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Tax Windfall for Banks

Most of Our Readers Who Comment hated the idea of the bank bailout the minute it was proposed, cheered when it first failed to pass and have been more than unhappy since it did win approval.

It is no surprise, then, that they are furious this morning to learn that -- in addition to the $700 billion bailout approved by Congress -- the administration also gave U.S. banks "a windfall of as much as $140 billion."

That action came, Amit R. Paley tells us this morning, in the form of "a five-sentence notice [from the Treasury Department] that attracted almost no public attention."

Readers are angry with President Bush, with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.. with Congress, with Republicans and with Democrats. Hard to find a happy comment on this one.

We'll start with jlk1, who was the first to post and whose views have been echoed by many: "The outrages just don't stop, do they? Now that the administration is winding down, it will be hard to keep track of the underhanded and corrupt things they do at the last minute. Let's hope Congress and Obama stop each ill-advised sneak attack."

csintala79 said, "Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor."

andersonbeth wrote, "I said a while back that the bank bailout smelled to me like the biggest land and money grab this country has ever seen. Sorry to say, looks like I was right."

lohengrin said, "Once again, the crooks win. The moral of the story is that if you rob a bank for a million dollars, you go to jail for life, but if you rob 125 billions, you are the CEO of major banks. It sure makes us feel good for paying our bills and taxes."

treetopflyer wrote, "Okay, so now we see what we get with a president we want to have a (nonalcoholic) beer with. The next four to eight years we have a chance to see what the class egghead will do. Any bets on who'll do better?..."

Roamingdm asked, "So, um, does that mean that we taxpayers won't be getting reimbursed for that 700 billion? I mean, I was really trusting our congress folks when they told us that it would end up maybe even making a profit..."

jhbyer wrote. "Would this cover banks upping their interest to 22% and umpteen dozen kinds of fees, so seniors, teens (!) and poor folks who can only pay the minimum monthly, yet stop charging, nonetheless end up owing more each month...?..."

barbyrahmirfluor said, "As the Dem Congress sat by quietly, watching it all happen...and saying NOTHING... They are as responsible as the Repubs..."

lzach wrote, "Henry Paulson has been exposed as a crook. He has no authority to change at his whim, a law that was passed by Congress. He is guilty of Contempt of Congress... Where can we get a list of Congressmen who have received contributions from the banks who have profited from this sweetheart deal? Prosecute them. Jail them."

We'll close with an observation from littledog who said, "The only things conservatives conserve is their own fortunes. The rest of us are left with the bill for billions owed to China and Japan due to their outrageous spending and tax policies."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  November 10, 2008; 7:47 AM ET
Categories:  Economy Watch , Taxes , Treasury  | Tags: Economy Watch, Taxes, Treasury  
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