In his weekly address President Obama presented a speech worthy of this year’s Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. How else could he get on his bully-pulpit and make stone-faced attacks against those Wall Street scoundrels who repaid their loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) with interest? Especially the banks forced to accept the loans in an attempt to hide the identity of the banking and mortgage companies whose balance sheets triggered the crisis.
Under the disguise of “populism” the President announced plans to tax big banks up to $117 billion over the next ten years as punishment for their role in the financial crisis. With the exception of Citigroup, the banks identified have repaid their TARP money with interest. The President stated,
“Those who oppose this fee have also had the audacity to suggest that it is somehow unfair, that because these firms have already returned what they borrowed directly, their obligation is fulfilled.
But this willfully ignores the fact that the entire industry benefited not only from the bailout, but from the assistance extended to AIG and homeowners, and from the many unprecedented emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and others to prevent a financial collapse. And it ignores a far greater unfairness: sticking the American taxpayer with the bill.” (emphasis mine)
Somehow one gets the impression their “loan” will never quite be repaid in full; that is, unless the Golden Orator decrees their servitude abolished. In all unfairness, and with the wink of cronyism, President Obama ordained his penalty tax does not apply to everyone who benefited from the bailout. He is exempting the auto industry, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yes, you read that correctly. Obama’s union campaign supporters and the real losers in the mortgage crisis whose fiscal irresponsibility led to the debacle in the first place are not required to pay the punishment tax.
With his popularity polling below 50 percent and congressional elections in November, the White House is hoping to create a win-win situation by reaching into the wallets of the big, bad bankers. By leveraging their new mantra to assist vulnerable Democrats who’ve pushed the White House agenda, they aim to market the financial industry as the villain of our woes. If successful, Democrat campaigns will attempt to brand Republicans as the party of the rich. But why score a only a win when they can also use the opportunity to secure unrestricted capital to finance anything they desire? The Wall Street Journal describes their collateral agenda,
“The White House wants to tax more capital away from profit-making banks to offset the intentional losses that the politicians have ordered up at Fan and Fred. The bank tax revenue will flow directly into the Treasury to be spent on whatever immediate cause Congress favors.” (emphasis mine)
And there lies the heart of his award-winning academy performance this week: $117 billion dollars that can be spent without legislative approval on the Left’s agenda. Forget his pleas about fairness to the taxpayer, the President intends to truly “stick it to the taxpayer” himself.