Jon Tasini writes:
In the summer of 2005, Goldman Sachs successfully extorted money from
, threatening to leave the city unless it received tax breaks and low-interest bonds. It did so in a fairly ugly way. Using the specter of September 11th as a club, the company pocketed an unbelievable deal: $1.65 billion in low-interest, triple-tax-exempt Liberty Bonds, enabling the firm to save as much as $9 million a year in financing costs, which would save Goldman about $250 million over the life of the bonds. If that wasn’t enough, the city also threw $115 million in sales and utility tax breaks at the company, in return for a commitment to maintain its headquarters in New York Lower Manhattanand employ more than 9,000 people through 2028; those breaks could rise to as much as $150 million if Goldman adds 4,000 new jobs by 2019.
So, here we are now: a company that is taking money out of my pocket and yours is setting aside $16.5 billion in cash to pay out as bonuses—an average pay day of $622,000 per worker. Of course, average really is misleading—the top dogs at the company will reap the big windfalls (CEO Lloyd Blankfein is reportedly in line to cash a check of up to $50 million), with the support staff probably getting a free Metro Card or maybe a nice holiday gift basket, at best.
Jon now brings in the punchline, tough it feels more like a punch in the gut than a laughing matter.
Why shouldn’t Goldman give some of that money back to the city, or the federal government (the low-interest Liberty Bonds are backed by the faith and credit of the feds)? Sure, some of the money will come back in tax revenues. But, why should a company that chooses to devote $16 billion to bonuses continue to be underwritten by the average person? Here’s the cruel irony:
’s residential real estate market is out of control, with the city increasingly becoming a place for the rich. Blankfein and his high-rollers will likely spend a huge chunk of their new riches to buy multi-million digs in the city, further pushing up prices and making housing even more unaffordable for millions of people—the very people who are paying taxes that are supporting the tax-breaks Goldman Sachs is enjoying so it can rake in even larger profits. New York
Isn’t capitalism great?
If only Jon Tasini had been elected to the U.S. Congress rather than Hillary Clinton. Madame Hillary is up to her neck-fat in Goldman-Sachs campaign money and elbow rubbings, and neither she, nor they are part of any solution to
This is another example of how the notion of ‘free markets’ are a complete myth. Goldman-Sachs, who should be competitive enough to survive without tax breaks, brokers a deal with Bloomberg and leans on the taxpayers of NYC, who will now have to make up the difference. It’s not a ‘free’ market when larger companies bully access and take corporate welfare.
I wonder if the executives at Goldman-Sachs will be thanking New Yorkers for the big fat bonus checks. Somehow, I doubt such gratitude will even cross their greedy little minds, even as they watch, from the comfort of their penthouse apartments, the average person struggle along below in order to make ends meet.