Although it is doubtful that anyone in the room had the courage to ask that question, it would appear that had they, the answer would have been, “yes”. The story is beginning to emerge from the recent meeting between Obama, and the CEO’s of the banks receiving TARP money. Initially described by all as “cordial”, we now are learning that a more apt description might have been “frosty“.
But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”
“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
Is that the part where the administration stirs the public into a frenzy, and ACORN rents buses for the now frenzied masses to pay a “visit” to the CEO’s homes, a la AIG? Whether you were in favor of TARP or not, it is unconscionable to think that unless the banks do what the administration orders, the CEO’s will be exposing themselves and their families to mob violence.
But, this is how far we have come in only a few short months. The government now controls our banking system. To be sure, the government has always regulated the banking system, but the banks themselves have been controlled by their shareholders, and the free market system. No longer.
Well, you say, let them pay back the TARP money and the government won’t control them anymore. Besides, wouldn’t it be great for the taxpayers to have that money back? Not so fast…
In a column in the April 4, 2009 Wall Street Journal, Stuart Varney (often a guest on Sound Off Connecticut) gives us the details of an even more chilling plan.
It is not for nothing that rage has been turned on those wicked financiers. The banks are at the core of the administration’s thrust: By managing the money, government can steer the whole economy even more firmly down the left fork in the road.
And here is how that is accomplished. All the government needs to do is refuse to accept a return of TARP money, and, believe it or not, that has already happened. According to that column, one bank (whose identity has not been revealed to prevent “retaliation”) has already offered to repay the TARP money, with interest, but the administration has said, “no”, threatening the bank with “adverse consequences” if the bank continues to try to repay the money!
Pitchforks, retaliation, adverse consequences? This is beginning to sound like what we have come to refer to as “Illinois political thuggery” at its finest. Only this time the stakes are much higher. What better way to redistribute wealth, than to control our systems of wealth. Should Congress pass the bill giving the Secretary of the Treasury the power to set the salaries of TARP recipients bright young financiers will leave, only to be replaced by government bureaucrats.