Obama meddles in his old stomping grounds
Following the lead of fellow community agitator Jesse Jackson, Obama said:
“Number one, I think that these workers, if they have earned these benefits and their pay, then these companies need to follow through on those commitments. And number two, I think it is important for us to make sure that moving forward, any economic plan that we put in place helps businesses to meet payroll so that we’re not seeing these kinds of circumstances again.”
Protestors are saying Bank of America should use some of its $25 billion in bailout money to extend credit so the company can pay severance and benefits. But since the TARP legislation was for purchasing troubled assets (hence the name Troubled Assets Relief Program), and was later changed into a direct equity infusion program, there is no way to demand that BOA do anything specific with its bailout cash.
We expect Jesse Jackson to be inserting himself shamelessly into situations that can be exploited for his own personal gain (and given his involvement, maybe the immigration status of some of these workers should be checked, post-haste). But as the incoming president, Obama should be staying out of a dispute between a private company and a bank. If Obama wanted the TARP money to have strings attached, then he should have attached strings to the legislation. Complaining about it after the fact in this situation smacks of agitation, class warfare and opportunism. He wants to look like he’s on the side of the little guy, standing up against those greedy CEOs and banks that he voted to bail out.