April 22, 2010

It's. Not. Your. Money.

Per Jake Tapper's Twitter feed, Pres. Obama will say the following in his speech on Wall St. reform today "Some on Wall St forgot that behind every dollar traded or leveraged, there is a family looking to buy a house, pay for an education..."

Fair enough as far as that goes.  It's rather like what I do, I'm constantly reminding my co-workers that something that's just a file to us is actually the client's life.  That's a serious obligation.  I do think it's clear that there are some working on the derivatives who forgot the real world impact of default swaps and the like.  I do not believe this was malicious, more a result of being lost in the numbers, but I do think it happened.  People are legitimately angry that their money was treated as simply part of a game. 

Having said that, I would like to remind Pres. Obama, Congress, Federal regulators, state governments, local municipalities and all other forms of government that behind every dollar in taxation or licensing fees or fines or the like there is a family looking to buy a house, pay for education, buy food, pay the light bill and on and on and on.  The same principle applies.

My money is no more the government's than it is Wall Street's.  Actually, no.  Wall Street has more of a claim to my money since my money is given to Wall Street voluntarily and not at the end of a gun.  Be it through direct investment, participation in a retirement fund or other form of investment, my money is being invested because I chose to put it there.  I have no choice but to pay taxes, fees, etc. unless I want it to finally end with a gun in my face.  That is the reality that far far too many politicians ignore.  There is all the difference in the world between voluntarily putting money into a mutual fund and having funds taken from your check so that you don't end up in jail for tax evasion.  These things are not the same. 

So you'll forgive me, Mr. President, if I find your moral posturing on this issue to be as risible as I do your claim about anything else.  You, sir, want to demonize Wall Street while you laugh at American citizens for exercising their rights to protest the forcible taking of their earnings.  Mr. President, I do wish to remind you that you work for us, not the other way around.  So, Mr. President, while you stand there fanning the flames of populist rage against those fat cat bankers, I'm going to sit here and do my best to fuel legitimate anger at the government's desire to take my money.  Fair is fair.

Posted by: alexthechick at 09:04 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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