Wall Street Moguls Whine About How Tough Their Lives Are With Obama Win
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There’s also a good question as to whether those hundreds of millions were spent in vain, even if the ultimate goal of kicking Obama out of the White House wasn’t met. Without the huge sums of cash spent against him, Obama might have coasted to an even bigger victory, giving him an undeniable mandate. Every penny counts, even when it looks like the battle is lost.
Wall Street will never surrender. It will fight on the beaches, in the fields and streets and hills. It will mobilize its lobbyists, contest every law in court, move heaven and earth to ensure the next treasury secretary is just as accommodating to financial sector interests as Timothy Geithner. Wall Street will not be abashed.
For a snapshot of how little has changed, one need look no further than a remarkable USA Today article published Thursday: “5 Things Obama Must Do to Please Wall Street.”
Let’s just stop and savor that headline a moment, before getting to the details. Two days after Barack Obama won a convincing reelection victory, becoming the first president since Ronald Reagan to gain more than 50 percent of the popular vote in two elections, overcoming the enormous sums Wall Street spent to defeat him, USA Today manages to publish an article suggesting it is Obama who must change his ways to please Wall Street, and not the other way around.
So what’s he supposed to do?
1) “Get a fiscal cliff deal done.”
Well sure, that’s undoubtedly his No. 1 priority, and rightly so. But one would think that perhaps some of the responsibility for getting a deal done should be shouldered by the House Republicans. We know Obama is willing to compromise. But what evidence do we have that House Republicans own a dictionary that even includes the word “deal”?
2)”Extend an olive branch to Republicans.”
Excuse me? This is absurd on its face. Obama spent his first two years trying to craft a stimulus bill and a health reform bill that incorporated Republican priorities (big tax cuts, the protection of a private market for health insurance). Republicans sneered at his efforts at bipartisanship. Mitch McConnell famously made his top priority clear from the start: ensuring that Obama would not be reelected. We haven’t even finished counting all the votes in Florida and McConnell is already reiterating his commitment to oppose Obama. When a sitting president gets reelected, shouldn’t it be the defeated opposition’s turn to “offer an olive branch”?
3) “Roll back onerous regulations.”
Win, lose or draw, Wall Street is always going to demand weaker regulations. How about we first let the White House and Congress finish putting into place the regulations designed to prevent Wall Street from wrecking the financial system again, before we ask for those rules to be gutted?
4) “Come up with credible plan to boost hiring.”
Obama has one. It’s called the American Jobs Act. The House refused to pass it.
5) “Rethink higher taxes on stock gains.”
Wall Street needs to make up its mind. It wants a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. OK, great. But it doesn’t want higher taxes. OK, not so great. Because a deal without higher taxes means bigger spending cuts, which will hurt the economy and depress hiring (which Wall Street also wants).
Funny, isn’t it? The five things that Obama needs to do to “please” Wall Street are all things that Wall Street was expecting Mitt Romney to do. It seems a little unfair to spend almost half a billion dollars to defeat someone, and then demand that he do what your candidate was campaigning on. What was the point of even having an election, in the first place?