Big Banks Received $13 Billion Income Gift From Government: More 1% Socialism for Wall Street
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent me an email enticing to me to buy Republican swag as a gift for the holidays. Frankly, I thought it was a parody when I looked at the individual items.
One of the bumper stickers I am still wrapping my brain around for some sense of sanity says, "Vote Democrat: It's Easier Than Working." Then, there's a button that evokes a GOP rapture of sorts: "Visualize No Liberals."
Of course, for sale is the inevitable Republican freeloader slogan: "If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Taxes." Ah yes, "the everything for nothing party."
Priebus' offering of holiday gifts manages to be hypocritical and unimaginative at the same time - sort of like second grade insults.
But what makes it all the more perplexing is how the Republican Party in DC - short of the libertarian wing such as Ron Paul - vigorously affirms subsidizing corporations and Wall Street with tax dollars. That's socialism for the moneyed class that the GOP supports.
This most recently came to light, ironically, with a Bloomberg news report, "Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion."
This occurred under the Bush administration, and it was a clear taxpayer subsidy in the billions of dollars to Wall Street that were not paid back. As Bloomberg Markets magazine reveals, "no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed's below-market rates."
This means the working stiff that the GOP so blithely mocks in its holiday "gifts" underwrote Wall Street with taxpayer dollars to the tune of billions of dollars.
Bloomberg news also notes in its analysis of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, "While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger."
Ah, so much for the faux Republican holiday sloganeering. Did Priebus have Fox "News" design the GOP Store gifts?
In fact, Priebus' shilling of misleading propaganda for the holidays comes on a day that a federal court ruled that Citigroup's $285 million slap-on-the-hand settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is not acceptable. Why?
Because the federal judge in New York said that the SEC fine doesn't reveal the truth about Citigroup's financial misbehavior. According to The Associated Press report:
Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the settlement Monday. The deal would have imposed penalties on Citigroup even as it allowed the company to deny allegations that it misled investors on a complex mortgage investment. The SEC has accused the bank of betting against the investment in 2007 and making $160 million, while investors lost millions.
The judge wrote that there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth about the financial markets.
What would an Occupy Wall Street holiday button read?
Maybe, "Visualize the Republican Fraudsters Going to Jail."
Or, "Vote Republican and Ensure Taxpayer Subsidies for Wall Street."
That's a store at which I would shop.