After a number of banks that received bailout money started handing out bonuses, people were furious that their tax money was being used by big bankers to turn a profit. The man who enabled all of this, President Obama, was rightfully embarrassed, and declared a need for a new tax on bank bonuses which would only affect about the 50 largest banks.
However, as recently as December, Obama was claiming that there would not be losses from the banking side of the bailout program. Rather, it’s the corporate acquisitions by the government that are turning massive losses.
So what exactly is Obama hoping to accomplish by imposing this massive tax on bankers? They’re not the ones losing the government’s money, so why does Obama want to punish them instead of GM and Chrysler?
Although, the banks are the ones who embarrassed Obama politically. And that’s where Obama’s true motivation becomes clear. Obama is upset about how a few bankers turned his own political machinations against him, and so the bankers at the 50 largest lending institutions, many of whom have not received any bailout money at all, are to be punished.
And so, not withstanding any constitutional checks against bills of attainder, Obama feels he can use taxes punish those who do not act the way he wants them to. Fear will keep the local companies in line. Fear of new taxes.
I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard a President of the United States threatening their own citizens:
“What I’d say to these executives is this. Instead of sending a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal, or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee, I’d suggest you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibilities and I’d urge you to cover the costs of the rescue not by sticking it to your shareholders or your customers or fellow citizens with the bill, but by rolling back bonuses for top earners and executives,”
A notable quote comes to mind:
“I’ve altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further.”