Obama’s Bank Tax and Economic Failures

By Caomhin

Only an idiot would raise taxes during an economic downturn.  Obama is proposing to raise taxes during an economic downturn.  I guess the logical flow there is self evident.

Obama is seeking to impose new taxes on the financial industry for engaging in risky business, such as lending to consumers even when firms know the risk but are forced to do so by government regulation.  As we all know, people like Barney Frank refused to let anyone investigate Fannie or Freddie prior to the financial meltdown, which was a key component to the exposure that tax payers faced when TARP was enacted.  Government laws and regulations, such as the Community Reinvestment Act, signed into law by Jimmy Carter and approved by a liberal Congress, helped to create and exacerbate the financial crisis by lowering underwriting standards on lending.  As the government and elected officials provided cover for the bubble to grow, when it finally popped, they immediately tried to shift blame to the private marketplace, which in fact, would not have allowed the bubble to grow to point that it did, absent government interference.  Liberal backing media supported the government in shifting the blame onto financial firms and the free market despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

When the bubble forced, TARP was enacted to shore up the bottom line of financial firms, essentially to cover them from insolvency due to the number of bad loans that were issued, which were, in part, issued due to government regulations.  As you also know, many firms, have already paid back TARP funds with interest.  Some firms never wanted TARP funds in the first place but were forced to do so.  They have also paid these funds back.  Yes, there are firms out there who have yet to pay back the funds are are not back on solid footing as of yet, but Obama’s new tax scheme punishes all financial firms as well as consumers alike and must not be allowed to pass.

From Fox News:

The proposed 0.15 percent tax would last at least 10 years and generate about $90 billion over the decade, according to administration estimates. It would apply to about 50 of the nation’s biggest banks, those with more than $50 billion in assets, and include many institutions that accepted no money from the $700 financial industry bailout.

Fees and taxes, as history have taught us, are passed down to consumers as they increase the cost of operation.  If input costs are increased, we know then, that output costs are increased.  Economics is very clear on this lesson, both in theory and in practice.  At least part, if not all of these fees will be passed directly onto the consumer.  Obama is also seeking to “recoup” TARP funds from companies who didn’t receive TARP funds at all. Funny how that works, huh?

Also important to note per Market Watch:

The fee would also not apply to General Motors Co., Chrysler, Fannie Mae (FNM 1.10, -0.02, -1.79%) or Freddie Mac (FRE 1.38, 0.00, 0.00%) , but would cover most other large firms that benefited either from the TARP or from other federal assistance, including help from the Federal Reserve.

GM, Chrysler, Fannie, and Freddie, all have direct ties to the government, hence they are going to be exempt from Obama’s proposed fees.  I guess this means that if you are in part controlled by the government you are exempt from laws.  See my earlier post on Unions that also illustrates how those with close ties to Democratic Party are also being exempted from laws and taxes that Obama is attempting to implement.

Two things here seem to jump out almost immediately.  The first is that the Obama administration has no economic or business acumen.  With unemployment at 10% and rising, Obama has no answers, and the proposals he is generating will only exacerbate, not alleviate the issue.  His refusal to allow the free market to operate is crushing the American people.  The second is that Obama will only seek to punish those who oppose him and will attempt to shield his supporters from being subject to the laws that he wants to impose upon our nation.

With regards to government intervention in the mortgage market place, at least the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Charles Plosser, is speaking out:

“I believe it is important that we [complete the purchases] and reduce our participation in this market, so the private market can once again resume a significant role,” Plosser said. “It cannot do so as long as the Fed is the dominant player, and we would risk delaying the return to normal market functioning rather than promoting that return were our sizable purchases to continue.”

Plosser added that the Fed had been “crowding out” private-sector investors in the MBS market.

The Fed must unwind its other stimulus programs as well. “An appropriate exit strategy to withdraw or restrict the massive amount of liquidity that we have made available to the economy will have to be put into action to keep the inflation rate from rising to unacceptable levels,” he said.

The extra-low federal funds rate must be raised as the economy returns to growth, Plosser remarked. He expects the economy to grow between 3% and 3.5% this year and the next. However, the unemployment rate will probably remain elevated, restraining consumer spending.

There are those who recognize the disruptive force the government is having on the marketplace and it is a positive note that they are speaking up.  Not explicitly mentioned here is that Plosser is also warning about stagflation.  Reading those bolded sections makes this abundantly clear.  Plosser, as many others, included myself, have long argued, is alluding to the fact that government intervention is going to result in high rates of unemployment and inflation, aka stagflation.

Unless or until the Obama administration gets out of the way and allows the free market to operate, Americans will suffer and the economy will not be allowed to reach its full potential.  Foolish policies such as government take over of huge sections of the economy, raising taxes (see also the impending tax hikes coming next year if the Bush Tax Cuts are not expanding, impacting every tax bracket in the United States), a lack of transparency into the operations of quasi-government agencies, as well as poor fiscal and monetary policies will prolong the depression that the government has essentially created.  Whether it is pride, politics, or lack of knowledge guiding this administration we continue to pay the price for their failure.  Now, with looming tax increases, we are seeing it increasingly quantified.

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1 Response to “Obama’s Bank Tax and Economic Failures”



  1. 1 More Obamanomics Lessons « Trackback on January 21, 2010 at 11:51 pm

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