Guest Post: Geithner Says Pickpocketing Trillions from the People to Give to the Oligarchy Was “Deeply Unfair”, But We … Um … Had To

Washington’s Blog

Tim Geithner told the Today Show that:

It’s “deeply unfair” that some financial institutions that got taxpayer-paid bailouts are emerging in better shape from the recession than millions of ordinary Americans.

Geithner also argued that President Barack Obama had no choice when confronted with a financial crisis.

“As the president has said, we had to do some very unpopular things,” Geithner said. “People looked at what had happened.””It’s not fair. It’s deeply unfair,” he said. “He (Obama) had to decide whether he was going to act to fix it or stand back … and that would have been calamitous for the American economy.”

There are only a couple of minor inaccuracies in Geithner’s statements:

  • Geithner’s entire approach is wrong, because the economy can’t recover until many of the “financial institutions that got taxpayer-paid bailouts [and] are emerging in better shape” are broken up
  • The government has been anemic in addressing unemployment

Moreover, it is not like their approach fell on them and they couldn’t do anything about it. Geithner, Summers, Bernanke and the boys made a conscious decision to side with the oligarchy at the expense of the people.

As Simon Johnson and James Kwak write:

[There was a] point at which the government had to decide if it would defend the financial oligarchy from populist outrage, or whether it would reform the financial system that brought us the financial crisis and severe recession. We do not think it was an easy choice. But ultimately Obama and his advisers chose to bet on the bankers they knew. The result has been even larger banks and an even more concentrated financial sector.

Geithner also told the Today Show that he hopes skeptical voters will note legislation moving through Congress to bring reforms to the financial system.

He’s banking, of course, on the fact that many voters won’t realize that the legislation is a placebo containing no real medicine.

Geithner ended the interview with this pearl of wisdom:

“What happened in our country should never happen again,” he said. “People were paid for taking enormous risks. It was a crazy way to run a financial system.” Geithner said, “It’s the government’s job … to do a better job of restraining that kind of risk-taking.”

Indeed … too bad that Geithner and the boys are still encouraging that kind of risk-taking.

Geithner was, of course, largely responsible for much of the failure of the government to restrain risk-taking in the first place.

As William Black points out:

Mr. Geithner, as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since October 2003, was one of those senior regulators who failed to take any effective regulatory action to prevent the crisis, but instead covered up its depth.

Geithner was also complicit in Lehman’s accounting fraud .

And pushed to pay AIG’s CDS counterparties at full value, and then to keep the deal secret.

And as Robert Reich notes today, Geithner was “very much in the center of the action” regarding the secret bail out of Bear Stearns without Congressional approval.

Indeed, the list of Geithner’s hinky actions grows longer by the day as new facts emerge.

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About George Washington

George Washington is the head writer at Washington’s Blog. A busy professional and former adjunct professor, George’s insatiable curiousity causes him to write on a wide variety of topics, including economics, finance, the environment and politics. For further details, ask Keith Alexander…


  1. kevinearick

    DNA & Pandora’s Box

    The cartels turned the global economy into an integrated circuit, upon the advise of professors, and with the aid of many, on the assumption that ICs were cheaper and easier to replace than workers, to minimize cost, and on the assumption that they could extort ignorant and isolated consumers, to maximize revenue, creating $500T in unfunded liabilities in the process, which are now due.

    Unfortunately, the workers are the consumers, revenue cannot be disassociated from cost, and producers and consumers are only separated by the fictional hinge we call capitalism, by a hat. They fried the motor. Evolution is anything, but cheap and easy.

    From the perspective of the planet, there is no difference between a tree and a human. The planet was here long before humans, and will be here long after, unless the universe decides otherwise. Every sub-system has to earn its keep, by producing an evolutionary profit, by increasing diversity of action on mass.

    Else, Pandora’s box.

