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Double Dipped

Last week, I took a swipe at President Obama's planned "big bank tax" plan, pointing out its underlying socialist/communist premises.

I didn't look at it carefully enough, but my blog-buddy Rob Port set me straight. It's even worse.

The tax, justified as a way to recoup the money loaned to banks under TARP, is being collected almost entirely from those that have already repaid it. "Almost entirely" meaning a few exceptions: one bank that hasn't repaid it it also included, as well as some banks that didn't take any. Excluded are several institutions that haven't repaid it at all -- such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Let's imagine the conversations that occurred during this little event. First, though, cue up some appropriate music:

Hey, Mr. Big Bank, some of your competitors are in big trouble. We gotta bail them out.

Fine with me. We're doing OK, so it's not much skin off our nose.

Thing is, we don't wanna say which banks are in trouble. So youse gotta take some of dis bailout money, too, so's we can hide the ones in the worst jams.

We don't need it, and we don't want it.

That's too bad. We think you might need it. And if you say no, then we'll have to go through your books to make sure you ain't in trouble. All your books. Very slowly. Very carefully. Very publicly.

I tell you, we don't want it and don't need it! I don't want to have to explain to our depositors and investors and owners why we took on this kind of debt when we didn't need it!

Look, it'll just be for a little while. You can pay it back in a little while. And then we'll owe youse a favor.

Sigh... Oh, all right. We'll sign on.

======

Hey, Mr. Government, the crisis is over. And we don't like how you're talking about the banks that took the money, so we're going to pay it back right now.

Not so fast, Mr. Big Bank. Are you sure you're on solid enough ground to give back the money?

Quite certain. We just stuck it in an escrow account -- we never touched it.

Just the same, why don't you hang on to it for just a little longer? You can't be too careful these days.

Look, Mr. Government, we didn't want your money in the first place, and we certainly don't want it any longer. Here it is. Just take it, and get the hell out of here.

======

Hiya, Mr. Big Bank. Remember me?

Trust me, sir, I'll never forget you.

Well, I'm here about that TARP bailout money we lent youse a while ago.

What about it? We paid it back! Every penny! Plus interest! And we didn't want it in the first place! We should have just given you the interest up front, and never taken the money in the first place!

Yeah, you did pay it back, and we really appreciate that. But it seems that quite a few other banks didn't pay it back, and we need that money.

So? Sounds like you did just what got them into trouble -- loaned a lot of money to people who wouldn't be able to pay it back. That's hardly my problem.

Well, that's where you're kinda wrong. We need that money back, so we're gonna collect the money from all of you big banks.

Wait a minute -- they screwed up, not us. You saved them, you did squat for us. And we repaid you. Now we gotta pay again?

That's how it works, pally. But not quite.

What do you mean, "not quite?"

Them that ain't paid it back ain't in any shape to pay this additional tax, so you gotta cover their share too.

WHAT!?!?!?!!

Sorry, pal, but them's the breaks. We gotta get our money, and they ain't got any. You do. So we get it from you.

You can not be serious.

Oh, we're serious, pal. And what's more, we don't want any more big banks to get into this kind of trouble again, so we're gonna put all kinds of new rules and restrictions on all of youse boys to keep youse from getting into that big a jam again.

BUT WE NEVER GOT INTO THAT MUCH TROUBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

So youse was lucky.

It wasn't luck, we weren't stupid! They were, and they paid the price for it!

Whatever. Anyhoo, I'll send one of our boys by next Tuesday with the new rules, and you can have the money for him. Nothing bigger than twenties, no marked bills, and none of them dye packs.

Huh?

Sorry, forget that last part. Force of habit.

In the comments to my previous article, longtime Wizbang community member (under a variety of names) JamesH stated that he had a lot of trouble having much sympathy for the big banks. He's right, and so do I.

But it isn't a matter of sympathy, but of principle. Sympathy is of the heart, principle of the mind. This isn't an emotional issue, but an intellectual one.

And even extremely unsympathetic people like big bankers don't deserve to be screwed over.


