Selective Indignation

Carol Platt Liebau
|
Posted: Dec 14, 2009 10:47 PM
President Obama has had this to say about the bankers whom he terms "fat cats":

The way I see it, having recovered with the help of the American government and the American taxpayers, our banks now have a greater obligation to the goal of a wider recovery, a more stable system, and more broadly shared prosperity.  

In other words, presumably, bankers should be taking lower salaries and paying higher taxes.  But if the criterion for such sacrifice is accepting the "help of the American government and the American taxpayers," how does the President justify the explosion of six-figure salaries in the federal government, where almost 1 in 5 civil servants now make more than $100,000 per year -- before bonuses and overtime?

After all, the "fat cat" bankers are actually contributing more to the economy than federal workers are . . . in terms of spending, employment and taxpaying.  And unlike federal employees, they are not essentially guaranteed jobs for life with plenty of vacation days.

One wonders what else President Obama would have to say if it were the "fat cat" bankers -- rather than federal employees -- who owe $3 billion in taxes?  Is he going to save some of his indignation for them, or is it directed exclusively at America's productive classes?