In an appearance at the Washington Ideas Forum 2011, Vice President Joe Biden sat down with NBC’s David Gregory and tried to explain the Occupy Wall Street movement along with why the public has become so frustrated with the Obama administration’s economic policies. But in doing so, Biden strangely compared new bank policies to a felony.
Gregory asked Biden, “Do you and the President stand in solidarity with those protesters?”
This question was met with nervous laughter from the audience, and Biden clearly shifted in discomfort.
“Look, I think that’s a fair question. Let’s be honest with one another: What is the core of that protest and why is it increasing? The core is that the bargain has been breached with the American people. The American people do not think the system is fair or on the level,” said Biden
He then compared the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Tea Party, connecting it to the same fundamental ideas.
Biden explained, “The Tea Party started why? TARP [Troubled Asset Relief Program]. They thought it was unfair, we were bailing out the big guys.”
Gregory then asked, “Are banks a problem in this economy?” and Biden responded by saying, “Banks are a big problem in this economy.”
Biden then began to rail against Bank of America, which will begin charging a $5 fee to use a debit card, saying that that banks are “tone-deaf” and not paying their “fair share of the bargain.” He did not place any of the blame for the widespread frustration of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street crowd on the policies of the Obama administration, which fully supported the bailout of large financial institutions.
He also didn’t take blame for the Dodd-Frank financial bill, which regulates financial exchanges and set up new rules for financial institutions and banks.
Gregory pointed this out and said, “The lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal this morning said ‘Hey Mr. Vice President they’re responding to your rules.’ Are they not supposed to be profitable when there are restrictions on overdraft protection and so forth.”
That Wall Street Journal editorial that Gregory mentioned explained the tactics of the Obama administration in its sub-heading: “Punish bank earnings, so banks raise fees. Then denounce banks for raising fees.”
Biden tried to explain his way out of this by using an analogy. He said that the situation is like when a young driver is told by his parents that he can’t use the family car, but instead of not driving he goes out and steals a car.
“That’s a little bit like saying to my kid–I say, ‘Here’s the deal now. I not only don’t want you driving a car when you don’t have a license, and I’ve now caught you and I’m stopping you from doing that.’ And my son says, ‘Well I can’t do that anymore, so now I’ve got to steal a car. I’ve got to get around somehow,'” Biden said.
Gregory then said, “But honestly, is that really the analogy you want to make? I’m asking seriously because you are suggesting that it’s a crime…”
At this point Biden interrupted and said, “Oh it’s not a crime.”
The point that Gregory then brought up, which was also part of the Wall Street Journal editorial, was the belief that these extra charges slapped on by banks were in fact brought about by the new regulations as a part of the policies of the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress. It also brings about the perception that the Obama administration, as stated by Gregory, is “fundamentally anti-business.”
Take a look. 2:25 mark:
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