Nothing at all has been said lately about non-renewal of the so-called Bush tax cuts, nothing about taxing high-speed Wall Street trades. As a matter of fact, W himself came out of the woodwork yesterday to complain they are still called the Bush Tax Cuts, when they should be "another body's tax cuts." His heh-heh-heh appearance and still-untreated language disability reminds us why people were once so enthusiastic about Barack.
The public policy center Demos says a financial-speculation tax is not only long overdue, but would garner billions more revenue than the small ball Buffett Rule. The Eurozone is in favor of such a tax. But, wouldn't you know -- Obama and his bank-friendly Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner don't like it so much. It would cost the donors on whom they so heavily depend to remain in The White House. Writes Wallace Turbeville of The American Prospect:
The Obama administration has voiced doubts about the enforceability of an FST as well fears that the costs would be passed along to ordinary investors and the overall effect would be to raise the costs of capital and hurt growth. These objections are groundless. Enforcement has not proved to be a major problem in the U.K. as just discussed. And ordinary investors may actually benefit from an FST as fund managers have fewer incentives to engage in excessive trading that increases fees for investors. As Ian Salisbury has pointed out, “Excessive trading can be a drag on fund performance because funds' brokerage commissions and other costs are deducted from investors' returns. Trading can also pump up capital-gains taxes that investors pay.”Ironically, Obama made his Buffett Rule pitch in Florida, in a public speech crammed amidst several million-dollar fundraisers hosted by the very same wealthy anti-regulation people he is asking to contribute "just a bit more." It was one of those G-droppin' harangues in which his voice frequently strained against the fakery of his own words. Lots of folksy, incredulous stammerin' that rich folks get away with such an outrage. Which is pretty outrageous, considering just last week he signed into law that hilariously-named JOBS Act, which brings deregulation and fraud back to Wall Street. Obama disingenuously called it an opportunity for small investors to cash in on job-creatin' IPOs via that so-trustworthy and anonymous Internet. But in the words of Matt Taibbi, "it couldn't suck worse."
Come to think of it, the de facto campaign slogan of Barack Obama is "I Suck Less." In actuality, though, it should be "I Suck, Romney Sucks. We Both Suck Up to Capitalist Cronies, and You're All Just a Bunch of Suckers."
Not one word, moreover, from Obama on how that much-vaunted 55-member Financial Crime Task Force he announced during his State of the Union address is coming along. The fact is, it is non-existent. If you haven't yet signed the CREDO petition demanding answers from Dear Leader, here is where you can find it. Such petitions usually roll off his tefloned back like water off a duck. But it's fun to imagine that just one infinitesimal droplet of sweat might mar his brow during this election year, give him one nano-second of pause.
CREDO points out that even were Obama to fill all 55 slots, the effort would still be but a hollow emphysemic wheeze aimed at the criminal conflagration. During the Savings and Loan Scandal of the 80s, more than 1,000 FBI agents were dispatched to investigate those crimes, which pale in comparison to the extent of the still-ongoing Big Bank cataclysm of conspiracy. And Obama's typical passive aggression is deliberate to the extreme. Time (read: statute of limitations) is starting to run out:
President Obama’s record on Wall Street accountability is abysmal. But because of enormous grassroots pressure from activists like you and polling that suggests he needs to take on Wall Street as a part of his election campaign, we have a real opportunity to move President Obama to meaningful action on Wall Street accountability. Time, however, is running out.
President Obama’s first task force at the Department of Justice did little if anything to prosecute Wall Street for crimes that led to the financial crisis. But because of your activism, he announced a new task force and named progressive champion and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman one of its five co-chairs.Schneiderman, you may recall, was widely accused of selling out to the Obama Administration when he dropped his serious investigation of the mortgage fraudsters and reached a very bank-friendly settlement. You may also remember that he promised to walk away from the Task Force if it turned out to be a big fat sham. Well -- it has been three months. We are still waiting.
Actually, Schneiderman may be just a little slow on the uptake. Two years after my local newspaper broke the story of a scam involving a Bridezilla who faked terminal cancer in order to score a free wedding and honeymoon, our Attorney General has finally had the woman arrested, charged with fraud and grand larceny, and thrown in the slammer. (H/T Valerie)
"By pretending to have a terminal illness, Vega inexcusably took advantage of the community's hearts and minds, and profited off of their generosity," said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "Our office will hold this individual accountable for fleecing the public through lies and deception."Ironically -- perhaps just humanely -- the cancer bride's alleged victims think she should be receiving mental help instead of jail time. But Eric the Dread has to show that he is strong on Law and Order as it affects the lesser people. Crooks like Jon Corzine and Angelo Mozilo who deceived and fleeced the public are rich and free, because they are VIPs. Punishing them might give the Stock Market the jitters. As President Obama put it in his Buffett fluff-puffer of a speech Monday, "I believe the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history."
There you have it. Capitalists rule, working people drool. Straight from Boca Raton (the Mouth of the Rat*), Florida, USA, home of corporate Disneyworld fantasies and Stand Your Ground.
*Reader Jay informs me the literal Spanish translation of Boca Raton is Mouth of the Mouse. Its original name was Boca de Ratones, which would translate into Rat's Mouth. In any event, this pricey Florida resort town was named after a rodent's maw of some sort. According to "Urban Dictionary", Boca Raton is defined this way:
1) Are you from Long Island?
2) Nah, I'm from Boca
1) Same shit
|(Photo Courtesy of CREDO)|