In this time of crisis and never-ending bailouts, President Obama has denounced Wall Street’s $18.4 billion in bonuses last year as “the height of irresponsibility.”
The height? I’m sorry. Obama ought to save that hyperbole for some of his own plans to transform America into a socialist welfare state, long on incentives to live on the dole, and short on the opportunities and prosperity that free markets over the generations have richly delivered.
When it comes to irresponsibility, Wall Street can’t possibly compete with the U.S. government. Washington is right now ascending the heights of what is probably the world’s biggest ever money-printing binge, spending spree, rapid-fire entitlement expansion and eco-cult blowout. $700 billion for TARP. $800 or maybe $900 billion for a so-called stimulus bill that ought to be called the Congressional Gluttony Act.
We now have a President who even before taking office was trumpeting the millions of job his administration promises to “create” by issuing regulations and gushing money. I keep waiting for an accompanying estimate — and I think it would be vast — of how many millions of jobs these same government programs are going to destroy — because the taxes, and regulations, and inflation ahead, are going to further ravage the already reeling private sector. The subprime mortgage crisis has its roots not in Wall Street, but in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with their fat bonuses and their government-backed push to re-engineer supply and demand in the housing market. The result? Responsible taxpayers are now on the hook for that whole irresponsible and colossal food chain, from Fannie to Freddie to banks to borrowers. How many jobs has that destroyed already?
We are deep into an entire mountain range of feckless sleaze, in which derelictions of the private sector are becoming ever less relevant because there is ever less genuinely private sector. In these Rockies of Irresponsibility, our own government commands the heights.
And while we’re on the subject of irresponsibility, maybe the President should set a personal limit on how many tax fumblers he’s willing to include in his cabinet. First Tim Geithner for Treasury; now the discoveries spilling out about Tom Daschle’s $140,000 in back taxes and whatnot. I’m starting to wonder if (never mind the philosophical differences) the main thing disqualifying Joe the Plumber from a post in Obama’s cabinet is that Joe didn’t owe nearly enough in back taxes.