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  • Morning Bell: Bank Tax Misses the Real Bailout Deadbeats in Detroit and DC

    Facing rising populist anger over his administration’s billion-dollar bailouts, President Barack Obama proposed a $117 billion tax over the next 12 years on financial companies with assets of more than $50 billion. “We want our money back, and we’re going to get it,” the President said. The President is half right. Taxpayers are going to get their money back from the banks that received bailout money … but don’t expect to see any of the money the Obama administration poured into General Motors and Chrysler at the behest of their union allies. That is where the real losses are coming from.

    The TARP program has so far distributed $247 billion to more than 700 banks. Of that, $162 billion in principal and $11 billion in interest and dividends have already been repaid. Except for AIG, almost all banks that received taxpayer money are expected to pay back the American taxpayers in full. As The New York Times reports: “The losses from the bailout fund are expected from money paid to rescue Chrysler and General Motors and the insurance giant American International Group, and from a program to help homeowners avert foreclosures.”

    So the real deadbeats that are not giving us “our money back” are not the banks, but the union-backed car companies and failed government mortgage modification programs. But guess what? The White House has chosen not to include the car companies among the institutions that will pay this so called “Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee.” Also exempted are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entities that helped create the crisis.

    The plan also will do nothing to help reform the banking system. Financial regulatory analyst Karen Shaw Petrou tells The Washington Post: “The new big-bank tax is just like charging a nickel sin tax on a half-gallon of cheap liquor — it may make moralists feel good, but it doesn’t do much to stop bad behavior.” Instead of protecting consumers, it will just end up hurting them. Financial services analyst Meredith Whitney tells The New York Times: “The irony is it hurts the weaker banks more than the stronger banks. To think that it won’t come out of consumers and businesses is mistaken.” And banking analyst David Hendler tells Bloomberg: “We remain concerned that this is more evidence of the cynical view of the banking industry which prevails in Washington.”

    In sum, this new $117 billion Obama tax will penalize firms that already repaid TARP, and some who never accepted bailout money to begin with, while also making it harder for Americans to get the loans they need to help our economy recover, all while letting the real deadbeats get off scot-free. If the President were serious about making taxpayers whole and restoring confidence in the banking sector, then he should end TARP now.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    52 Responses to Morning Bell: Bank Tax Misses the Real Bailout Deadbeats in Detroit and DC

    1. Leslie, Michigan says:

      Not that I'm a fan of bankers – but maybe they should unionize so Barry would give them a free ride like the other unions get.

    2. Jerry: Alto, MI says:

      This is just one more peice of evidence that this administration is operating out of the Saul Alinsky handbook for radicals. The sooner the American people realize this the better the chances of us surviving as a free nation and maintaining capitalism as the engine that drives our economy.

    3. Steve Alberts, Bethp says:

      What would be wrong with holding those who still owe the repayment accountable and closing them down if they do not repay? Why must we continue to transfer the bailout of those who make poor decisions to the general masses?

    4. Turner, Massachusett says:

      The irony is the small depositor or credit card owner will foot the bill via higher and more oppressive fees and interest rates. The bankers are gaming the bonus structure by playing accounting games with all types of losses as well. And the shareholders are getting screwed. Enough is enough, but I do not think Obama is out to do real change, he is just in the game to screw up as much as he can. Yes, Obama is gaming the American system out of sheer hatred. Do you recall his wife's comment, to paraphrase, she has never been proud of America. They want a change that means the harm many Americans. Two cents on healthcare since we are talking about Obama's tactics and agenda, do we all join a union or move to LA or NE or FL or NV to shift the cost to others? What's more, the abortion issue is not over either. They are going to game that into the bill as well. If they loose MA the whole bill is going nuclear and they will toss the babies out with the bath water (a metaphor come true, tragically).

    5. Jaci Evans, Jasper, says:

      I have never been a fan of unionization – until now. Unions get loans they don't have to pay back. Union companies will possibly have "Cadillac Insurance" without paying the extra tax on that. Union members are now the elite, and the rest of us are the serfs. So….I think we should all unionize. Retirees Union, Parents Union, Housewives Union, Union of Franchise Workers, etc. Joking, of course. But I do so hope we Conservatives have something left to work with when we take back our Government in November. We are being invaded from the inside so swiftly, and the damage being done is so monumental that to one voter, it seems insurmountable.

