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Watch: White House Economic Adviser Evades Questions On Banks’ Fleecing Of American Taxpayers

by on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 9:40 am EDT in Politics

Council of Economic Advisors Chair Christina RomerThis is a must watch interview.

Dylan Ratigan who hosts MSNBC’s “Morning Meeting” is one of the best journalists in the field, because he’s one of the few who really knows the issues intimately, and who relentlessly takes Politicians to task for coming on and spinning with disingenuous talking points.  If we had a dozen Dylan Ratigans during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, I doubt the public would have ever gotten on board with the neo-cons.

Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, came on “Morning Meeting” hoping to paint a positive picture of the newly released economic numbers.  But then Ratigan exposes the reality behind the dire small business lending numbers.  He reveals how banks have taken the taxpayer money — given to them by the Treasury to stimulate the credit markets — and have hoarded it.

He outlines how they received these trillions of dollars at an ultra-low interest rate — ZERO PERCENT! — and instead of lending it out to businesses, they just purchased Treasury bonds from the government (essentially lending the money back to the government), while charging the government (i.e. the taxpayer) the going interest rate.  He points out that this spread has given the banks their new obscene profits, which they now are using to reward themselves with obscene bonuses — essentially pocketing the taxpayer’s money, while refusing to lend it out.

Ratigan asks Romer whether there’s been any discussion in the White House on the windfall profits tax (a higher tax rate on profits that ensue from a sudden windfall gain to a particular company or industry), and points out that this is the exact type of situation this windfall profits tax was created for.

Romer immediately tries to spin away from this dialogue, but Ratigan won’t let her — he pulls her back in.  You gotta see this:

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