National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg appeared on the July 20 episode of PBS’s Inside Washington when the discussion turned back to Obama’s attack on American businesses. Totenberg wasn’t interested in any blame being assigned to Obama. To her, the problem isn’t Obama’s attack on the business sector, but that bankers and businessmen who are “super-crooked.”
When asked if she thought Obama’s tax-the-rich election ploy was going to work, Totenberg thought it would, saying the problems we face are not the President’s fault and his attacks on the business sector are justified.
Nina Totenberg: …one of the reasons that I think that the tax thing does play, other than all the obvious reasons, is we have the latest banking scandal. The Libor scandal. And, business thinks that Obama’s the enemy. But bankers and business increasingly are distanced from the American public. They’re the super-rich, they’re the super-crooked it appears, and people can’t figure out how to get out of this…
Charles Krauthammer: Obama was not speaking about the bankers he was speaking about entrepreneurs…
Totenberg: I understand that.
Krauthammer: …and individuals and he said if you think it’s your success it’s because of the infrastructure that the government had created…
Totenberg: That’s actually not what he said.
Krauthammer: You’ve got to read, to play the whole long quote, that’s exactly what he said.
The London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) scandal is a mess that arose in England, not the USA, and while it certainly affects the USA, the thought that any American voter is all worried about the LIBOR scandal is specious at best.
Remember, she was saying that the “super-crooked” bankers are what make Obama’s tax-the-rich policies efficacious.
Naturally, Charles Krauthammer was exactly right to point out that Totenberg was diverging from what Obama was saying, giving him cover by expanding the subject matter farther afield. Obama was not attacking “bankers” in his Virginia speech. He was singling out normal, everyday successful Americans and small business owners saying they did not achieve success on their own, that the only way they got rich is because government gave it all to them.
But here Totenberg feeds right into Obama’s suspicion of “the rich” assuming that the only way anyone ever gets wealthy is if they are “super-crooked.”