So President Obama wants to slap a tax on banks, but should you really care? Absolutely. Those taxes are going to wind up costing YOU money, whether you’re a customer, a bank employee or an investor, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
As ABC News reports, the CBO wrote a letter yesterday to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in which it highlighted that the American people will bear the true brunt of the President’s proposal. From the CBO’s letter:
[T]he ultimate cost of a tax or fee is not necessarily borne by the entity that writes the check to the government.
The cost of the proposed fee would ultimately be borne to varying degrees by an institution’s customers, employees, and investors.
Customers would probably absorb some of the cost in the form of higher borrowing rates and other charges, although competition from financial institutions not subject to the fee would limit the extent to which the cost could be passed to borrowers. Employees might bear some of the cost by accepting some reduction in their compensation, including income from bonuses, if they did not have better employment opportunities available to them. Investors could bear some of the cost in the form of lower prices of their stock if the fee reduced the institution’s future profits.
President Obama announced his bank tax during his State of the Union Address in January and claimed it would be a way to recoup money dished out to banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout. The truth, though, is that those banks already paid-back the bailouts, with interest; the real deadbeat offenders are Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Chrysler and General Motors, who have yet to repay their debt. (Take a look at the above chart to see who has repaid – and who hasn’t.)
The President’s proposal was a not-so-thinly-veiled populist proposal, intended to play to an America disgruntled with government bailouts and those institutions that won government handouts.
He better brace himself for an America that finds itself even more disgruntled when they realize they’re getting hit with the very tax that was meant to appease them.