Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, February 27, 2009

Banking Industry Needs Another Huge Handout — So They Can Bribe Congress

There’s enough irony and contradiction here to make the head spin. There’s already been plenty of public outrage about banks spending their humongous welfare checks on luxury resort getaways, Learjets and 8-figure bonus packages for themselves.

But they’ve also been spending tons of this money — YOUR tax money — to bribe Congress (aka “campaign contributions,” “lobbying,” whatever you want to call it.) They’re determined to prevent Congress from helping those lazy stupid homeowners (probably all Democrats) who have nobody but themselves to blame.

“Please help me. Ooooohhhhh, pleeeeeaase! I need a handout. And some nice tender coddling if you would. And not one fuckin’ cent for that other parasite over there!!

Technically of course, the money they’re using for bribery isn’t the same money that got showered onto them by taxpayers (as conservatives are always pointing out). SO. WHAT.

If you knew that a certain person was on welfare, food stamps, unemployment compensation and government housing vouchers, and you saw him driving a Mercedes — you wouldn’t be too impressed if he said “oh, I bought the car with my own money.”

If you, as an individual, want to apply for welfare or any other government assistance, you have to prove that you’re needy. Your income has to be below a certain level, your car can’t be worth more than a certain amount, you can’t have more than a certain amount in the bank, etc.

Large companies, on the other hand, can shower billions of dollars on their “top” executives (i.e. the ones who dug them into this shithole in the first place), spend billions more on every kind of perk imaginable, and then hold out their tin cup and go “Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Marie Antoinette Francis Creighton of the Mortgage Bankers Association said: “We're encouraged that the House is taking some more time to think this through, and we hope that by next week we can see some more changes to further improve the bill.”

Francis the Leech forgot to thank the taxpayers who’ve made his “lobbying” effort possible.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Labels: ,


Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

This actually had been predicted at the transition of Obama's presidency. It was believed that he would have to authorize another unpopular bank bailout--it almost seems rigged to make sure Obama tanks as the stimulus package was half of what he intended and frankly it stinks.

I hope he tells them to f(** off and that Congress does the same. The one thing on our side is that the Repuks want to get into Congress by 2010, and if they support a bailout, they will lose big. I just hope the Democrats show some sense.

February 27, 2009 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Enemy: There's just too much political posturing with this stimulus package. Not that there's anything new about that, but this bill really needs to get passed. It doesn't help that some of the Democrats are fighting each other.

And for the banks to take billions in handouts and then try to prevent homeowners from being helped -- it's just too absurd.

February 27, 2009 at 7:43 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Telling the banks to go engage in a solitary, very unnatural act would hurt the rest of us more than them, even though there would be some satisfaction in it. Like them or loathe them, they're cogs in the machine that can't be thrown out.

Still, they can't be trusted to do much different or better than they have done so far. They have no sense of public responsibility. They talk the talk in front of Congress, with cameras running. The rest of the time, they're playing the same maximize-profits, screw-the-riff raff game they always play.

The answer is nationalization. Someone should give Obama a good set of earplugs, to shut out the whining, wailing and gnashing of teeth, the charges of SOCIALISM!!! sure to follow. And then he should get on with it.

I can't say it enough: Meeting radical-right Republicans half way is a recipe for disaster, for the country and politically as well. Likewise, trusting the banks with more bailout money invites more of their selfish antics.

February 27, 2009 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Carlos said...

Maybe they should draft Sarah "The Brain" Palin to figure this one out.

Sieze the fucking banks, put the idiots running them into the ground in jail; and privatize them once they're back on their feet.

That'd never work because bankers and politicians are crooked.

February 28, 2009 at 3:31 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

What SWA said. Bring on the nationalization AND marginalization of the wingnuts. Just don't make me wear a Stalin moustache, Mr. Party Commissar.

February 28, 2009 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

"Telling the banks to go engage in a solitary, very unnatural act would hurt the rest of us more than them, even though there would be some satisfaction in it." Can't argue with that. Like Obama said during his speech, we can't govern out of anger.

Nationalization is look more and more like the bitter medicine we need to take. Meeting the wingnuts halfway is like being just a little bit pregnant, or ingesting just a little bit of poison.

Carlos: You're right on both counts -- what we need to do, and the fact that our coin-operated Congress would never do this.

