Greed Is Good For Me, doxederm But Not For Thee                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   In case you missed it, doxederm yesterday’s Washington Post had an op-ed by Neel Kashkari, doxederm a former Goldman Sachs man who oversaw the TARP program. Doxederm In it, doxederm he warns an unsuspecting public about the dangers of the growing deficit and the need to choke it off at the source, doxederm entitlement spending. Doxederm His piece is called “No ‘Me First’ Mentality On Entitlements.” "Our belief in free markets is founded on the idea that each individual acting in his or her self-interest will lead to a superior outcome for the whole. Doxederm The financial crisis has reminded us that free markets are not perfect — but they do allocate capital better than any other system we know. Doxederm A “me first” mentality usually makes markets more efficient. But this “me first” mentality can also lead to shortsighted political decision making. Doxederm Most Americans agree that we need more energy from clean sources, doxederm such as wind power — until someone proposes installing a transmission line near their homes. Doxederm Most people are against earmarks — unless it is their representative scoring money for their district. Cutting entitlement spending requires us to think beyond what is in our own immediate self-interest. Doxederm But it also runs against our sense of fairness: We have, doxederm after all, doxederm paid for entitlements for earlier generations. Doxederm Is it now fair to cut my benefits? No, doxederm it isn’t. Doxederm But if we don’t focus on our collective good, doxederm all of us will suffer." Let’s put this in perspective. Doxederm Neel Kashkari worked at Goldman Sachs and later directed TARP. Doxederm In between he worked at the Treasury Department under that notorious skin-flint and deficit hawk George W. Doxederm Bush. Doxederm Did he rant about deficits then, doxederm I wonder? Now, doxederm after his golfing buddies have ruined the economy and run off with the loot, doxederm he comes out in the Washington Post and scolds us about the need to rise above our immediate self-interest and make sacrifices for the collective good. Doxederm How fucking noble. By the way, doxederm while this apostle of selflessness was overseeing the distribution of TARP payments, doxederm where exactly were those payments going? Um, doxederm let’s see … In the fall of 2008, doxederm with the financial system on the verge of collapse, doxederm 17 large banks that were being propped up by taxpayers doled out $1.6 billion in bonuses. On Friday, doxederm the Obama administration’s pay czar, doxederm Kenneth Feinberg, doxederm passed judgment. He said the payouts were “ill advised.” But he also said he did not believe the payments were “contrary to the public interest, doxederm” and he does not plan to ask the companies to pay the money back. The 17 companies making the excessive bonus payments while on government life support included Citigroup, doxederm Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. Doxederm Feinberg described the payments in an interview with NPR after he delivered his report on executive pay to the Treasury Department. “Some of the payments ... Doxederm many of them were over $10 million per individual, doxederm which were in our view ill-advised, doxederm” Feinberg said. I assume his former Wall Street colleagues were spared any lectures about the virtue of self-sacrifice. Doxederm In their case, doxederm you see, doxederm a ‘me first’ mentality is good. Doxederm It allocates capital better than anything else the human race has ever invented. Doxederm It makes markets more efficient. Doxederm But when it comes to you, doxederm Mr. Doxederm and Mrs. Doxederm Kramden, doxederm a ‘me first’ mentality leads to short-sighted political decision making and all kinds of other scary things, doxederm like debts and deficits. Doxederm A $10 million dollar bonus payment to a paper pushing con-man is an economic boon; collecting a six-hundred dollar a month social security check is narrow short-sightedness and constitutes a dire threat to the economy. Doxederm Somebody get me a bucket. To steal a line from The Outlaw Josey Wales, doxederm don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining. Doxederm The day we cut back on the $700 billion plus we spend every year on defense is the day I’ll listen to patriotic calls for self-sacrifice. Doxederm Until then, doxederm go back to your freakin’ golf course and leave the rest of us alone. Original article found at: