Obama: "We want our money back, and we're going to get it"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The New Republic has an interesting analysis of the new bank tax:
Levying a tax on those institutions helps alleviate both [policy and political] problems. As policy, the tax helps to level the playing field between large and small financial institutions, reducing the benefit of being "too big to fail." (It doesn't go nearly far enough, but it does advance the cause.) As politics, it puts the administration back on the opposite side of the Wall Street bad guys. And it exposes the Republicans, who have indulged in a lot of anti-Wall Street rhetoric that they've had no intention of backing up with any policy substance.

Thus far the Wall Street bad guys are playing their part. "Using tax policy to punish people is a bad idea," complains J.P. Morgan Chase Chief Executive James Dimon. (In reality, it's more like a user fee to pay for a government benefit, but please -- whine away, Mr. Dimon.)

And the Republicans are playing their assigned role, too. Their ideology and donor base won't allow them to support a new tax on banks. The usual play for Republicans is to portray such measures as a tax on regular people...
I can't really disagree with any of this; smart move by President Obama.