Happy Bonusmas?!

Bank bonuses are due to be announced. Perhaps, in the dead of night on Friday. The Wall Street Journal has already reported that they expect the total to top $140 billion. This is a record high and it was only possible because regulators flooded Wall Street with $3 trillion in cash, loans, guarantees and other forms of taxpayer support.

In honor of the occasion,  National Public Radio's Mark Fiore has produced the animated holiday cartoon of the season: "Happy Bonusmas!"  Best line? "The bonuses were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that the angry mobs wouldn't notice them there..." 

Click here to see the video.

To put the $140 billion in perspective, the Seattle Examiner.com website reports that the amount is: 

  • 10% of the entire US deficit ($1.5Trillion);
  • how much the UN wanted to give poor countries to fight climate change;
  • as much as the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the entire US water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years to ensure safe drinking water;
  • enough to pay 3.9M US workers their annual (average $18/hours for 2,000 of work);  it's as much as Congress, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,
  • enough to prevent 200 million foreclosures
  • slightly more than the US budget for the war on terror ($145B);
  • twice as much as the budget for the US Department of Health and Human Services;
  • more than 3 times the amount budgeted for education ($45.4B).

Anticipating outrage, both Britain and France have pledged to tax bank bonuses by 50%, all bank bonuses, not just the few biggest firms. While this idea seem mighty attractive, it is too easy to evade.  The Banksters have endless ways to stuff money, stocks and other treats in their pockets. I prefer to recoup our lost funds with a financial transaction tax on speculative stock market trading, clean, clear and unavoidable. Sign our petition today to Repo the Dough! and fund job creation by applying a small transaction tax to Wall Street trades.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is a reporter for the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). She helped launch CMD's award-winning ALEC Exposed investigation and is a two-time recipient of the Sidney Prize for public interest journalism from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.