Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Five Easy Questions

Suggested by Chris Bowers, a troublemaker over at OpenLeft, these are five soft-ball questions that Obama won't answer tonight at the big presser, because they won't be asked.
President Obama, Why Is Wall Street Evil?
(by: Chris Bowers, Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 13:58)
President Obama is holding his second prime-time press conference tonight. The regularity with which he has personally appeared to talk to the press and the public is a welcome change over the bubblicious behavior of his predecessor. The questions will, no doubt, focus on the bailout, the bonuses, and the budget.

What I would like to see tonight are some leading, almost Gannon-esque questions that egg on President Obama to say some mean things about Wall Street. Partially, this is because I just want to hear the President say some mean things about Wall Street. Mainly it is because I would like to see some sort of wedge driven between the administration and Wall Street. Here are some suggestions:
  1. Many people have said that what is good for Wall Street is also good for Main Street. However, since 1970, only the wealthiest 1% of American households have seen an increase in real income. That sounds very good for Wall Street, but very bad for Main Street. Isn't it entirely possible that there are things that are good for Wall Street, but very bad for Main Street?

  2. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Geithner said that the financial crisis was caused by Wall Street taking excessive risks. You have said that a culture of greed played a role. However, over the past six months, hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars have been pumped into Wall Street, but no new financial regulations against excessive risk or excessive compensation have come with that money. Without new regulatory guarantees against excessive risk taking and lavish compensation, why should Main Street trust Wall Street to do anything but continue taking excessive risks and compensation, thus losing all of Main Street's money once again?

  3. There are reports that some financial firms, like Goldman Sachs, are scrambling to give back government money in order to avoid having to pay the bonus tax that Congress will pass next month. Do you think it is a good idea to work with people who are so selfish and greedy that they consider their bonuses to be more important than helping to save the economy?

  4. If banks made bad decisions to get themselves into this mess, and if the federal government is willing to help banks get rid of bad assets that they acquired through bad decisions, then why isn't it helping people pay off their credit cards? After all, aren't individuals more trustworthy than Wall Street, anyway?

  5. FDR said that "government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." Do you think that it is accurate to say that we got into this situation partially because we had government by organized money? Also, can you comment on reports in today's Wall Street Journal that your housing plan was hashed out with Wall Street executives over pizza? Specifically, I am wondering if they paid for the pizza.

Anyway, those are the type of questions I would like to see. Throw President Obama a softball to whack Wall Street, and see if he swings.
Pigs will fly out Obama's big, floppy ears, dropping sugar-cured bacon out their asses before you'll hear even ONE of those (impudent, impertinent) queries voiced on the national state tonight.

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