Friday, April 23, 2010


Nobody plays the strawman game better than Barack Hussein Obama. We've had a bellyful of his strawman speeches since he began campaigning, and he has ebellished this speechification since his inauguration. This week we was at his finest, using Wall Street and big businesses as his current target, and all the while they're sharing the same bed, along with the news media as their cover.

This is just another big government giveaway to big business, Wall Street included, while the people who play by the rules get screwed -- again. Opposition to another huge government takeover of the private sector needs to be voiced loud and strong, or we are looking at a peridime shift of Americans who work hard and pay more than their fair share of taxes versus Americans who receive and depend on government handouts. This is explained by the eloquent Phyllis Schlafly's brilliant piece "Some Pay, and Some Recieve" in her Eagle Forum. She's such a wealth of knowledge, and an inspiration.

Tom Fitton writes in Judicial Watch, Beware Obama Financial "Reform":

Here’s one early lesson we’ve learned from the Obama administration: Beware the word “reform.” First there was Obamacare, which was nothing more than a government takeover of our nation’s health care system masquerading as “reform.” And now the Obama administration has set its sights on “reforming” Wall Street. In fact, on Thursday, the President took to the pulpit in New York, just blocks from Wall Street, to pitch his vision for so-called reform in a high profile speech.

No matter what Obama says, this much we know — his ultimate goal is to increase government control of the private sector. And he’s trying to do it quickly, before the elections this fall, just in case Democrats lose control of Congress and the mood in Washington further sours for the President and his statist agenda.
But, back to the hypocrisy -- this man, once again, is attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people, as he pontificates about the big bad Wall Street, lobbyists, and big businesses with one hand, while the other hand is about to grab himself more power than the Constitution ever intended. Liberty or Tyranny -- which one will reign?

The Heritage Foundation writes an excellent piece on the continuation of Bailout Bonanza:

The Fatal Flaws of the Wall Street Bailout Bill
The Heritage Foundation, April 23, 2010

Speaking to an audience of big business and big labor executives (including Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein, Bank of America's Bruce Thompson and SEIU's Andy Stern) at New York's Cooper Union, President Barack Obama noted "the furious efforts of industry lobbyists to shape" the financial regulation bill "to their special interests." Obama then admitted, "I am sure that many of those lobbyists work for some of you. But I am here today because I want to urge you to join us, instead of fighting us in this effort." Obama should have saved his breath. Wall Street and big labor lobbyists have already joined forces to make sure the current Senate legislation has become a Wall Street Bailout Bill.

Big labor's ties to this White House are already well documented. Less known is just how close Obama administration interests align with the big firms that benefit most from the TARP bailout. The Washington Examiner reports that at Goldman Sachs, the nation's largest investment bank, four of the five in-house lobbyists were Democratic Capitol Hill staffers -- the remaining one gave $1,000 to Hillary Clinton last election. And USA Today notes that Goldman Sachs alone has given nearly $900,000 since January 2009 to congressional candidates, with 69% of that cash lining Democrat pockets. Finally, then-candidate Obama collected almost $1 million from Goldman executives and employees in 2008, more than the combined Goldman haul of every Republican running for president, Senate and the House.

So what have Wall Street lobbyists bought with their campaign cash and high priced lobbyists? A bill that gives permanent TARP-like authority to Washington regulators, thus enshrining Washington as a permanent bailout machine. Specifically, the bill:

Creates a protected class of too big to fail firms. Section 113 of the bill establishes a "Financial Stability Oversight Council," charged with identifying firms that would "pose a threat to the financial security of the United States" if they encounter "material financial distress." While these firms would be subject to enhanced regulation, such a designation would also signal to the marketplace that these firms are too important to be allowed to fail and, perversely, allow them to take on undue risk.

Creates permanent bailout authority. Section 204 of the bill authorizes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to "make available … funds for the orderly liquidation of [a] covered financial institution." Although no funds could be provided to compensate a firm's shareholders, the firm's other creditors would be eligible for a cash bailout. The situation is much like the bailout AIG in 2008, in which the largest beneficiaries were not stockholders but rather other creditors, such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

Provides for seizure of private property without meaningful judicial review. The bill, in Section 203(b), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to order the seizure of any financial firm that he finds is "in danger of default" and whose failure would have "serious adverse effects on financial stability." This determination would be virtually irreversible in court.

Establishes a $50 billion fund to pay for bailouts. Funding for bailouts is to come from a $50 billion "Orderly Resolution Fund" created within the U.S. Treasury in Section 210(n)(1), funded by taxes on financial firms. However, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the ultimate cost of bank taxes will fall on the customers, employees and investors of each firm.

Opens a "line of credit" to the Treasury for additional government funding. Under Section 210(n)(9), the FDIC is effectively granted a line of credit to the Treasury Department that is secured by the value of failing firms in its control, providing another taxpayer financial support.

Authorizes regulators to guarantee the debt of solvent banks. Bailout authority is not limited to debt of failing institutions. Under Section 1155, the FDIC is authorized to guarantee the debt of "solvent depository institutions" if regulators declare that a liquidity crisis ("event") exists.

Imposes one-size-fits-all reform in derivative markets. Derivatives are already increasingly being traded on clearinghouses thanks to private efforts coordinated by the New York Fed. But the Senate bill would require virtually all derivative contracts to be settled through a clearinghouse rather than directly between the parties. Applying such ill-designed blanket regulation would make financial derivatives more costly, more difficult to customize, and, consequently, less widely used—which would increase overall risk in the economy.

According to Rasmussen Reports, 64% of Americans are not confident that policymakers in Washington know what they're doing with regards to Wall Street. They have every reason to be concerned. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) tells National Review: "From the beginning, I've thought that the deal Goldman Sachs got via Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on their bad bets through AIG kind of stunk. They got $13 billion from AIG last year." DeFazio doesn't seem to realize that the bill Obama is pushing would empower Secretary Geithner to repeat the AIG bailout ad infinitum. No need to ever go back to Congress for a new TARP. The Senate bill is a permanent TARP. Which is exactly what Goldman Sachs and the rest of their Wall Street lobbyists wanted all along.