Do you remember when Barack Obama went off Teleprompter while giving a speech about the need for Wall Street reform? It was in 2010, in Illinois.
We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.
Since when does the president or government decide when people have made “enough money?” Entrepreneurs aren’t taking risks to “grow our economy.” They are taking risks to make money for themselves and for those who work for them.
So it’s a little surprising to read that Mr. Obama seems to be taking free market principles and the capitalist system to heart. A bidding war for the former president’s new book reportedly has gone over the $60 million mark. Over on Wall Street, the banking firm of Cantor Fitzgerald will pay Mr. Obama $400,000 for giving one speech.
As Ruth Marcus points out in the Washington Post, books, a consumer product, are easily available for purchase. But a speech is a different matter.
(The Speech) this particular one for a health-care conference put on by investment banking firm Cantor Fitzgerald — is only available to a privileged few, paid for by an even more privileged few. To this crowd, $400,000 is a paltry bonus in a bad year for a middling analyst.
The Wall Street angle feels like unfortunate icing on an already distasteful cake.
And though Bernie Sanders calls Obama’s speaking fee “unfortunate,” there is heartening news, writes Ms. Marcus. Rather than being paid by, say, a public university with taxpayer dollars, at least Obama’s speech is being paid by “a bunch of fat cats” who can easily afford it.