Jamie Dimon DEMANDS To Know What Congress Will Spend HIS MONEY On, And It Had Best Be Up To Snuff!

Class War

Rich people love to talk about how "throwing money at a problem doesn't work." Of course, if they did actually believe this, they probably wouldn't be hoarding so much of it themselves, with which to solve their own problems. Throwing money at problems is, in fact, usually the most convenient way to solve them. If you are hungry, throw money at the problem and buy some food. If you don't have a home, throw money at the problem and rent an apartment or buy a house. Have a headache? Throw money at the problem and buy some Tylenol. Need to get somewhere? Throw some money at the bus.

In a recent interview with the Investment Company Institute, noted rich person — with reported wealth of nearly $2 billion — Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan shared his concerns that the Biden administration is going around saying they want to do all of these things and collect taxes from rich people to fund those things, without providing him or other rich people with an itemized list of what those taxes would be accomplishing.

Hey federal budget, Jamie Dimon wants to see your deliverables.

He said:

Again, our government doesn't do a great job at certain things and they should be very clear about what they want to accomplish. I've said, we all know Republicans want infrastructure too. I think it should be a bipartisan bill, but I think each piece and every piece should say, on highways, how many miles are you going to build? How much is it going to cost? When's it going to get done? Who's responsible?

On education, not just free community colleges, because we work with a lot of community colleges in the United States. How many kids are going to graduate? How many kids are going to have a job at $65,000 a year? So I worry about not just the bill, but we're just throwing money. It doesn't work. And we already waste tremendous sums of money. And I think we owe that to the American public, to tell the American public, "If you're going to give me your money, I'm going to be a good steward of it. And here's what I'm going to accomplish. I'm going to report back to you." Just like disclosures you're asking us to do, and a bunch of different things.

Of course, it should be noted that Jamie Dimon's own employees, at the least the ones who aren't in the executive suite with him, are not making $65,000 a year; rather, they are making half that, or $34,000 a year and change. Perhaps for his $31 million a year, he should put some deliverables upon himself!

Still, things don't really work like that. You can't say, "Oh, this exact number of kids are going to graduate and make $65,000 a year if we make community college free" because that is dependent on a lot of different factors. According to the graph below, the average person with an Associate's Degree makes $46,000 a year and the average person with a Bachelor's makes $64,000. Neither of those is $65,000 exactly, but they are enough to live on and significantly more than what one would make with only a high school diploma.

We actually do know that when it comes to education, "throwing money at it" works. Schools are funded through property taxes, which means that schools in areas where rich people live are usually very nice, with lots of AP courses and extracurriculars, and schools in areas where poor people live usually do not have those things. If rich people didn't think "throwing money" at the problem of education worked, they would be totally cool with all schools getting an equal amount of funding. They also wouldn't send their kids to private schools or expensive universities, two things that frequently require the throwing of some money.

To his credit, Dimon at least acknowledges that rich people should be paying more. He claims they'd be willing to pay a bit more, even, if they knew exactly what their money was going towards.

A lot of wealthy people, if they thought they were really lifting up those poor kids in the South Bronx they'd be willing to pay more. But most people don't think shipping money to DC is going to be productive. So, you got to earn that a little bit.

And so, I got an email from someone today saying government is good at doing bad things, but it's really bad at doing good things. So government, I think when they pass these bills and stuff, they should have accountability, responsibility, expected outcomes, and then measure it and tell us about it. And they should be doing that everywhere. Every department should be doing a report, what we do with your money.

Always good to rely on wisdom found in email forwards.

As AOC noted on Twitter, "Dimon didn't give working people an itemized list of the school districts, public hospitals, infrastructure, or affordable housing projects he was helping defund when he pushed for the $2T GOP Tax Scam in 2017 w/ goodies for yacht and jet owners."

And it seems fair to say that neither he nor his rich friends — who would totally love to help all those "poor kids in the South Bronx" with their tax money if only they could get some assurances — would want that.

Perhaps both things should exist. Perhaps, also, we should each get an itemized list of how much of our tax money went to killing people overseas, imprisoning people, maintaining Gitmo, to corporate welfare, etc. Fifty-four percent of our annual budget is spent on the military — which, notably, wastes a whole lot of money on some real bullshit.

Via Scientific American:

In just the first decade of this century, the Pentagon was forced to cancel a dozen ill-conceived, ineffective weapons programs that cost taxpayers $46 billion. They included the Future Combat Systems program, a fleet of networked high-tech vehicles that did not work; the Comanche helicopter, which—after 22 years in development—was never built; and the 40-ton Crusader artillery gun, which never even made it to the prototype stage.

To put this example of managerial malfeasance in context, these canceled programs collectively cost more than the federal government spent on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the last five years.

At least the Pentagon killed those projects before they wasted any more money. All too often, it does not know when to pull the plug. The Army's attempt to replace its outmoded Bradley tank is a case in point. Over the last 17 years, it has blown an estimated $22.9 billion on three flawed prototypes, but in February—just three weeks after rejecting the third failed design—it issued yet another request for proposals from defense contractors.

Education and job training, meanwhile, make up 7 percent of our budget. Infrastructure gets about 3 percent. Dimon isn't demanding an itemized list of what the military plans to use his taxes for, along with what it expects to accomplish, is he? No, he isn't. He's also not asking for an itemized list of government subsidies and grants given to private businesses.

Personally, I feel like educating people and bettering our transportation system is probably more helpful to most of us than a super fancy helicopter that doesn't work. I guess I'm just funny that way!

[Investment Company Institute]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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