    6. Michael, Illinois says:

      I was a Republican, now an independent. I am a retired banker sort of. Obama is correct about the big banks. His only mistake is going about it the wrong way. He should use the RICO act for criminal offense for not coming forth with the information originally. We have a very resilient economy and are very gullible population. If those financial institutions were allowed to fail, there would be someone else to come forward to fleece the population. The same thing was said about Arthur Anderson accounting firm and there were firms waiting in line to accommodate companies. By the way, if my Mother were still alive, I would have to tone her down about the bankers. One more item, in my over 30 years in the financial industry, I have never heard a senior manager in the US or over seas to have any concern for the average saver. The larger banks are the worst.

    7. Jim Duffy, Belvedere says:

      This action is not a surprise. The Administration is only concerned with raising money for the purpose, in one guise or another, of redistributing the wealth of the nation. It is a selective process that favors his supporters and is not based on the well being of the total economy. Not to include Freddie and Fannie is clearly a sign. The part they, and Dodd and Frank, played has been a major factor in the collapse of the financial community. It is all about supporting unions and groups that voted for Presidnet Obama.

    8. Harry, Illinois says:

      Let this be a lesson to us all. Take money from the Devil and you are indebted to him for life. We have to start realizing that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everytime we scream for a social or entitlement program, or any other kind of prpgram, remember who you will pay for it in higer taxes for future generations. The Government giveth and the Government taketh away 10 fold.

    9. Dan Shamrock, Knoxvi says:

      This further proves that generally those in govt. have never produced anything, therefore they don't have the capacity to understand how the market works. In their arrogance they don't think that we understand how the market truly works. That we (the taxpayers) would be fooled by his dog and pony show.

    10. David A. White says:

      Get rid of the mega banks, go back to the state regulated banks before federal derugulation got us into the mess we are in at the present. Start using credit unions for banking and retirement purposes.

    11. Mark Sorrentino, Win says:

      Shouldn't surprise anybody that BHO is overplaying his hand. Sooner or later, the masses (read democrat voters) will realize that this is only a phony populist move and hurts them in the long run.

    12. Jeff Miller, Rugby, says:

      I am a Republican District Chairman in ND. We need talking points, bullet points of facts on different subjects to send out to people in our district to get them to write letters to the editor.

      Local people all over the country, writing in local papers will touch more people than all the emails, editorial writers and news releases combined.

      I mean just a few facts on a number of subjects, so people can write their own letter and hang all this nonsense around the democrats necks.

      Where do I find this? It should be done by you and have a link on your home page or give us a link to where we can find it somewhere else.


      Jeff Miller

      Dist. 7 Republican Chmn

      Rugby, ND

    13. Green Mountain Patri says:

      I'm sick and tired of Obama's selctive indignation!

    14. Ron Wilner, New York says:

      Where have all our taxes gone?

      Long time passing

      Where have all our taxes gone?

      Long time ago

      Where have all our taxes gone?

      Gov has spent them every one

      When will we ever learn?

      When will we ever learn?


    15. Joe Colliins, Bremer says:

      I agree..end tarp now………….The Federal Government and State Government are tax happy and out of control.. We need new leadership, from the Presidents office down.. Every congress person and the President take an oath to uphold our US Constitution, that oath is violated time after time, and not just by this administration, but many in the past also.. The oath taken must mean what it says, violation of the oath of office should be considered perjury. By defintion it is perjury: The voluntrary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath: false swearing.

      Our US Constitution limits the activities of the Federal Government..Congress and the President take an oath before a judge to uphold the US Constitution.

      The tax policies today are far beyond, the policies of a free country. We need to step back and revisit our policies and maybe the fair tax or flat tax is something to consider. Another thought, We are a union of states, unions have dues not taxes, maybe we should look at having each state pay union dues and the citizens of each state would not pay the Federal Government dues or taxes, but only pay a fair tax or flat tax (dues) to the state they live in………….We need to keep whatever we decide on within the confines of our US Constitution and State Constitution, for each State is a sovereign state and may legally withdraw from our union by free choice as each joined by free choice.

      God Bless America and Keep us A Free Nation!

      Of The People and by the People!

      Joe Collins

    16. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      I am disgusted with everything I have been working all morning to get a emergency Dr to Haiti, and nobody will do anything except say send money I will never give another dime to anybody, and I urge others to do the same. If you want to help anybody, do it on your own and avoid these frauds, They claim people are dying because they have no doctors yet they tell the doctors to fill out reams of papers, and they might get back to them in two weeks.

    17. Salverda says:

      A "bank" cannot be a "taxpayer." Only humans can pay a tax. A bank can be a tax collector for the government, but its customers are the humans who will really pay the tax. It is a fascist trick to pretend that a tax falls upon a bank not upon people. A bank cannot be punished any more than a rock can be punished. Why not punch the bank in the nose, or deprive it of food, or put it in jail. See how foolish this line of reasoning is? why not simply tax the bank customers directly and cut out the middle…thing.

    18. United States says:

      Is this not a Bill of Attainder ?

    19. Mike Baker - McKinne says:

      This administration is all about protecting trial lawyers and unions and the hell with the rest of a America. Taking $117B from the banking industry will result in potentially higher fees or interest rates to consumers or $1.2T drop in available loans to business and consumers, or some combination of both…..brilliant. Someone should let the WH know China is now the largest auto manufacturing country and the largest exporter in the world….sounds to me like the UAW and SEIU should move to China and wreck their political machine.

    20. Chuck Hilton says:

      This Obama led government reminds me of the "so what" generation. The do not care what the citizens of our country think. There answer is always 'so what". Do not argue with facts or logic, we know better.

      When the British government tried to do that in the 1700s, we said enough is enough. By November of this year we need to send the message to this out of control government that they work for us. We do not work for them.

    21. Jim Delaney says:

      The insanity, incompetence and tyranny both at the White House and Congressional levels are painfully breathtaking. A blogger, I've simply run out of words to express my barely contained outrage. Those sophomoric neo-Marixist thugs in D.C. MUST be stopped. November 2010 can't come soon enough. I'm sick to my stomach.

    22. Bruce, Massachusetts says:

      Your article is absolutely correct. The banks didn't directly cause the melt down. They were forced politically by Washington to make loans to people who couldn't possibly pay back the loans. Billions of our dollars ( Tarp, Stimulus, Omnibus Bills ) are now in the hands of the real thiefs in Washington ( Obama Democrats ) who are giving our money to the Unions and political entities like Acorn and their other minions to buy their loyalty. We will have to take congress back this fall to assure that all of this is properly investigated and dealt with. Right now the thiefs are in charge and will do nothing to stop the wrongs that have been perpetrated upon the public.

      Unfortunately the American people are learning a huge lesson the hard way. I sincerely hope we can together turn this thing around before it's too late. I hope Scott Brown succeeds in his quest to take Kennedys seat in the senate. That will send a very strong message to Obama and his minions. Semper Fi !!!

    23. Jeff, Cincinnati says:

      I agree with the article, however, I caution as a conservative to not demonify one with doing so for the other. For instance, in the argument "TARP" suggest that it was the doing of the Obama Administration, it was Bush, along with the bailout of the car companies. In the spirit of fairness, and accuracy I would mention that we have been in a precipitous fall since the Bush Administration and our Republican representatives sat back and watched him spend away! More importantly the same banks that received tax payers money exploited the system, along with irresponsible citizens who want a sub-prime mortgage. Therefore, I suggest, the blame must be on both Obama's and Bush's Administration respectively.

      I love reading your articles!

    24. Bernard P. Giroux, F says:

      Barry is going to get a lesson in populist government from the good old Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Tuesday. The Revolution began here. Let's start another one next week. Scott Brown for Senate!