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Comments (36)

When they came for the Bank... (Below threshold)
Matt:

When they came for the Bankers I didn't say anything because I wasn't a Banker...

does anyone in this adminis... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

does anyone in this administration even know how a corporation works ? If they tax the bank the bank HAS TO pass that tax along to it customers just like it passes along every other expense to its customers as part of its price/fee for products and services.

This tax will hurt the following people:

1) anyone who does business with those banks ...
2) anyone who works at those banks, ANYONE, not just the "fat cats" ...
3) anyone who own stocks or bonds in those banks ...

I'd bet the number of middle class people effected by such a tax will out number the "fat cats" by a factor of a ten thousand to one ...

talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face ...

Irrespective of what one th... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Irrespective of what one thinks of bankers it's a very bad precedent. In fact it's a soft form of extortion and I think extortion is a crime for anyone outside of the Obama administration.

I was happy when they were ... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

I was happy when they were pushing the health care "reform" sham. Now, I am happy to see they are still using the Alinsky economic plan. By 2012 the economy will be so devastated that the Brown election will look like a minor event.

Despite the humorous way yo... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Despite the humorous way you introduce this, I know for a fact that it's not as silly as it sounds. Banks really were coerced into taking TARP money, and it really was done for the reason you give. The feds didn't want the public to figure out who the weak banks were - as if we don't already know.

My daughter worked for one of the biggest banks, and they were forced to take the money even though they didn't need it or want it. They were actually profitable at the time. And they actually were threatened with a expensive, painful, and time consuming audit if they refused.

This bank, whose name you would recognize, did pay it back at the first opportunity, and now they will be whacked with the Obama Bank Tax. And don't kid yourselves, they will certainly pass the additional costs on to customers, just like any other business that gets extorted by the feds. Their stockholders and common sense will require it.

I'm starting to think Obama uses Hugo Chavez as an economic advisor.

Taxes on corporations have ... (Below threshold)

Taxes on corporations have always been a "hidden" tax on consumers. By playing on class envy, the government taxes Big Oil, Big Banks, etc. based on the "obscene profits" they make. Then, when the corporations raise their rates to cover the new cost of doing business, the government can rail against the greedy corporations once more and play upon the ignorance of the unwashed to support them in raising corporate taxes yet again.

So now that the corporate s... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

So now that the corporate spending limits on campaigns are lifted will they now HAVE TO pass that expence on to the customer?

Damn those activist judges. Overturning laws passed by majority rule, by the people. Now we have to follow the rules of just five men who think they know better than the rest of us. Oh yeah, they aren't activists if you agree with them.

My side, your side, my side, your side. Isn't it lovely?

From what I've read this ta... (Below threshold)
Michael:

From what I've read this tax is unconstitutional. Never going to happen.

Michael,Get real! ... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

Michael,

Get real! 99% of the laws in the US are unconstitutional. That does not stop congress from passing them.

Doesn't this smack of the g... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Doesn't this smack of the gangster who casually hands you the briefcase with $50,000 that you didn't even ask for, sorta reminds you that it's quite honorable of you to not want it, but it really is in your interest to take it, doncha think, and why not use it to take your wife on that nice cruise she always wanted, etc etc?

Of course, having been forced to take it under the threat of the most charming and elegant of malice.... guess what.... the don did you a helluva favor, and obviously now it's time to return it. What else would you expect?

Now, there's a small job we have for you, piece o' cake, no trouble at all....

The very caricature of gangsterism.

" Oh, goody, the boy... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:


" Oh, goody, the boy-king is going to slam the economy even more:

"AP - Embracing Depression-era policy and populist politics, a combative President Barack Obama chastised big Wall Street banks Thursday and urgently called for limits on their size and investments to stave off a new economic meltdown.
Investors responded by dumping bank stock.
...

Markets tumbled on the news, the Dow Jones industrial average losing 213 points and continuing this week's slide that has erased the Dow's gains for 2010 and provided yet another dire sign for recovery...."

