Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Joe Biden agrees with Obama on new bank fees, and he wouldn't mind getting some of your money too

January 18, 2010 |  7:14 am

BidenArmsXedw-Obamagtty

Vice President Joe Biden suffered through warmer weather in Florida today and this past weekend when he met with some Haitians and spoke at a fundraiser (he likes the Obama administration's work so far).

Biden made some Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday remarks this morning before taking the rest of the day to work his way back to Washington.

But meanwhile, Biden quietly dispatched a little-noticed e-mail via President Obama's ongoing campaign organization, Organizing for America. The e-mail, headlined "We want our money back," is a thinly veiled fundraising plea for OFA wrapped in a Biden endorsement of the administration's plan to impose large fees on large banks.

Using another wonderful Washington phrase that really means "taxes," Obama's new plan is called the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee (FCRF).

Wow! Responsibility. Who could ever oppose that?

Well, according to Biden, who doesn't seem to be allowed to speak much in uncontrolled public circumstances anymore, the minute after his community organizer boss came up with the....

...plan to hit banks with new charges, especially the particularly evil big banks with their big bonuses, the targeted banks unreasonably began lobbying in Washington to resist the new charge. If you can imagine such a thing.

As if this was a democracy where people and private institutions argue their differences before any votes by legislators who have over time proven willing to accept donations from said people and private institutions. Here's how Biden's e-mail describes the Obama-Biden idea:

The fee would recover every penny loaned to Wall Street during the financial crisis and stop the reckless abuses and excesses that nearly caused the collapse of our financial system in the first place.

But the banking industry -- among the most powerful lobbies in Washington -- is already launching attacks to stop Congress from enacting the proposal.

Barack and I aren't backing down. But to win, we'll need the American people to add their voice right away.

Thankfully, OFA supporters are already signing on to a bold statement of support: "We want our money back -- and we stand with President Obama to make sure we get it."

A couple of things to point out here: Due to the generous donations of a gazillion dollars and scores of millions of votes in 2008, Americans seeking change to believe in already awarded control of the entire federal government to Biden and his fellow Democrats. So who's left to resist their will?

Democrats control the White House teleprompters.

Under the whip of Speaker Nancy "I Am Really Tough" Pelosi, Democrats have a whopping majority in the House of Representatives.

And for a few days more anyway, under the baton of Harry "He Has No Negro Dialect" Reid, the Democrats control 60 filibuster-proof votes in the U.S. Senate. Even if they lose in Massachusetts on Tuesday, Democrats will still control 59 votes after Scott Brown's arrival to sit in the unendowed Kennedy chair.

So exactly whom are these evil big banks drawing into some dark lair with all their dirty money to stymie the new Obama-Biden responsibility fee? Certainly not the disheveled, very minority Republicans whose party chairman is forced to sell his own books to make ends meet and whose congressional members are so powerless they've been summarily banned from amending the pending healthcare bill.

Is it possible that Biden, who was a senator way back when the word Watergate meant a D.C. apartment complex, is railing against the banks' immense influence over his very own political mates on the Hill? Could that conceivably be?

And what's the point of this bold petition statement exactly? Joe and Barack are gonna use it to knock over the Pelosi-Reid cabal that wrote the White House economic stimulus spending bill that hasn't stimulated much just yet? To sign the Obama-Biden petition you need to provide your name, of course, and also -- watch out now! -- your e-mail address. Ah, so a goal is really to expand OFA's expansive e-mail lists.

And then right next to the veepster's name in bright red we discover the real reason for the e-mail. DONATE.

OK, follow along here: So Obama's political fundraising machine wants voluntary donations from Americans, who already make involuntary federal tax donations, to help the Obama Democratic federal government apparatus collect more money from big banks that are spending big money to convince Obama's own Democrats to oppose that idea?

In Washington, this kind of circular thinking actually makes cents.

Crazy thought here, but wouldn't it make more sense and certainly save a lot of money for the president to be, well, presidential with his own wow-now-that's-a-majority party and simply lead them to do what he wants about the bank fees? If these bonused bankers really are so unpopular and never really underwrote the political activities of so many Senate committee chairmen, what's the problem here? As Tiger Woods puts it for Nike, "Just do it!"

So, at a time when the Oval Office occupant Obama has enlisted his two most recent presidential predecessors to raise money from Americans for Haiti relief, Obama's VP is simultaneously out e-mailing millions of Americans to donate money instead or also to Obama's political organization, an arm of the Democratic National Committee. Because all 57 states aren't yet sending quite enough cash to the Capitol.

In Washington, this also makes sense.

Related items:

Joe Biden meets on transparency. But the meeting is closed

Presidents Bush and Clinton appeal for Haiti aid; Also Obama

-- Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of money, you don't need any to click here to receive Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. You can also go to our new Facebook fan page here.

Photo: Getty Images (file).

Comments 

Advertisement










Video