    25. John Haumersen, Raci says:

      To even imagine that any part of the $167 Billion the banks have paid back or any part of future repayments or even a dime of the proposed bank tax is going to reduce the deficit incurred by the TARP and Stimulus programs is be on some mind numbing drug. The history of our congress and administrations and particularly the current pack spending drunks is that all funds collected from what ever source and regardless of intended purpose are spent in expectation before they are even received. If you live long enough ask your grand children if they noticed any deficit reductions or any federal budgets that were balanced. I'm betting that my great great grandson will not ever see that happen in his life time.

    26. Dr Duncan Druhl, Ott says:

      Are we forgetting Rahm Emmanuel's guideline statement over a year ago where it was made clear that one should never fail to take advantage of a crisis. Well, in this case they are doing as I predicted in prolonging it, until their political mission is fulfilled and then, and only then, will the country be allowed to nurse itself back to whatever state of health remains possible.

      Sorry. I sadly remember the depth of depravity that exists within the pipe-dream totalitarian-socialists of those extended college years, 20, 30, 40 years ago. Excepting the wholesale slaughter, the images are almost Lenin-esque.

    27. ed giancola st.louis says:

      Obama and his administration make me sick to my stomach.

    28. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      It's been just a year and this administration has worn me out. I see and hear how the government has been assembled by the president, what the government has done and how little is being accomplished to improve the business and financial lives of the citizens, and I am disappointed. Disappointed because of foolish programs, political chicanery and the belief that more taxes and more federal government programs will make living in the U S A better. Add to this, the smug political dialogue from the party in power and a president who talks at me and not to me, I am ready to overthrow the government.

    29. Jerry J, La Vista NE says:

      How do banks make their money? If they can't charge more interest to pay taxes, (higher interest not good for the consumer), then more nit-pick fees for doing business (like a private club-not good for Joe on the street), Cost reduction (Lay-Offs), Less Lending (Joe on the street can't get a loan or anyone else to buy any cars, houses, furniture, appliances, food, no higher education {unless grant from government}, 'green' climate control devices, 'green' mobile units) and the whole stimulus package is only for the Fed Gov benefit and woe to Joe on the street.

      Shot in the foot with shot gun means no foot left. Both barrels and then no feet to stand on.

      STUPID. because the original action of TARP was misdirected and malintentioned and not getting the result they said they 'wanted' so making a bad idea WORSE. REALLY BAD.

    30. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      1/14/09 on CNN, Obama says: We want our money back. Okay, but who’s “We”? I say: We the taxpayers want our money back!! It’s our money, not the government’s money to buy votes or waste irresponsibly on all of this profligate pork barrel spending and absurd projects!! It’s time to stop robbing children’s piggy banks to fund all this unsustainable national debt!!….Furthermore, if taxes must be raised, why not tax the drones? I.e. last year a moocher woman in BHO’s audience in Ft. Myers brags she won’t have to pay for gas or her mortgage. And remember that it was the Democrats who forced banks to make risky loans, and even accept TARP money; which many have paid back with interest. Nobody forced deadbeat home buyers to go in over their heads, or take government bailouts to keep their homes. Simply put – let producers keep more of what they earn via tax cuts, and make the drones/leeches pay back what they are mooching off of us!!

    31. toledofan says:

      This whole mess started because of the Democrats in the banking committee forcing Fannie and Freddie to make home loans to people who couldn't pay them back. The guys like Dodd, Frank, Reid and Pelosi are the culprits that should have been put in jail with B. Murdoff. Once the market collapsed, 780 Billion in TARPS funds were throw around in hopes the economy would revive, Surprise, surprise; 10+ % unemployment, skyrocketing debit, foreclosures are still on the rise, and the country is in almost total disray. Hope and change you can really believe in, right.

    32. Wallyblu says:

      As someone said before "We need to realize there's no free Lunch".

      When the politician tells you he's going to give you something ask "Who are you going to take it from" and if he tells you "Everyone but you." hide the woemn and children.