    Printing money is not bad in and of itself, but a feedback loop to reward issuers/users for doing something productive with it is necessary. Ultimately, money is like a set of training wheels. This economy is a vegetable on life support because the monetary hoarding and obfuscation feedback loop rewarded complete global integration, toward the end of cartel control, through the hoarding of non-productive assets, and its result, artificial scarcity.

    Hiding all the components out of sight, all on one too-big-to-fail, black-box IC chip, failed, because of all the reasons all boards fail, and the assumption of IC boards, that they are easy and cheap to replace, doesn’t work for a global economy. It’s one thing to get every last horse out of a motor; it’s another to design, build, install, and maintain a motor.

    Efficiency is at a premium in the first, and effectiveness is at a premium in the latter. To accomplish the latter, individuals need to see the system in its entirety, and have the will to act, so they can effectively deploy their talents. Efficiency, beyond fulcrum balance, crowds out effectiveness in a self-reinforcing feedback loop, creating a cancer of obsolete specialization.

    DNA maintains its history because environments are recursive, but it grows as it learns, in a symbiotic relationship with a growing environment. Slicing and dicing the DNA to meet short-term objectives has its price.

    The cartels that wish to survive will cut out all the middlemen and pay individuals well to learn, in quality of life, not with promises on paper. The merry-go-round is not a draw for those with the required skills. The university/healthcare root of the cancerous nexus will be a sunk cost for some time to come. It will have to be set aside.

    Replacement jobs at Best Buy, Verizon, Lowes, Comcast, and the Census are not going to cut it.

  2. MonkeyMuffins

    Those are a few inaccuracies, not a “couple”.

    And I don’t know what you’re worried about, all the economic news today is rosy (Ponzi markets are up, housing is “better”, manufacturing of useless, unnecessary crap is growing). It’s all good.


    Nader recently expressed it best:

    “A society not alert to signs of its own decay, because its ideology is a continuing myth of progress, separates itself from reality and envelops illusion”.
    – Attention Deficit Democracy, Ralph Nader, 3/29/2010

    Truth is, you could break up and regulate the too-big-too-fail criminal-organizations till the cows come home and you’d still have only addressed a symptom of our predicament, not the root cause (the myth of infinite growth on a finite planet).

    Finite Earth is a reality to be adapted to, not a problem to be solved. As long as we pursue the shallow childishness of the latter instead of the enlightened maturity of the former, disappointment, trouble, failure and violence will be our constant companions.

    We live at the end of empire, in the century of contraction, in a culture of make believe.

    We’re not going to grow, consume and indebt our way out of the problems of growth, consumption and debt.

    But trying to get anyone to perceive, let alone embrace, truth in a culture hopelessly steeped in lies is like trying to talk sense to The Pope.

    It doesn’t happen and it won’t happen.

    You can bank on it.

    1. LastChanceUSA

      Excellent post about the root cause. In a world of finite resources, sustained growth is mathematically impossible.

      Too bad our current President is a believer in sustained growth (see his February 21, 2009 weekly address). In early March 2009, I sent him a copy of Dr. Albert Bartlett’s video “Arithmetic, Population and Energy”, which clearly dispels the myth of sustained growth. I sent my gift with delivery conformation, so I know it was received. I never even received an acknowledgment.

      The USA is in for a very long downhill slide until the Democrats and Republicans are removed from office and replaced with honest people grounded in math, science, and reality.

  3. sgt_doom

    I like what Simon Johnson says, excepting that Johnson happens to be a senior fellow at that shill tank, the Peterson Institute.

    At some point, after he’s been making sense for awhile, he’ll suddenly say something truly crazy, and many will go along with him because of these previous comments.

    Be on your guard, people!!

    Alas, the only point to the American pseudo-economy today is to keep those insolvent banks appearing to be solvent.

    Phony pronouncements, at complete variance to numbers anyone can find online (at the government sites, if you please), is more than enough reason to distrust everything coming out of the mouths of the likes such as Geithner, even if he weren’t so obviously wrong and dishonest.

