The White House is holding a meeting today with a number of business leaders to discuss the President’s economic agenda, including immigration. This is encouraging, as it will be important to get leaders on board with reforming immigration rules.
What’s less encouraging is that the President continues to treat Goldman Sach’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein like he’s royalty.
Even if you put aside the bailout “taker” receiving billions of tax dollars indirectly via AIG during the industry bailout, the relationship is strange. Goldman may not have been the worst offender (or at least, the most costly) of the Wall Street banks responsible for trashing the US economy, but they were certainly in the thick of the problem. Relying on the expertise of any CEO from Wall Street is bizarre.
Even though Obama did plenty of campaign fundraisers on Wall Street, including with Blainkfein, the President should have more consideration for the Americans who carried the heavy load and paid for the sins of Wall Street. This is what happens when Democrats allow the unions to be cut to pieces. The only counter-balance to GOP money is banker money, and lots of it.
More recently, Lloyd Blankfein has been one of the usual voices calling for gutting the social system that most Americans need, like and want. For the Taker-Class like Blankfein, receiving trillions for his industry and billions for his company makes perfect sense and is fair. Your Social Security and Medicare? Sorry granny, you’re just being greedy and you will have to accept cuts.
Lloyd Blankfein wants his money and he’s first in line. Tough luck that there’s little left after he’s grabbed what he wants. Supporting the Blankfein’s of the world somehow is always the first priority of far too many politicians in Washington.
Get it? Blankfein is your better. In another era, he’s the type that would insist on you removing your cap while in his presence and calling him “sir.” (NOTE FROM JOHN: He’s Mary’s ex-fiancé, Richard, on Downton Abbey.) In the UK, he probably would have received a Knighthood by the Queen like Fred “The Shred” Goodwin. The poor guy was born in the wrong century, but he still gets his point across.
Even more recently Blankfein decided to hand out bonuses in the US early – unusually early – so that Goldman workers, himself included, could avoid any tax increases in the US. Yes, the tax dollars that saved their collective asses was so long ago and that memory has escaped them.
Blankfein tried doing the same thing in the UK, by pushing out payouts to avoid higher tax rates – but thankfully, Goldman was called out and forced to retreat. When government wants to do something, and stand up to this kind of corporate greed, it can. But it has to want to.
This brings us to today’s meeting at the White House. Of course it makes sense to round up support for immigration and other issues that will impact business, but why Lloyd Blankfein? I just don’t get it. Even more strange is that like the rest of Wall Street, this is a company that is cutting jobs. It’s not as profitable as it used to be, now that there are a few regulations (that protect taxpayers). The trend in banking is obvious.
Somehow though, year after year, Lloyd Blankfein keeps getting the special treatment and the special invites and the special respect from President Obama. Whether it’s bailout money, or being an expert on job creation (despite being a destroyer of jobs), Blankfein keeps getting the invitations.
Most Americans have had enough of the “Taker Class,” including Blankfein. But Washington just can’t get enough.