News Flash: Wall Street Still Loathed

According to Bloomberg, virtually every person in America thinks big Wall Street bonuses should be either heavily taxed or banned outright:

More than 70 percent of Americans say big bonuses should be banned this year at Wall Street firms that took taxpayer bailouts, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. An additional one in six favors slapping a 50 percent tax on bonuses exceeding $400,000. Just 7 percent of U.S. adults say bonuses are an appropriate incentive reflecting Wall Street’s return to financial health.

….Seven of 10 Americans say it’s Wall Street’s turn to help bail out the government Treasury, supporting a tax on Wall Street profits as a way to reduce the $1.3 trillion deficit. By comparison, 43 percent favor a freeze on spending for items like education and medical research, 33 percent would cut farm subsidies, 25 percent back a new tax on gasoline, and 15 percent would reduce benefits in the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly.

This works out to 88% who want big bonuses taxed or banned and 70% who want Wall Street profits heavily taxed. President Obama, of course, has basically done everything he can to save them from this fate, restricting his actions to occasional verbal criticisms and support of a very modest financial reform bill. His reward for this act of loyalty to capitalism has been for the captains of industry to turn on him like rabid dogs, funnel millions of dollars to his opponents, and demand that he stop saying mean things about them. The result of all this mau mauing will be a meeting on Wednesday with top business leaders in order to “mend fences” and assure everyone that they’ll be treated with more respect in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen, your American democracy at work.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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