    Go home, Geithner, go home, Farrell, go home, Tyson, go home Summers, go home Orszag, go home Allison, go home Gensler, go home Emanuel, go home O’Toole, and perhaps Brand Obama will appoint some honest people for a change.

  4. Tiffiniy Cheng

    CMD along with economist, Dean Baker just released a financial crisis and bailout widget, estimating $4.6 trillion of federal funds has been disbursed. Totals for all programs and subprograms of the bailout can be seen in their analysis as well. This is the first time that the bones of the bailout are completely detailed in one place.

    We think it’s important to see the numbers, brings reality to the issues in some ways.

    Total Wall Street Bailout Cost Table, which contains links to pages on each bailout program with details including the current balance sheet for each program:

    Financial Crisis Tracker, a widget for the table that can be downloaded to websites to get up-to-date numbers on the financial crisis and the bailout:

  5. PJM

    Soon than americans think, USA people will live like in some african countries: an elite who controls the people and profits with the poverty.

    Soon we will see a elite class (upper-upper class) living in like-castles places surrounded for an imporished population who fall in the ilusion of debt.

    Thomas Jefferson understood the nature of banking and debt. But just afew understands really what it is. Debt can leverage growth but is like a Sword of Damocles: when in excess cuts your head.

    Everybody is celebrating the end of fall of debt creation. Stockmarket is up but now, as if no more opportunities has been create in the world, all wants to join the bandwagon. Even mr. Grsso told us: we need to joing the stocks because bonds are dying. This is the first red flag for an investor: when in dispair, one wants to join the party.

    Everybody says: we dont have inflation in USA. Yes. You dont. Maybe not. But all things are rising in price: oil, metals, comoditties, stocks and soon even the land and properties will follow. But hey, the gurus says: we, economists, know what is inflation and to fight that problem. Sure, you know. We will see soon.

    I ask myself, when you live in debt and antecipate consummation who will pay that money? And how the economy will pay interest rates of that money? Normally economists dont know. They even dont do the basic questions.

    Poor world and poor USA. They dont see the hill in front their eyes. We will pay, all the world, for the mistakes of american people. And their oligarchs.

    1. abelenkpe

      So much doom. You may want to see your doctor and get on some anti-depressants. I sincerely doubt it will play out that way. The pendulum has only begun to swing the other way. Patience. The US will not end up like Africa.

      1. PJM

        Dear Abelenkpe, perhaps youre right, but maybe someone is missing the crude data.

        As a investor I allways should see the crude figures and data. And what I see isnt beautiful.

        Let me say what happens in Europe. Normally ECB rises discount rates when prices pressures are high and unemployment falls. Last figures, released by Eurostat show us that inflation is rising fast. Y/y now the data is 1,5%. some months ago we were talking about deflation but soon the prices started rising fast. And the unemployment still rises. First signal that ECB will loose control of inflation if dont start rising discount rates or stops the european QE.

        In Asia prices are rising fast too. I want you remember that isnt inflation per si the problem. Is the velocity of changes in prices that count more. And the veolicity of inflation is rising fast than before.

        Industrial production is rising everywhere. The last american figures showed an extraordinary improvement. Soon, even the output gap will be sovered. I dont believe USA can improve their industrial production even with high unemployment. USA can only control his inflation in one way: rising interest rates to reflate the dollar. Can american people afford a strong monetary policy? No, americans cant. Too much debt and lack of savings.

        But to deflate, USA must to import cheap goods. From where? If inflation is rising everywhere? China has seeing the same increase in the inflation momentum. Even without proteccionist policies, USA will import inflation. Isnt true that wal-Mart buys 70% of their inventory in China?

        Normally I dont believe in armageddons scenarios. I personally dont believe in gold to protect and hedge the inflation. But I do believe that money created is allways there to acelerate his velocity as soon encounters opportunities. And the money is spreading to all the planet. We can see that in comoditties. Prices are rising. Fast. And prices tend to have memory, as Brasil showed us some years ago.

        American people doesnt need inflation above 50% to feel the pinch. Inflation above 10% is enouph to put people in the chains of poverty. What jobs will be created to sustain interest rates as in the eigthies? What productivity will help to increases real wages to support interest rates to fight inflation above 10%?

        This is a mistake common. Excessive low interest rates in USA doesnt have uninted effects in prices as soon unemployment and output gap inside USA stops rising prices. However, I want to remember, that theory apllies to close systems. USA isnt a closed system. So, dollar is available everywhere, is cheap and still is a world currency. USA is exporting inflation to everywhere and soon that inflation will come back.

        As I said. The dollar interest rates are excessive low. Even in Europe are excessive low. And Japan is exporting inflation too. Why? Affraid of deflation. This is more in the psych of the authorities than in the people.

        The thing is. When a cowntry lives with credit and his consummation is anteciped, that consummation creates a supply that isnt real. Is a supply created in nothing. Thin air. The prices rose with that credit. When insolvent economy stops his consummation, also put pressures in prices, downwards. However, prices tend to have memory and dont fall at same velocity than when rises. Is simple math. But when authorities are sacred with deflation (because deflation erodes the State power to spend and doesnt give profits to oligarchs), they start spend and printing as if the armageddon is near us. So, when all start printing and spending, that shock will have ribbles, like an earthquaque, and prices will rising, soon or later.

        But the american problem is. USA cant put more production in his system. Their operating costs is very high. So, as in the ex-Jugoslavy, unemployment can be stubborn, but prices rises at high velocity. do you see, even if USA wants to produce some goods, they cant because USA hasnt know-how for that. You cant open a mill to produce TVs tomorrow. It takes time and know how to have a mill ready to output goods. But the money is in the system and dont wait for producers.

        Maybe Im wrong. I wish to be wrong. But I cant be optimist when everythings is signaling high rates of inflation. Even the yield curve is showing inflation pressures. However…

        But, hey!, I can be wrong. But I dont think so. soon we will see.

        Disclosure: I still believe that gold isnt a good hedge to protect inflation. I dont pretend to sell gold, advice or even I dont pretend to win elections. Im only concerned with that crazy optimism from students of Zimbabwe School of Economics.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think African states won’t be the future of the U.S. Eastern Europe’s experience is far more likely with less time spent in the wilderness of rampant capitalism because our society is older and Democratic processes are far more institutionalized.

          Also, I think you are comparing the U.S. to a great deal of other countries and their experience, but the U.S. has an almost near monopoly on violence in the world. A withdrawal of the U.S. in any way will radically shift every state overnight.

          I agree, the economic collapse of the existing order is inevitable as they run out of people to fleece.

          1. PJM

            Dear NotTimothyGeithner,

            I wish you be right. History show us that high rates of unemployment and high rates of inflation are a fatal combination for Democracy and liberal institutions. Do you see, Hitler was elected first.

            What is very risky is having the faith in the democracy. democracy has only 200 hundreds years and with a lot of problems. We cant say that Democracy will last forever.

            What I know is this: deflation never puted and end to Democracy. japan is there to explain that his Democracy works with deflation. However, inflation and high uneployment is a fatal combination. Im scare more now than before.

            I think that we have to much optimism in some opinion makers:

            “Manufacturing From China to U.S. Expanding in Global Recovery ”


            “India Manufacturing Expanded in March for 12th Month ”


            India has a problematic situation and isnt good:

            “An index measuring wholesale prices of lentils, rice, vegetables and other food articles compiled by the commerce ministry rose 16.35 percent in the week ended March 20 from a year earlier after a 16.22 percent gain the previous week, according to a statement in New Delhi today.

            Central bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said last week the contribution of food prices to the benchmark wholesale-price inflation rate has halved since November and is being replaced by manufactured-product costs. He signaled he may add to the March 19 quarter-point interest rate increase in the April 20 monetary policy statement.

            “Non-food manufacturing goods is the dominant contributor to price pressures,” Prasanna Ananthasubramaniam, chief economist at the Mumbai-based ICICI Securities Primary Dealership Ltd., said in a March 30 report. He expects Subbarao to raise rates by at least 0.25 percentage point this month.

            The wholesale-price inflation rate rose to 9.89 percent in February, with manufactured-price inflation advancing to 7.42 percent from 1.6 percent in October. ”


            The picture inst good in India and others asian countries. Ant that fast change in prices will soon be followed by others regions of the world. Soon, we will feel the pinch.

            And we could have a serious crisis if world agriculture output cant sustain all the money created in the world. I want to remember that we, world, had a spectacular growth in agriculture output in the last 18 years. Some believe that happened because technologies improved the productivity. Others say that was luck and better temperatures in some crucial areas. However, as China and Venezuela is showing us, bad things happens. And could be a trigger to more inflation. in special in China were they have an overheated economy.

            I think we souldnt understimate the fatal combination: high unemployment and high inflation. Usa has lived with good democratic institutions but the system is cracking and is very corrupted and captured by oligarchs. Even in the Old Albion, MPs had a price and could be bougth as if it is some Banana Republic. I think corruption is the modern enemy to the people.

            I hope to be wrong. But data comes and show us some nasty signals. Who denies the signals because doenst fit theirs beliefs or wishes can pay high.

            I wish to be more optimist.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Hitler was elected, but he wasn’t elected by a state with 200 years of Democratically elected government behind it. If he had stood for a third election, its likely he would have been gone because he had jump-started the economy as much as he could while producing guns not butter. Other countries such as Spain which fell to fascism weren’t operating under mass-suffrage democracies. They had power sharing agreements that fell apart. The French had a series of Republics because the First one sucked. The Second one was never settled. The Third One was conquered by the Germans, and the Fourth One really represented France dissolving the connection to Algeria.

            Democracy in this country has survived a Civil War and the Great Depression. Its likely to survive because we aren’t facing the problems of other failed Republican attempts. Knowledge is relatively free solving one of the problems. The President is the President everywhere. He doesn’t have to negotiate with Governors who might have their own power base. We are not likely to face invading hordes anytime soon that can completely upset the balance.

            There aren’t a lot of true comparisons to make out there except maybe the English. Even older Republics (i.e. Rome, Greece) lacked mass communication and mass suffrage. Citizenship was a privilege not a right.

            American democracy is likely to survive almost anything short of nuclear war or alien invasion. The fatal combinations have existed before, but they didn’t topple governments here. They toppled them in countries with weaker institutions.

          3. justinslot

            Just wanted to say, NotTimothyGeithner, your 9:12 comment is one of the more reasonable things I have ever seen in this comment section. Good work. Sometimes it does seem like it’s all falling apart, but we really are an institutionally strong nation.

          4. PJM

            Thanks for your faith in the Democracy, dear NotTimothyGeithner.

            Do you see, my cowntry was a good example for the failing of Democracy. Resisted civil war, change from Monarchy to a Republic, but didnt resist to economic crisis with high inflation. And we got 48 years of dictatorship.

            But I hope see you right. Maybe USA is special. Maybe not. But I am not so sure that Democracy will resist in this fatal combination: high inflation and high inflation.

            And I am not expert in political sciences but, do you seee, the american system is cracking. Not only the american system, notice, but without enemies, western democracies are beeeing degradating. I just remembered the problem with second term of mr. Bush jr. Sometimes looks more a formal democracy than an efective democracy. Do you see, mr. Geithner said all to you ysterday. Aprils fools day, right? ;)

            Dear Vinny, make them a proposal that they cant deny. Isnt that greek government is trying to do to their investors? ;)

    2. Vinny


      You’re right, buddy; there are lots and lots of folk in the US living in greater poverty than anywhere in Africa. It’s more like people used to live in Portugal 25 years ago…

      But now, if you can point me to a bank willing to lend me some money, I would not mind becoming one of your “poor sinking in debt”. So, just let me know where to apply — I’m a willing borrower… and, btw, I live in Greece, which means you can lend to us with confidence… really…lol


  6. Jackrabbit

    Its not that they haven’t done anything, its that much of what they’ve done is either wrong or a bandaid. The banks are still broken and wringing every penny they can from the American public. Government “solutions” have focused on raising asset prices and have simply amounted to “extend and pretend” while they wait on housing prices to rise. They’ve made a calculation that this is the politically safe approach — but that leads us right into a Japanese-type “lost decade” (PS Japan is now on working on thier third consecutive lost decade).

    “It was a crazy way to run a financial system.” But Geithner was one of those who allowed it to be run that way! What’s even more crazy is that the people that ran the financial system into the ground, from CEOs to regulators like Geithner, have mostly all profited by the disaster.

  7. AP

    one has to be pretty numb between the ears to believe anything this clown says. fortunately for him, most people are.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think most people who listen know Geithner is either a crook, stupid or a combination of both. The problem is people just don’t listen, and a great deal of the political elites just want to be President to share their brackets with everyone instead of actually solving problems. They don’t bother to listen.

      1. monday1929

        Perhaps, just perhaps, if all Americans were NotTimotygeithner, except of course for Timothy Geithner, our problems might be solved. Or maybe, if Half the people were NotTimothyGeithner and Half were NotBenBernanke.
        I am personally going to name all my future children
        We must start somewhere. We must start sometime. Thank you for leading the way, NotTimothyGeithner.
        And, has anyone reminded Mr. Geithner that April 15th is nearing, in case he “forgot”.

  8. rosethorn

    Here’s a bank reform idea:

    1. Pass a federal law that eliminates state bank/credit union charters. This might solve the problem of reckless bank chartering a la Georgia.
    2. Take bank oversight authority away from FRB and give it to FDIC. The Fed has obvious conflicts of interest and has proven incompetent at oversight. This would give the FDIC a permanent function auditing only for theft or embezzlement; eliminating the headcount variability at the FDIC which makes it slow to respond to bank crises.
    3. Reinstate Glass Steagall barring investment banks from commercial banking
    4. Make the FDIC a government entity with a budget from Congress; as a part of the Department of Homeland Security. See point 2.
    5. Require all deposit taking/transaction processing institutions(banks/credit unions) to invest in Treasuries only.

    Since mortgages are now an investment product just like any other, make the capital for them come from “investors”; not Grandma’s checking account. Banking as described in textbooks has already ceased to exist; this plan acknowledges that and rationalizes the system.

  9. Tom Crowl

    Have you heard the news! Everything’s Fixed… It’s all gonna be Okay!!!!

    Greenspan, Paulson, Geithner and Summers just went on TV. They couldn’t even hold in their giggles.

    Apparently the last 30 years were this huge April Fool’s Joke that the guys cooked up at a punk rock concert and they’ve just been hiding all the money all this time.

    WOW, that’s a relief…
    Keep an eye out for your check from the Fed. They should be coming along any day now.

    Robert Rubin’s gonna hand deliver ’em.

  10. Glen

    “It was a crazy way to run a financial system.”, says one of the men that ran it.

    And still is crazy. And still does run it. (Hey, Timmy was even kicked upstairs! So much for real reform.)

  11. Janice

    “Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One”

    authror, William Black on the Financial Crisis, Mortgage Fraud, and the Top Ten Ways to Crack Down on Corporate Financial Crime

    Part I (YouTube Video)
    Watch Parts II-III-IV-and IV YouTube Videos
    To Rob A Country, Own A Bank Part II
    To Rob A Country, Own A Bank Part III
    To Rob A Country, Own A Bank Part IV
    To Rob A Country, Own A Bank Part V

  12. jedwards

    I can understand fixing the banking sector.



    It’s one thing to give money to stabilize the banking sector, but for those criminals to siphon money to pay themselves billions… so far beyond disgusting. No wonder the Tea Party is so popular now.