Heckuva job, Barry.

23. Posted by Les Nessman | January 22, 2010 12:45 AM "

worldCitizobie ...... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

worldCitizobie ...

Did you get to vote on McCain-Fiengold ? What "will of the people" are you talking about ?

The Supremes were protecting the 1st Amendment ...

If you think that corporations weren't getting their voices heard thru lobbyists you are really not very sharp ...

Now corporations can talk directly to you and politicians without having to go thru back rooms with lobbyists. How would you rather have them talk to Congress ? In a TV ad, movie, book, flyer or thru a lobbyist ?

Please tell me you are not defending lobbyists ?

Damn those activis... (Below threshold)
Eric:
Damn those activist judges. Overturning laws passed by majority rule, by the people.

The recent decision of the Supreme Court involved a violation of Free Speech. Forget about the spin, look at the actual case being decided.

The case involved a documentary film critical of Hillary Clinton that was forbidden from being shown 30 days before an election because of McCain-Feingold. The filmmaker faced actual jail time if he violated that ban.

5 of the 9 judges felt that this ban was a violation of the film maker's 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech.

Imagine if Fahrenheit 911 had been forbidden from being shown and Michael Moore had been threatened with jail time if he violated that ban.

What would be your opinion of that?

It seems to me that deciding whether a law violated the most basic right of the U.S. Constitution is the exact opposite of judicial activism.

Can't we just levy a tax on... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Can't we just levy a tax on Soros, since he is SO rich, and their philosophy is he doesnt need that much money. I say take 90% of what Soros has, that's fair right?

Then, levy taxes on those other big lib donors, since, they now have a majority in Congress, and they're doing such a great job that the incumbents are sure to all win. Fair right?

Then levy a 50% tax on anyone who got 'bailout' money, who hasnt created or saved the jobs they promised. Fair right?

Gosh, I can't believe I am ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Gosh, I can't believe I am agreeing with WorldCitizen. The constitutionality of some isses amazes me such as income tax, wealth distribution, KELO, etc.. This is the problem between thinking the constitution is what it is (which is my belief) or thinking it is a living breathing document that augments with time, which I do not believe. The later becomes subjective and political. The first simply is what it is. If nine people can find the constitution allows women to abort babies, well, we're reaching.

I disagree with WorldCitizen in that if the people express a change, we can go through the amendment process. ww

Barry is so predictable. A... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Barry is so predictable. And so stupid at the same time. He still wants control of the banks (per Alinsky), unfortunately that damned Constitution keeps getting in the way.

And this guy was a "Constitutional Law Professor"? No wonder they've hidden everything he's written on the subject.

Whirled Citizen - ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Whirled Citizen -

"So now that the corporate spending limits on campaigns are lifted will they now HAVE TO pass that expence on to the customer? "

Um...yeah. They will, just like every other cost. Do you think they will create these contributions out of thin air? Where do you think they come from?

Jay,I thought wire... (Below threshold)
Vagabond:

Jay,

I thought wire-tapping was illegal. But thanks for the transcript.

V

Though I'm still not terrib... (Below threshold)
James H:

Though I'm still not terribly opposed to a so-called bank tax, I'm far more concerned with enacting an appropriate regulatory regime.

Particularly disconcerting, IMO, is this WaPo article:

The SEC has no system in place to guide how officials should handle tips and complaints from outsiders, making it difficult for investigators to take advantage of an invaluable source of information.

This failure helped to continue two of the most celebrated frauds of the last decade for several years, potentially costing unwitting investors millions of dollars. Countless others may have been left vulnerable to shysters because of warnings that went unheeded.

The SEC doesn't pay attention to fraud complaints??? WTF?

Vinny and Guido are so disa... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Vinny and Guido are so disappointed that "The Won" has muscled in on their extortion business.

Seriously, no one in this administration has the first clue how businesses operate to make a profit. They've lived their entire lives in the Marxist bubble of academia and think theory applies to reality.

Look for the gold at the end of the rainbow and unicorns to suddenly go the way of the Dodo bird as reality kicks down and takes over the drive off the cliff.

