within a system that continues to systematically exclude,” Wong wrote. “It requires a redistribution of resources – especially when wealth for the few has been extracted from the many – and a redistribution of decision-making power.”
The same report, which Wong co-authored, also called for eliminating the filibuster, which requires 60 votes in the Senate to pass major legislation, calling it a tool of white supremacy.
“In this environment, a focus on democracy and racial justice means that filibuster reform or elimination must be on the table,” it read. “The filibuster has been used disproportionately throughout history by segregationists and other white supremacists to slow or stop laws intended to promote racial equality. Today, it continues to slow progress on key democracy priorities: protecting voting rights; ending partisan gerrymandering; limiting the influence of corporate money and lobbying in our rulemaking process; and creating stronger ethics laws for federal officials.”
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“These all have racial justice implications, since the current system prioritizes a lobbying and corporate interest-driven system dominated by those who are wealthy and white and whose interest is in maintaining the status quo,” it continued.
Another report authored by Wong in 2020 on “new progressivism” criticized the concept of “neoliberalism”, which she defined as “a free-market capitalist ideology” that has evolved into “tax cuts for the rich and deregulation of the most powerful and pervasive industries.”
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In 2016, years before the “Defund the Police” movement rose to national prominence, Wong co-authored a report arguing that “police budgets should be cut and for-profit prison systems should be abolished.”
“An important lever for reform is to remove the money that fuels a corrupt justice system,” the report said. “[W]e must make a concerted effort to reduce our prison population, at least in part by decriminalizing drugs and also by bringing America’s sentencing practices more in line with those of other nations.”
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The report also argued that there is a need for “more direct redistribution in the form of investments in asset-poor communities and transfers to asset-poor individuals,” and it argued for a “constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote for all and implementing a fully national system of universal voter registration that should no longer be left to the states.”
Wong and the other authors also called for a “significant shift in the current state of constitutional jurisprudence on issues of racial inequality, discrimination, and affirmative action” in relation to the Equal Protection Clause.
“[C]current Supreme Court practice poses a problem because it is predominantly focused on racial neutrality,” the report states. “Thus, current constitutional doctrine precludes the kinds of racially targeted policies that this report has suggested are essential to eliminating structural racial inequalities. .”
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Yellen announced the formation of the Treasury Department’s Advisory Committee on Racial Equality, which will have 25 members from various colleges and universities, advocacy groups and the business community.
When reached for comment, the Roosevelt Institute pointed Fox News Digital to Wong’s statement in the Treasury Department’s press release Tuesday, in which she said, “Any effort to address inequality in the United States must take into account the legacy of racial exclusion built into our economy.”
Several Republican lawmakers reacted to the news that the Treasury Department has created its committee on racial equity.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., criticized President Biden for prioritizing the “awakening” of the federal government over the needs of Americans in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Joe Biden has overseen historic inflation, historic gas prices and historic supply shortages,” Hawley said. “But as working Americans struggle to afford basic necessities, Joe Biden’s top priority isn’t bringing down prices, it’s waking up the federal government.”
“It’s time for this administration to stop pandering to their leftist base and start working to get this country back on track,” the Missouri senator continued.
Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., a member of the House Select Committee on the Economy, told Fox News Digital that if “Biden was serious about helping people who are struggling in today’s economy, he would stop inflation by stopping reckless spending and letting American energy unleashed.”
“Too many Americans are suffering under one-party Democratic control that is destroying our economy,” Steil continued.
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Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., who also sits on the committee with Steil, told Fox News Digital that “Treasury’s news is not surprising — division is the preferred strategy of the Biden administration.”
“The Department of Defense did that with its diversity, equity and inclusion team and appointed a senior official with troubling and divisive rhetoric to its top post,” Cammack said. “The Department of Homeland Security did it with the Disinformation Governance Board and had a wannabe TikTok ‘influencer’ as its head.”
“It’s pretty simple: America First policies will benefit every American, no matter what box they check,” she continued. “We don’t need government bureaucrats wasting American taxpayer dollars on vigilante initiatives and virtue signaling that everything boils down to identity politics. The American people deserve better.”
That The Ministry of Finance’s new committee will “provide advice and recommendations to Secretary Yellen and Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo on efforts to advance racial equity in the economy and address acute inequities for communities of color,” according to the news release.
“A critical part of executing our racial goals is bringing a broad set of outside perspectives and lived experiences to the decision-making table,” Yellen said in a statement.
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“The Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity, made up of members with broad backgrounds and expertise, will provide important insight and advice to management across the department to strengthen and inform our equity efforts,” she continued.
Also on the 25-person committee is Lorella Praeli, co-chair of Community Change Action, which called for defunding the police last year.
The Treasury Department did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
“Equity” has been a popular buzzword for the Biden administration, which has drawn mixed views from Americans.
Vice President Kamala Harris turned heads this week after she said the administration would take racial “equality” into account while distributing Hurricane Ian relief.
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Saying the administration will take “equity” into account for natural disaster relief, the vice president has said she and her boss will weigh who gets relief faster based on the color of a person’s skin.
When asked about the plan by Fox News Digital, Harris silently walked away.
The Roosevelt Institute made headlines in July after Fox News Digital reported that Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was paid over $700,000 as executive director of the institute’s Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP).