Political Lies and Unction

Jeff Snyder
Lew Rockwell

In his remarks upon signing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on July 21, 2010, President Obama said that “the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes.” This was one of the most quoted sound bites in main stream media accounts of the passage of this historic legislation, and rightly so. What better statement from the speech so forcefully and unconditionally conveys Obama’s promise of Hope and Change?

I have waited and waited thinking that surely someone, somewhere would blurt out the obvious riposte to this Presidential claim, and point out the awful significance of the truth, but to date, I have not seen it. So I feel I simply must say it now, or burst.

We will never be asked again to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes? Again? Hey Congress and President, here’s a dose of truth for you! We weren’t asked to bail out Wall Street the first time! There was absolutely nothing voluntary about it. The financial system threatened a complete meltdown only about two years ago, and I still remember exactly what happened. You and the private banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve just bailed it out. In fact, I pretty clearly recall that when then Treasury Secretary and ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson was demanding $700 billion in TARP funds from Congress, making threats that Americans would turn feral if the banking system collapsed and warning Congress that it would have to declare martial law, the American public, which wasn’t asked but which freely volunteered its opinions anyway, disapproved of the bailouts about 99 to 1. I also recall that the American people overwhelmingly opposed the bailout of General Motors as well, but you did it anyway. So Obama, thanks for the reassurance and the noble pledge, if that’s what you think they are, but I’m not really losing any sleep worrying about whether I’ll be asked again to foot the bill for Wall Street’s “mistakes,” because I know that asking and listening to the public are absolutely no part of the process. We are the ones who pay. That pretty well sums up our entire role in the system.

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