Hey WW, shout out, yo!... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

Hey WW, shout out, yo!

bobdg,

We should sue the goverment and get the supreme court, who knows how long it will stay conservative, to remove every regulation on the books.

No more regulations on food or medicine! No more regulations on landlords, police, education, cars, airlines, driving (I hate those pesky stop signs), etc.

Sure a few people might die here and there or become disenfranchised, but eventually the market/society will correct itself. No more lawsuits after that because there will be no laws to break. Then we could get rid of the supreme court, congress, and the administration altogether. Start from scratch. Oh, yeah!

The relationship between ... (Below threshold)
Will:

The relationship between Big Lobbying Business and Washington is strange. Sometimes they get a mink coat, sometimes they get the carp beat out of them. Lobbying CAN turn lemons to lemon-aid, but one thing is sure in the end; somebody's gonna get scr&w&d

Well Worldcitizen let'em pa... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Well Worldcitizen let'em pass it and then the Supreme Court will decide.

Michael,Are you wi... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

Michael,

Are you willing to do that even when the court is stacked with liberals? Or are you willing to let the supreme court decide because it is currently conservative?

A country of laws should not be fickle.

Nice usage of the Negro dia... (Below threshold)
914:

Nice usage of the Negro dialect Jay!

"The SEC doesn't pay attent... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The SEC doesn't pay attention to fraud complaints???"

Guess not. How many were lodged against Bernie? Those were really "through" investigations, weren't they?

As for the notion of error-free "government oversight", perhaps we should question Barney Frank about his willingness "to roll the dice one more time."

WorldCitizen, you brought u... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

WorldCitizen, you brought up a good point but I don't think you realized it. Our interstate commerce can regulate state to state, we don't need federal intervention in most issues. Stop signs and lights, local, etc. Any regulation from Federal only impedes progress. ww

WW,Are you content... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

WW,

Are you content with your state and local government and its officials? I would have thought that your opinion would be that all government involvement in your life is unwanted and unnecessary.

We don't need traffic control the same as we don't need the FDA or ATF or FEMA. What makes your local government more palitable than the federal government? It may feel like you have more control at that level, but I would argue that control over where a stop sign is placed is a false sense of power.

Tear it all down!

WC makes a good point. </p... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

WC makes a good point.

We really need government control over every aspect of our life - we're not responsible enough to chose what we eat, when we should see a physician or not, when we should wake, and when we're too old to justify being alive (people are the primary cause of global warming, less people = less warming!).

Bring on the totalitarians because your government bureaucrat can make better decisions for you than you can!

_Mike_ makes a great point!... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

_Mike_ makes a great point!

Non-elected government appointed judges definitely know more about you than you know about yourself. No more elections! Current office holders should appoint their successors from now on.

No wait, we will start this once Obama is out of office and the republicans, no the tea party have taken the house and senate. Then I am all for it. Long live the republic!

"...but my blog-buddy Rob P... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"...but my blog-buddy Rob Port set me straight.."
-jay tea

Pleasedon'teverusetheterm"blogbuddy"again.

signed, Mom.

How about "blog-buggerer"?<... (Below threshold)
epador:

How about "blog-buggerer"?

Just because you like to dr... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Just because you like to dress up in giant grandma thunder panties does not entitle you to address Jay as "mom", BD.

"Just because you like to d... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Just because you like to dress up in giant grandma thunder panties does not entitle you to address Jay as "mom", BD."
33. Posted by SCSIwuzzy

Jay Tea and CSI Watcher...

Mazel Tov!

...in CSI Watcher's dreams.

Wedding gift?

$60 top-of-the-line reading comprehension software.

for CSI Watcher

From Santa...belatedly (hic!).

Yep, blog-bugger-er fits yo... (Below threshold)
epador:

Yep, blog-bugger-er fits you perfectly, bD.

I guess Jack Chick n... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:


I guess Jack Chick never wrote about the links between computer components, Kipling and damnation...




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