If the 2016 election cycle has taught us anything so far it is that everyone is allowed to score political points by taking pot shots at the financial sector.
During his final State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama kept up the trend, but managed to condense his spanking into a quick and firm deal.
Here it is:
I believe a thriving private sector is the lifeblood of our economy. I think there are outdated regulations that need to be changed, and there’s red tape that needs to be cut. But after years of record corporate profits, working families won’t get more opportunity or bigger paychecks by letting big banks or big oil or hedge funds make their own rules at the expense of everyone else; or by allowing attacks on collective bargaining to go unanswered. Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did. Immigrants aren’t the reason wages haven’t gone up enough; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns. It’s sure not the average family watching tonight that avoids paying taxes through offshore accounts. In this new economy, workers and start-ups and small businesses need more of a voice, not less. The rules should work for them. And this year I plan to lift up the many businesses who’ve figured out that doing right by their workers ends up being good for their shareholders, their customers, and their communities, so that we can spread those best practices across America.
Pretty quick and relatively painless considering that we've already sat through Trump's "hedge fund guys" bloviations, and Bernie Sanders umpteenth refrain of "Wall Street's business model is fraud."
But perhaps the best part of Obama's terse tilt at finance sector greed was that it contained this nugget.
"Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did."
With everyone clamoring over each other to become the populist anti-Wall Street candidate with the best soundbite, how did everyone else miss out on this one?