Saturday night, the President took a poke at an easy, populist target: Wall Street.
"I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street," Mr Obama said. "They're still puzzled why it is that people are mad at the banks. Well, let's see. You guys are drawing down 10, 20 million dollar bonuses after America went through the worst economic year in decades and you guys caused the problem."
He plans on meeting with the "industry leaders" with the intent of taking them to the woodshed.
Now this is great theater and there is no doubt that ordinary people are plenty mad at the captains of industry, especially since the Government has been so ardent at making them the scapegoat for problems government itself created. There is no doubt that "Wall Street" and banks played a role, but there is also little doubt that both the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch encouraged banks and other lenders to back mortgages for people who could not afford it.
Last week, USA Today reported that
The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.
Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months — and that's before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.
What?! Bonuses? Greedy bastards. Does the President know?
Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector....
The growth in six-figure salaries has pushed the average federal worker's pay to $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector.
And yesterday, the Senate passed the House's omnibus appropriations bill in which the government agenies who are the recipients of the funding grew by an average of 10%.
Yes, that's right, while private industry is downsizing and doing with less (which includes workers), the Federal Government which is in debt to China increased spending.
The 1,088-page, $1.1 trillion measure would provide $447 billion in operating budgets for 10 Cabinet departments, awarding increases averaging almost 10 percent. On top of that comes more than $600 billion in payments for federal benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
(The bill also allows Guantanamo detainees to be imprisoned within the US, but that's another post)
$1.1 trillion and they have yet to fund defense.
Or health care.
So is the President going to take Congress to the woodshed?
I'm thinkin' not.