    33. Publius Huldah, Cook says:

      We have forgotten that the powers of the President are enumerated and carefully limited. Art. II, Sec.1, 1st clause, U.S. Constitution, vests "executive Power" in the President. Sections 2 & 3 enumerate the President's powers. See also Art. I, Sec. 7.

      The President's job is to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" (Art. II, Sec. 1, last cl.), to serve as Commander in Chief, and to exercise the "executive Power".

      The granting of "executive Power" to the President is not a blank check giving him power to do anything s/he wants. Rather, it is the power to put into effect – to implement – those Acts of Congress which are within their enumerated powers (Art. I, Sec. 8). Thus, if Congress establishes "an uniform Rule of Naturalization", it is the president's job to implement the rules – i.e., establish immigration offices at ports, appoint immigration officers, and the like.

      As to "executive orders" (EO): The president may issue "orders" re such things as fall within his purview in the carrying out of his constitutional duties (e.g., dress codes at immigration offices; no smoking in the white house); but he may not lawfully circumvent the constitutional limitations on his powers via EOs. The EO re Interpol is most likely unconstitutional, because (assuming it is a proper subject of a treaty – http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/the… – it would require ratification by the Senate before it is effective. It is the Senate's job to find out whether there is anything wrong with the Interpol matter. If there is, they are supposed to refuse to ratify it! Likewise with the Jan 11, 2010, EO re the Establishment of a Council of Governors – the President has NO authority over Governors! The President may not lawfully seize power by means of an EO!

      Folks, we have forgotten how few are the powers delegated to the President by Our Constitution. James Madison says the President "…is carefully limited, both in the extent and the duration of [his] power…" (Federalist No. 48, 5th para).

      Yet today, we are so ignorant of our Constitution that we speak of the President's "ruling", "governing", etc. These are terms applied to tyrants! You better wake up fast, Folks! We have a usurper in the Executive Branch.

    34. Sue in Detroit says:

      "We did get our money back with interest. Obama and his friends are getting the money not "WE".

      Banking executives do not care about the average saver, that is true. So this profit tax will not harm the executives. It will harm the average saver. I do distrust the government more than bankers. Banks I can sue if they skrew me. If I complain about government skrewing me, I may end up in jail or my personal wealth confiscated.

    35. ella quinn,kinston,n says:

      I am also sick of the obama adminstration.2010 here we come.We can and will change this so called adminstration, the right way.

    36. Harry, Illinois says:

      We are being taxed without any direct taxation. Obama and his gang are punishing the banks by taxing them. The banks in turn raise their prices by raising interest rates on Credit Cards and adding and raising fees to recoup their loses. So who's really being taxed here? Talk about a ponzi scheme. Even Bernie Madoff would be proud of this. And we thought Enron was bad. Wake up and smell the "Morning Joe" everyone and look at what our government is doing to us. The only way we can stop this mess is to vote them all out and start all over with new representation.

    37. Leith Wood Richmo says:

      The beauty and irony of it all, if Scott Brown could win in MA. How delicious it would be.

    38. Jeff says:

      The thing with unions is that it used to be a tool of the mob and union employees paid their dues and in return businesses and companies got protection for their services(wink-wink).Of course if you didn't pay the mob would beat you up,put you out of business or worse…..and don't ever steal or cross them the consequences could be fatal.

      Sometimes I wonder if the mob is not running our government today……it sure seems like it!After all is this not what our governments' doing to us as we speak?It's really not complicated…..just look at human nature and follow the money.

    39. mindy says:

      Americans, why are you surprised? Obama's plan is to transform our country into a marxist hell hole and he is so close to finishing his plan it is only a miracle from God and Americans marching in the streets of all of our towns that will stop him! Wake up! Do something!

    40. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      That's right. Especially Fannie and Freddie. Want more? How about GM and Chrysler?

    41. Wayne Hatch, Murphy, says:

      Demonize, villanize, degrade and destroy all who stand in contradiction to the Obama administration and those in-charge of enforcing his agenda. '"For the people and by the people" – unfortunately words that have had little meaning for some time now. Perhaps, just perhaps, our complacency is coming to an end and we will finally get serious about who we elect,

    42. Sally Jones says:

      *Sigh* "I'm not a fan of bankers." I'm sickened by the comments of folks who seem to categorize everyone who works in the finance industry as fatcat bankers.

