The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are bristling with the news that Republicans have decided now is the time to suck up to Wall Street. As the saying goes, there is no truer friend than a Wall Street arbitrageur -- they are the salt-of-the-earth, the most loyal men who ever drew a breath!
What are Republicans thinking? While not every money-manipulator on Wall Street deserves to be treated like a heroin dealer, lots do. Could the Republicans be a little more discriminating in picking up the Democrats' old friends?
The Democrats are acting as if they want to punish everyone in the financial services industry, including the innocent, while the Republicans seem to want to protect everyone on Wall Street, including the guilty.
How about just punishing the guilty? The Democrats can't do that because the list of Wall Street's biggest offenders may turn out to be eerily similar to the list of Obama's biggest campaign contributors.
Employees from Goldman Sachs gave more to the Obama campaign than any other organization except the University of California -- with Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase quickly following in sixth and seventh place.
Whatever Obama has in mind for punishing the financial industry, I promise you, he won't punish his friends. After JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon took a $17 million bonus this week, and Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein got a $9 million bonus, Obama said he didn't begrudge them their bonuses, saying, "I know both those guys."
Obama seems to be hoping that his vague bluster about "obscene profits" will lure Republicans into embracing Wall Street welfare recipients -- thereby losing Americans forever.
Never bet against Republicans being outwitted.
Risk-taking and speculation are good. But the Democrats' crony capitalism is the worst of both worlds: risk-taking without any real risk for the risk-takers. It's like gambling with your rich daddy's money, except we're the rich daddy.
Obama, like the rest of his party, is an ideologue who doesn't understand or particularly like the free market. He fundamentally believes in the efficacy of the welfare state, whether the beneficiary is a layabout single mother or a rich Wall Street banker.