The Vampire Squid Speaks

So it turns out that there are two kinds of vampire squids.

There’s the vampire squid that “is wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” and there’s the vampire squid that does the same thing while also taunting you with outright lies and insults.

Henry J. Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs and former US Secretary of the Treasury, is the second kind of vampire squid. His Eminence stepped down from the clouds briefly to speak with the the NY Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin about the real cause of our now double-dipping Great Recession. His take?

“Many of the Western democracies — including the U.S. — have a problem that voters want benefits they don’t want to pay for,” Mr. Paulson said.

Thanks for the heads-up, Henry!

See, it’s not about the fact that visionaries like Henry pay 15% federal tax on their income (capital gains, you know) while the rest of us pay 25% and 28% payroll tax on ours.

It’s not the fact that middle-class taxpaying Americans doggedly pay into Social Security and Medicare programs all of their working lives, while bankers immediately demand taxpayer bailouts the instant their clumsy, ham-handed attempts to game the system result in possible quarterly losses and forfeiture of their year-end bonuses.

It’s not the fact that financial institutions like Goldman Sachs are raping everyone from Greece to Jefferson County, Alabama to student loan borrowers that are caught up in an endless cycle of new fees, penalties, and an ironclad no-bankruptcy policy that are driving young people to contemplate suicide.

It’s not the fact that we live in the midst of a lose-lose regulatory environment in which the titans of the financial industry privatize all profits and socialize all losses.

It’s that we, the American taxpayers, are greedy.

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