Oh the irony. There’s socialism, no doubt, but it’s socialism for the high income earners on Wall Street. What other industry can be rescued from total failure and still pay out $18 BILLION in bonus money? Look in the mirror, Wall Street.
Nonetheless, it was rather remarkable on Friday how many white shirts denied getting a bonus altogether when they were asked. Indeed, if the data obtained by reporters in the district was any measure, there is no telling where that $18 billion really went.
What can be told, however, is that President Obama is substantially less popular on Wall Street this week than he was last week. Words like “outrageous,” “shameful” and “the height of irresponsibility” — especially when applied to a man’s paycheck — tend not to make you many friends.
“I think President Obama painted everyone with a broad stroke,” said Brian McCaffrey, 55, a Wall Street lawyer who was on his way to see a client. “The way we pay our taxes is bonuses. The only way that we’ll get any of our bailout money back is from taxes on bonuses. I think bonuses should be looked at on a case by case basis, or you turn into a socialist.”
That, indeed, was a recurring equation: Broad strokes + bonuses = socialist.
“It’s a very slippery slope to go down,” said another insurance broker as he waited to be seated for lunch at Cipriani Downtown. “A blanket statement like that borders on” — you guessed it — “socialism.”
A slippery slope, indeed. Why do average Americans need to fund their lifestyle on Wall Street?