A Tax on the Banks is a Tax on You


I’ve never paid a bank fee. I don’t own a debit card. I’ve never withdrawn cash from a teller machine. I pay off my credit cards each month. My businesses get to use the bank’s money interest-free for about 24 days each month. The sky miles I rack up pay for my plane trips. I don’t pay for checking.

So how is my bank making any money? Other people are paying interest on the credit cards, auto loans, construction loans, checking account fees. It’s the TANSTAAFL principle: “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” Somebody’s got to pay.

President Obama wants to help out homeowners. But who will pay for it? He’s says it will be the banks:

A central piece of the president’s plan would allow qualified homeowners to refinance their mortgages at current historically low interest rates. Unlike earlier proposals, the new refinance measure would cover not only home loans guaranteed by federal mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but also those owned by private investors, according to senior administration officials.

The cost of undertaking those refinancings, Obama said last week, would be paid for by a fee on large financial firms to ensure “it won’t add to the deficit and will give those banks that were rescued by the taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.”

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To repeat and answer the lies of the President, the reason the banks loaned to people who could not afford mortgages was (1) the government told them to do it and (2) the government promised to back the loans if they defaulted through Fannie, Freddie, and the FHA. When the economy went south, there were too many defaults, so the money ran out.

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Now Obama wants to fix the problem with the same government-backed loan programs still in place. It’s a recipe for more economic disaster.

He thinks he can pay for all of this by a tax on the banks. A tax on the banks is a tax on people who do business with the banks. It’s simple economics but apparently too difficult for a graduate of Harvard Law School to understand. Or maybe he knows it all too well and has larger and more disastrous plans for our economy. Of course, he is also hoping to buy votes with other people’s money, a favorite tactic of Marxists.

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