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January 14, 2010

Obama Takes Aim at Banks Again

Either his economic advisors don't know shit or his economic policy is being set by his far-Left controllers. Actually, I don't see why it can't be both:

The White House, reacting to outrage over huge bonuses this year on Wall Street, will announce plans Thursday to impose about $90 billion in fees on the nation's largest financial institutions.

The idea: to ensure that taxpayers recoup every penny of the bailout money spent to stabilize the financial system and rescue the auto industry under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

The government estimates TARP losses at $117 billion but expects the figure to fall. The "financial crisis responsibility fee" would raise about $90 billion over 10 years and could be extended to cover the government's losses, said a senior administration official, who was authorized to speak only anonymously in advance of the announcement.

Reminder to the economically challenged: when you tax a business, the customers get to pay for it. This populist idiocy always hurts the little guy in the long run.

But that's not all. This is the BDSM approach to economic policy:

Think of this: The U.S. government bailed the banks out with TARP. Then the banks repaid TARP last year, including the stock warrants that provided a handsome taxpayer profit from the banks. And now the government wants to tax them? In other words, help the banks get healthy, and then punish them? I donít understand it.

And hereís yet another ridiculous part of this story: The largest banks that de-TARPed, and are regaining their health, are now, with this tax, supposed to cover the government-owned failures like GM, GMAC, AIG, and Fannie and Freddie, which are running up huge deficits because they may be on the taxpayer dole in perpetuity. In other words, the healthy banks that made good decisions and paid down TARP are now getting taxed so that the government can finance the bad actors. This makes no sense at all.

Look, the big guys have de-TARPed. Now itís time to get off their backs. As I wrote yesterday, bankers should not get bonuses for the period in which they were TARPed. But for the new year, since the bankers met their TARP obligations, Team Obama should leave them alone. Let the bankers help the economy grow, create wealth, and create jobs.

Snowbeast?


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:05 AM

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