Randal: Sorry, a Stalin mustache is part of the package. Plus you have to wear one of those funny hats that Russians are always wearing.

February 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

No Tom making the rich richer or supporting them from cradle to grave is the only way to save this great nation. LOL! did you hear about the nonsense with AIG? We are pretty much going to have to buy them out to keep them alive. They need another handout.

Thank you Laissez-faire capitalism.

February 28, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking for some sort of proof that this time (unlike Wolford) that somebody is keeping track of the money this time and so far I haven't seen that. I hear Geitner is handing it out to the banks with no strings attached.

Is that True?


February 28, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Erik, Geithner and others from the administration have assured Congress there are strings attached, and that Treasury will be checking back to see what banks are doing with the money and how they're doing it.

That said, I saw a news report indicating that the strings aren't as extensive and tight as they could be.

So, it's probably going to be better managed than the first time around, under Paulson, but there's still reason for concern.

February 28, 2009 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

One hand washes the other and we provide the soap. Sounds like a nice ride if you can get on it.

March 1, 2009 at 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Bee said...

I believe part of the CitiGroup further-bail-out is that the government gets a tangible stake, to the tune of 36 - 40%, in the company, which gives the government voting rights in the company.

That said, I work for a bank - believe me, I have no qualms about working for the Fed should it nationalize all of us banks. My right-wingnut co-workers are crowing the blues, but I think it would be nice. I'd probably have better benefits.

I would like to see the big box banks' feet held to the fire - buy their "toxic" real estate assets at fire-sale prices, and if the banks tank after that, so be it. Meanwhile, the government, which didn't pay much to begin with for these mortgages, can renegotiate the terms, keep the homeowners in the homes, and keep the foreclosures from dragging down housing values even more. Value doesn't drop until some sales get recorded (be they legit sales, or foreclosures, auctions, etc). The property has to actually change hands before value is recorded, so my idea would keep the values from dropping further.

But what do I know, I'm just a paper-pusher in a bank who happens to know a heck of a lot about real estate, having worked in it for the past 15 years.

March 1, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Bee, unless your bank is among the top 15 in the country, it probably wouldn't be nationalized, at least not as part of an administration effort to right the economy. If it's in trouble it could still be "nationalized" through the kind of FDIC backstop procedure that goes on all the time.

If your bank were to be nationalized, I doubt you'd see any change in benefits.

You're right about Uncle Sam getting an ownership stake in Citi.

March 1, 2009 at 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Benjamin Solah said...

Ah the contradictions. It just shows that both Republicans and Democrats alike are just their to support the guys at the top.

March 1, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ricardo: That's right, I forgot -- Wall Street wealth will trickle down to us little people, if only the government would get out of the way :)

Erik: I doubt if there'll be much proof. I hadn't heard that about Geithner. SW's response sounds about right.

Lew: Good description.

Bee: Great perspective. Sounds like you've got the inside story. Too funny (not ha ha) to hear coworkers ranting about "big government." I was working for an insurance company in 1988 when California voters passed an initiative (backed by Ralph Nader) that cracked down on some industry abuses. The term "talking points" didn't exist then, but I couldn't believe how many people were going around fuming and foaming about "they're gonna ruin the insurance industry with all these regulations," "if you want insurance, call Ralph Nader," etc.

Benjamin: Unfortunately you're probably right. I don't think Democrats are quite as bad about squishing working people; or maybe the Republicans are just more blatant about it. I like what Democrats say, but we'll see if it makes any difference.

March 2, 2009 at 11:35 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

No, Benjamin, the two parties are not just alike. Compare the Bush tax cuts that have made the rich incredibly richer with Obama's taxation and budgeting plans, that ends the Bush tax cuts and enacts tax cuts for everyone who makes less than $250,000 a year.

While you're at it, look back to 2005 and 2006, when Democrats in Congress fought tooth and nail trying to expand and extend unemployment benefits and make medical insurance for the out of work more affordable, and Republicans voted them down on one item after another.

In the past month, Democrats finally got increased and extended unemployment benefits through, and Obama signed the bill.

I can't say at least some Democrats never act to favor those at the top. I can say that's not Democrats' whole M.O., as it is with Republicans.

Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.

March 2, 2009 at 2:11 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home