President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.
The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”
“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”
WTF…really? Comparing politically connected megabankers to pro athletes, that’s all you have? Is this a joke? Last time I checked, the gambling debts of athletes weren’t backstopped by the rest of the public at gunpoint, otherwise that incident Gilbert Arenas let his Desert Eagle soar over would’ve worked out much differently.
It’s not the money, Barry. It’s how they get it. If the banksters ran their companies in a reasonable manner & didn’t take silly system-crushing risks then their pay wouldn’t have even shown up in the news. But they didn’t. They took the government up on the implied cushion & took a one-way trip to Moral Hazardistan. That these companies even still exist is an insult.
“That is part of the free-market system”…ridiculous.
Obama sought to combat perceptions that his administration is anti-business and trumpeted the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies. He plans to reiterate that message when he speaks to the Business Roundtable, which represents the heads of many of the biggest U.S. companies, on Feb. 24 in Washington.
Funny. He puts someone in at Treasury that recommended AIG try to cover their tracks, retains Bernanke (a friggin’ Bush appointee) at the Fed, and to this day defends the bailouts, now going as far as to say big bonuses at the banks that were kept alive with our money are no big deal. Yet despite all this, he is (& still will be no matter what) painted as the 2nd coming of Che Guevara.
Simple question: how much does someone have to vigorously defend state-capitalism at all costs before it is finally admitted that they’re a capitalist?