      Let me make this as clear as I can. I am employed by a bank. I have a job description for which I get a paycheck. Part of my paycheck, that I agreed to take in exchange for my work, includes a BONUS.

      Guess what? I EARNED MY BONUS. I went to work, I did my job, and I AM ENTITED TO the agreed upon salary and bonus. It's called compensation.

      Now my financial institution was one of the few who did not allow Acorn to FORCE US to lend to folks with no hope of paying back the loans. My institution was also one of those that was FORCED by Henry Paulson to accept the TARP. My employer was one of the first ten insitutions to pay back the TARP as soon as the window opened and we were ALLOWED to pay it back.

      So get off your ignorant high horses and get a grip. The paycheck I earned, IT WAS MINE TO BEGIN WITH. It's NOT yours, it's NOT BHO's, it's not Barney Franks or Queen Bee Pelosi's either. Mine. You didn't go to work and earn my paycheck. I did.

      So you're unemployed. Well, that just sucks. Do what I did and take any job you can get and get in college to either get educated or retool and get a job. You too can earn your own paycheck.Work hard enough and you can get a bonus too.

    43. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      It's been a long time since I took civics in HS, we had a great teacher, we read and studied the Whole constitution and admendments, discused them in class, maybe we need someone to take Congress and BHO into a classroom and refresh their memories as to their duties and the LIMITATIONS that the Constitution has over them. After these crooks are put out of office each should be tried for treason and manipulating the laws illegally, they are running a large Ponzi sceme.

    44. Lee White Tanks AZ says:

      It would seem that AIG, Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae are birds of a color. That is they are "Government" entities and therefore "Untouchables".

      It seems to have been lost in all the rhetoric that AIG is a primary repository for Congressional and other Governmental IRAs and other retirement instruments.

      This became clear when they were the first major Financial/Insurer to be "Saved" in 2008 when this all began.

      PC is Thought Control


      PS: The idea of bonuses for government employees and Freddy Mac/Fannie Mae is insulting and demeaning to We The People. Coupled with Blarny Frank's comments to the effect that is is "too Late" to do anything about them is truly ludicrous while at the same time insulting beyond words.

    45. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Obama justification is to punish those who repay thier debts, such as the Banks by creating new taxes on them, and to reward the failure of those who do not repaay thier debts, such as GM and Chrysler, by giving them more money and tax breaks!

      Obviously Mr. Obama in all of his education, of which we cannot review being sealed and all, did not include "Economics."

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    47. William G. Dwyer, Be says:

      Three things are sacred to and guide the Obama Administration: Unions (SEIU, AFL-CIO, etc), Trial Lawyers (NO to tort reform), and BIG Federal Government!

      For shame.

    48. Laurie, Texas says:

      This is about separating you from you money. It is a tax to banks who will pass it on to consumers. The only difference is that BHO is setting the banks up to be the bad guys again. The money collected can be used on anything that Congress deems appropriate. Just another spread the wealth scheme. Hope everyone goes out to vote this year. Every congressman and senator needs to go.

    49. Michael Jones says:

      Throughout life, It's been said "the answer is not simple … these are complex issues." Frankly, I've found this to be a most uncreative way to suggest that my possession of the required intelligence to examine the subject was lacking. Naturally, I find this both evasive and demeaning. That said, simplistic answers often cut to the basic truth's within each argument. Our society works within narrow basic business concepts of both for profit and non profit business entities.

      These concepts are surely simplistic. For profit business requires that they produce enough profit to maintain their long term existence. Therefore they must operate under such mandate. As a result in the normal course of business, "we the people," decide that they be required to contribute more financially … they still must maintain "profitability." Is there question that therefore any additional fiduciary requirement be met by the overriding mandate of fiscal solvency? Can there then be question that any such increase in demanded fiscal participation (taxes), be met with increased end consumer cost (you and !)? Certainly they must pass on such increased cost of business to remain viable?

      Now that really is simple, isn't it!

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