    Obama and the Democrats deserve to lose a healthy chunk of their seats for this in November.

  13. NumberNone

    As long as the US can print fiat currency that the world accepts the US government can placate the masses but this is starting to come to an end.

    One thing that really bothers me is that our government seems to be deliberately doing two things:

    – With the government taking over healthcare, how far are we from 51% of the population being on the government payroll and NEVER voting against the government because it will impact their paychecks. The rest of the populace truly will be slaves to the government.

    – Soon the 51% of the population will be non-white. Notice the demonization of predominantly white groups demanding government reform…”old white men” is the racial cry against them. When this demographic shift occurs you will have a population that views such anti-government actions as something not for them. Is there any hope for reform then?

  14. csodak

    I expect that the only real reform will be postponed until we are mired in a economic collapse. This is the natural order. Based on the markets current level one would think we are entering a more stable social and economic environment. I believe we are entering into a state of higher entropy.

  15. JCusick

    Although I don’t agree with NotTimothyGeithner’s predictions on the future, I don’t agree with his polite and hopeful critics either. Democracy in this country has been almost completely co-opted by Corporate Propaganda and the voting booth is not much more than an excercise in futility. The last Federal Election has turned out to be just as disasterous as the the 5 or 6 that preceeded it. It was nothing but rah-rah for the usual (lack of) choices between opposite sides of the exact same coin.

    The next won’t be much better considering the highly jingoistic anti-non-white teabaggers we will have to listen to while we’re told to vote for the much more “realistic” Democrats and Republicans.

    Even NPR is full of subtle but never-ending Corporate propaganda and a prime example of that is yesterday’s Talk Of The Nation interview by Ted Koppel with former Senator Alan Simpson regarding ” Obama’s bi-partsan commission to figure out how to solve the 12 trillion dollar deficit” (no formal name yet as far as I know).

    While the “public” was being asked to call in and “tell us if you would be willing to pay more taxes and what you would be willing to give up in Federal Programs” Alan Simpson explained why we had to raise taxes on the middle class but could not raise taxes on the ultra-rich.

    His excuse was the usual… The ultra-rich (top 5%) already pay over 50% of the taxes. Of course it was never mentioned that they also directly control about 98% of the wealth of the country. My question, had I called in, would have been “Why do we have an extremely regressive tax system? Even Warren Buffet says the middle class pays a far higher and unfair percentage of taxes than he does.”.

    The only caller who mentioned taxing net worth instead of “income” was “not understood” by Senator Simpson, so he ignored the question completely.

    To tell the truth I was burning up. As a single adult I now pay about 38% of my income of around $60K as an IT Tech (when I work, presently laid off with no health insurance expense… yet) in State and Federal income tax, not including property tax, school tax (and I don’t have kids) gas tax, sales tax (8.25% in this county), etc.and I got to listen to people call in and say raising taxes was a good idea. Hell, I would be very happy with a straight across-the-board for everyone 35% flat tax to the State and Feds. That would mean lower taxes for me!

    Ted Koppel, of course, praised Senator Simpson and his attitudes, i.e., don’t tax the rich and don’t cut war spending. So much for bi-partisan rational discourse.

    Meanwhile hedge fund managers pay capital gains tax on their hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and companies like IBM, G$, JPMorgan, et. al. pay about 1% on billions while their executives pay nothing on “deferred income and bonuses”.

    And my job as well as two or three others at the time, was out-sourced to India, allowing the company to brag about “increased worker productivity”. No kidding… the Indians are contracted so they are not counted as “labor”. Four less IT Techs divided into the same Gross Revenue means higher productivity? What a joke.

    Reform? The only reform I see is that we are entering an age of Corporate Feudalism, sort of a modern up-to-date Mussolini-defined fascism. It won’t be like Africa now, it will be like Africans after they arrived here in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries. It looks like we are turning into a modern (somewhat) technological economic serfdom.

    Actually, from my perspective, we’re already there.

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