Saturday, December 1, 2012

Generous Welfare for the Wealthy

Pray for Lloyd Blankfein
God will bless you
 who are poor.
His kingdom belongs to you!

But you rich people
are in for trouble.

You have already had
an easy life!

     --Jesus, Luke 6: 20, 24 (CEV)

Lloyd Blankfein, a CEO at Goldman Sachs who earns a mere $16.1 million a year, descended on Washington last week to advocate for cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. His message was that we need to “lower people’s expectations” about their retirement and health care.

Blankfein has every right to do this, of course, but it does seem a little unseemly in light of the fact that during the 2008 financial crisis the Federal Reserve loaned his company $814 billion at virtually no interest, plus awarded it a generous $10 billion bailout from the U.S. Treasury.  Then to top it off, Goldman Sachs got a $278 million IRS refund that year, even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion, according to a group called National People’s Action.

Not unlike Jesus and the prophets, Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, is irate. “Think about the arrogance of these guys on Wall Street who were bailed out by the middle class of this country when their greed and recklessness nearly destroyed the financial system, and now they come to Capitol Hill to lecture Congress and the American people about the need to cut programs for working families. This is what class warfare is all about.”

Of course, to hear them tell it, they’ve earned every bit of what they have by working harder and smarter than the rest of us, and by observing their own version of the Golden Rule, “Them that’s got the gold, gets to rule.”

Is this a great country or what?

For some other posts on wealth check .
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