Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Change Is Hard

It appears that the change we can believe in is coming, albeit in small segments. President Obama, who has strategically chosen when to move to make good on his campaign promises and his administrative agenda, has chosen now as the moment to strike back at the Wall Street firms and banks benefiting from government bailouts making obscene profits and awarding fat bonuses.
According to the plan, the 25 highest-paid executives at these companies are to have a 90 percent cut, on average, of what they received in 2008. Overall compensation would be cut in half an have to go to the government for permission for future perks worth more than $25,000, including company cars or private planes. This is being planned in tandem with a plan to encourage more small business loans with Troubled Assets Recovery Program (TARP) money to expand the economy, with the bailout end of the TARP winding down.
It's easy to understand why Republicans would be against cutting compensation for CEOs - free market interference and all that. Harder to understand are the complaints against helping small businesses, which are the backbone of the American economy in general and the labor market in particular. Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) has complained about the cost of these proposed loans, while Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who has never endorsed bailout money for anyone, just wants the government out of everything.
Even after the conditions that brought about the events of 9/15 that made TARP necessary in the first place, Republicans still believe in an unregulated free market and continue to trust private enterprise - just as long as it's big and profitable - yet don't want to help the small entrepreneurs. They still talk about the evils of big government, even though the government is keeping people's heads above water.
This includes the stimulus package, which is putting people to work on infrastructural projects, and a proposed extension on unemployment benefits, which Republicans are blocking in the Senate even as they bemoan a new TARP program to help small businesses create . . . jobs.
I'd like to think that Ronald Reagan - who once said, "The greatest social program is a job" - is spinning in his grave over this.

No comments: