January 14, 2010

Steal from the Banks and Give to GM!

I find it rather remarkable that the Obama White House feels that the best way to repay the unpaid portion of the TARP funds is through taxing the banks. Well, I suppose it isn't that remarkable when you consider that the banks are widely blamed for the financial crisis nor is it remarkable that they are loathed by the American people. Well, and when you realize that the American people bailed out the US Banking Industry and they've returned the favor by ... well, there's really no nice way to explain what they've done to the American people. So to say that cynical politicians would choose to tax an unpopular (and, quite frankly, reviled) group of people to fill a hole in the budget is rather unremarkable.

What is remarkable is that the banks aren't really the ones at fault for the shortfall in repaying TARP. This isn't to say that the banks aren't at fault for any one of a dozen different reason or that they aren't scum or that they aren't setting themselves and us up for a repeat performance of the "Great Recession" again in the near future, but let's be fair: they DID repay the money that we loaned their worthless, thieving, child-molesting, murderous, incestuous, lying selves.

And yet, it appears that of the 5 companies that are unlikely to repay TARP: Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, AIG, Chrysler and GM ... only ONE of those is on the hook for this tax. Granted, AIG is one of the biggest sources of the financial collapse, but why are we letting Freddie, Fannie, Chrysler and GM off of the hook? It's not like any of these four companies was exactly acting with fiscal responsibility or good business acumen.

Oh... wait, Freddie and Fannie are actually popular pseudo-governmental entities staffed by lots of former political activists, appointees and partisan hacks. In fact, Congress seems pathologically incapable of dealing responsibly with Freddie and Fannie... perhaps it has something to do with all of the bribes.

And really, this is giving unwarranted forgiveness, mercy and kindness to the US Automotive Sector. Yes, the same companies who have been selling us substandard cars at exorbitant prices and ruining their business. Yeah, the same Chrysler and GM that you and I bailed out. We definitely CAN'T tax those guys. I would make a cheap crack about Democrats, US Car Companies, the UAW and Michigan... but everyone knows that I'm morally above cheap cracks.

Of course, this is where the bankers start foaming at the mouth about fairness. And I can't say that I disagree with that at some point or another... it DOES seem admittedly stupid that the same sector that is being encouraged to loan more money is supposed to be doing so while paying more taxes and divert that money from the bonuses that it pays its managers who make it the money rather than diverting it from its customers. Yeah, those same customers that it's already screwing over with wanton abandon. I guess my point is that I have no particular issue with screwing the banks over right back, but I think we're missing out on the pleasures of screwing over GM, Chrysler, Freddie and Fannie.

And we're idiots if we think that in a pissing contest between Congressmen and Banking CEOs that the Congressmen could ever hope to win.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at January 14, 2010 10:51 PM | TrackBack