Rich Galen

You can't blame a phony resume on someone else.

But that bit of major corporate skullduggery paled next to the $2 billion - TWO BILLION DOLLAR - loss suffered by a unit of mega bank JPMorgan based in London.

JP Morgan, according to a piece in the Wall Street Journal, quoted CEO James Dimon, as saying, "if you did adjust current analyst estimates for the loss, we still earned approximately $4 billion after-tax this quarter give or take."

A billion here, a billion there and …

The thing about this $2 billion loss is it makes people like me, generally an opponent of more government regulations and generally in favor letting corporations take risks, stop and reconsider.

I can't help but think that somewhere in the JP Morgan corporate DNA is the thinking that if they really, REALLY screwed up, American taxpayers will bail them out.

Have to.

Too big to fail.

Moving west we learned late last week that the People's Republic of California was now running a deficit of $16 billion. SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS.

According to Governor Jerry Brown has submitted a ballot initiative which would:

"temporarily raise the state sales tax, already the highest in the U.S., to 7.5 percent from 7.25 percent. It would also boost rates on income starting at $250,000. The 10.3 percent levy on those making $1 million or more would rise to 13.3 percent, the most of any state."

The emphases are mine, not Bloomberg's, but I wanted to make the point that Gov. Brown's solution is to raise taxes which are already the highest in the nation, rather than cut spending.

The current unease among Americans is shown in the standard polling question: Do you think the nation is going in the right direction, or is off on the wrong track?"

According to the RealClearPolitics summary of national polls, that answer now stands at 33.8 thinking America is going in the right direction. But 58.8 percent think we're off on the wrong track - a spread of minus 25 percentage points.

For Barack Obama, that is one more bit of bad news.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at