WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama told banks Thursday they should pay a new tax to recoup the cost of bailing out foundering firms at the height of the financial crisis. "We want our money back," he said.
All American taxpayers, myself included, wants "our money back," as the President so eloquently put it. Go get 'em champ...protect the taxpayers. Though, you must admit it sounds somewhat absurd coming from a guy that hands out billions of dollars at a time. And yet - at this point, anyway - I still don't disagree.
Obama then branded the latest round of bank bonuses as "obscene." and said his goal is to prevent such excesses in the future, not to punish banks for past behavior.
Here is where I have a problem. Obama's comments from the preceding paragraph are frightening. All Americans should listen carefully, let it sink in, and then vote against every democrat for the rest of their lives.
These are the very same policies that made the former USSR such a shining example of success throughout the last century. In one paragraph Obama says (1) that profit is evil; (2) it is his goal to prevent profit in the future; and (3) that he is best suited to decide how privately owned companies should spend their money.
He further adds that he will tax you and seize your money at gunpoint in order to centrally plan and redistribute your money the way he best sees fit. The Class Warfare Obama incites when it suits him is inherently evil. But, then again, so is the race baiting at which he is so adept.
The tax, which would require congressional approval, would last at least 10 years and generate about $90 billion over the decade, according to administration estimates. "If these companies are in good enough shape to afford massive bonuses, they are surely in good enough shape to afford paying back every penny to taxpayers," Obama said. So he has singled out private companies to whom he has decided to apply punitive taxation.
Advisers believe the administration can make an argument that banks should tap their bonus pools for the fee instead of passing the cost on to consumers. So, to be perfectly clear, Obama wants to confiscate the money which belongs to - let's say - Goldman Sachs, and distribute it differently than the way Goldman itself wants to spend it.
The president's tone was emphatic and populist, capitalizing on public antipathy toward Wall Street. With the sharp words, he also tried to deflect some of the growing skepticism aimed at his own economic policies as unemployment stubbornly hovers around 10 percent.
The proposed 0.15 percent tax on the liabilities of large financial institutions would apply only to those companies with assets of more than $50 billion. There are approximately 50 such companies. Administration officials estimate that 60 percent of the revenue would come from the 10 biggest ones. They would have to pay up even though many did not accept any taxpayer assistance and most of those that did have repaid the loans.
"We are already hearing a hue and cry from Wall Street, suggesting that this proposed fee is not only unwelcome but unfair, that by some twisted logic, it is more appropriate for the American people to bear the cost of the bailout rather than the industry that benefited from it, even though these executives are out there giving themselves huge bonuses," Obama said. In that Obama is applying this tax to institutions that never took TARP money or who have repaid it, he is lying. No one has said these banks should slip the obligation in favor of letting the taxpayers foot the bill; except him. He is lying.
This confiscatory and punitive tax also applies to companies that never took a dime of TARP money and to companies that accepted TARP money, but have paid it all back. So all of the President's rhetoric is just that: rhetoric. He is lying. The real truth is, he needs the money to continue funneling money to labor unions, special interests and those voting blocks that consistently vote democratic. In other words, he is doing exactly what Harry Reid did with Ben Nelson; he is buying votes.
"Politics have overtaken the economics," said Scott Talbott, the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, a group representing large Wall Street institutions. "This is a punitive tax on companies that repaid TARP in full or never took TARP." Even before details came out, Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said: "Using tax policy to punish people is a bad idea."
Not surprisingly, in Congress, Democrats embraced Obama's proposal while Republicans rejected it. The Democrats in Congress are still sufficiently distant from the mid-term elections that they fear Obama, Reid and Pelosi more than they do the voters in their home districts. This will change when they all realize that the Tea Party - a political party that didn't even exist a year ago - has the support and momentum necessary to oust the Majority Leader from office in his final re-election bid.
"I think it is entirely reasonable to say that the industry that, A, caused these problems more than any other and, B, benefited from the activity, should be contributing," said Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. It is only in Massachusetts that an idiot like Barney Frank can re-elected, time and again.
At what point do you people stop believing in his Yes We Can chants and realize that Obama's policies - his core philosophies - are un-American and critically harmful? I just hope the voters of Massachusetts do the right thing at the polls next week. But, mark my words, if by some never before seen miracle happens and a Republican is elected Senator in Massachusetts, the democrats will challenge the results or find some other reason not to seat Senator Scott Brown.