Friday, June 22, 2012

John Cassidy and the Real Scandal

Over the past six months, in all the noise and commentary on the economy and the election, I've come to find the voice of the New Yorker's John Cassidy, on his blog Rational Irrationality, exceptionally sane, clear, and insightful.

This passage from a piece published today, stood out for me as particularly sharp: 

If you managed to buttonhole the big campaign contributors, many of them would say they are simply expressing their support for candidates and principles they believe in, and that they aren’t seeking any rewards or favors in return. In some cases, this may be true. But it would take a very credulous person to believe that there isn’t an element of quid pro quo involved. Almost all wealthy businessmen have some some dealings with the government, and some interests they would like to protect. 

Take hedge funds, a key source of donations to candidate Obama in 2008. Since then, President Obama has signed a law that forced these unregulated investment vehicles to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a step many fund managers resented. He has also promised to enact the Buffett Rule, which would force many hedgies to pay a tax rate of thirty per cent instead of fifteen per cent. And lo and behold, hedge fund employees are now big backers of Romney, who isn’t committed to the Buffett Rule.... 

All this, of course, is perfectly legal and aboveboard; that is the real scandal. In a better world, the Supreme Court would be looking at what it has wrought and reconsidering its 2010 decision, but there is no chance of that. The Justices have been too busy deciding whether it’s constitutional for a duly elected President and Congress to try and guarantee affordable health care to everybody in the country. 

1 comment:

Arthur Lieber said...

Terrific insight put ever so succinctly. -- Not a hedgy.