“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street…” So said President Obama on Dec. 13. Comments like this serve no purpose other than re-election.
First off, no one deserves the “fat cat” label more than the federal government. No one has confiscated more wealth, spent more money, or been more addicted to debt than Uncle Sam.
Second, those “unscrupulous” fat cats used taxpayer money exactly as mandated by federal stimulus legislation: They stopped risky lending practices, built up cash reserves, stabilized their balance sheets — oh, and actually paid back taxpayers. Doesn’t the president know what’s in the legislation he supported?
Third, such schoolyard name-calling by a U.S. president is amateurish and unseemly. This is the guy whose inaugural address promised, “… an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas …” He is the one who declared, “… the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.”
Guess what. Stirring up class envy against big banks epitomizes “recrimination” and “stale political argument.” I understand the appeal — I’m an unemployed father. However, America must own up to the fact that unscrupulous Wall Street lending was matched by equally unscrupulous Main Street borrowing — and dwarfed by decades of obscene government gluttony.
If the president is so convinced of the inherent greed and selfishness of Wall Street, perhaps he should have reflected more on the merit of bailing them out before deciding to scapegoat them.