We want your money back!!!

January 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm (Politics) (, , , , )

Take a look at this.  A very close look, particularly at the fifth and sixth paragraphs.  For your ease, they’re quoted below.

“The proposed 0.15 percent tax on the liabilities of large financial institutions would apply only to those companies with assets of more than $50 billion — a group estimated at about 50. Administration officials estimate that 60 percent of the revenue would come from the 10 biggest ones.

“They would have to pay up even though many did not accept any taxpayer assistance and most that did have repaid the infusions.”

The emphasis on the sixth paragraph is mine.

Now, take a look at that again.  Very, very carefully.  I’ll break it down part-by-part, along with implications.

“They would have to pay up…”  The biggest banks would have to pay to the government…

“…even though many did not accept any taxpayer assistance…”  …Even though most of them don’t owe the government a damned thing…

“…and most that did have repaid the infusions.”  …And most of those that do owe the government anything have already paid back what they owe.

In other words, over 60% of the revenue the government expects to take back from this, if it passes, will come from the government insisting that they be paid by people who don’t owe anything or, if they do, have already repaid.

To put this in context – this would be like the credit card companies going out and strong-arming people on the street to take their money.

Even if they’ve already paid their cards off, interest and all.

Even if they’ve never had a card with the company.

And what makes it okay to do this?  Well… it’s the banks!  The banks are EEEEEEVIL!  So it’s okay to do this to them.  Besides, the Government wants to do it, and the Government are GOOOOOOD!  So… that makes it all okay, doesn’t it?

If your answer is anything other than “Hell no!”… we’ve got issues here.

Speaking of having issues….

Thank you, Vorex, for your take on the filibuster issue.  However, I think we’re dealing with a serious case of “different environments.”  In conversations with you, you’ve told me that heated political debates in Australia tend to resemble two nerds in suits arguing on a stage.  By contrast, we have accusations of treason lobbed at each other in heated political debates in the US.  I also find myself wondering how often any one political party actually has the party-line strength to pass whatever it pleases – and no track record of being able to backtrack on its bad decisions.

If the US government screws up, we might throw the bums out (but see my prior complaints about a 90% retention rate of a group with a 20% approval rate – something here just doesn’t work.)  But the screwups almost certainly won’t be reversed unless they were written with sunset provisions.  Anybody who believes otherwise?  Take a look at the PATRIOT Act, which was renewed when it did hit its sunset provisions… by the people who’d cried out that it really shouldn’t have been used.  Including, might I add, The One, who said he wouldn’t have voted for it in the first place.

Social handouts are even more extreme here – taking them away is perceived not as getting the government out of something it shouldn’t have been doing in the first place, but rather as the government taking away something the people are entitled to receive – hence the phrase, entitlement programs.  My particular opinions on entitlement programs… well, I’ve been over them already.  I don’t say “they lead inevitably to socialism,” but rather, they lead inevitably to an increasing reliance on Somebody Else to do something for you – which makes you increasingly indebted to and controlled by that Somebody Else.



  1. H. o'Dagg said,

    Hmmm, the way I heard it explained was that the money would go into a sort of fund to cover future TBTF bailouts. Granted, that was a while ago on NPR and explained by (I think) the person behind the bill, so who knows… Sorry to say I’ve sort of lost track of it in the past several weeks.

  2. wolfemann said,

    If that’s what they’re going on, that’s not so bad (make the banks pay for insuring the banks). The problem is, that’s the first time I’ve heard it described that way. Generally speaking, it’s being billed as “take the money away from the corrupt bankers and give it back to the government who deserves to have it… err… the people, that’s right, the people who gave them that money!”

    Except that… well… it’s not the people who took the money who are being expected to give it back.

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