An interview with Lloyd Blankfein is as rare as a look inside the Goldman Sachs money machine. He showed us one of seven trading floors at his Manhattan headquarters. Goldman is one of America’s most successful investment banks. It had net earnings of $4.4 billion dollars last year. When we asked Blankfein how to reduce the federal budget deficit, he went straight for the subject politicians don’t want to talk about.
BLANKFEIN: You’re going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people’s expectations — the entitlements and what people think that they’re going to get, because it’s not going to — they’re not going to get it.
PELLEY: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid?
BLANKFEIN: You can look at history of these things, and Social Security wasn’t devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career. … So there will be things that, you know, the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits have to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised. But in general, entitlements have to be slowed down and contained.
Blankfein is CEO of Goldman Sachs, a Wall Street institution that was about as deep into the Wall Street scandal and collapse of 2008 as could be. Goldman Sachs received a $12 billion TARP bailout related to its holdings in then-defunct insurer AIG. Goldman Sachs repaid the government through a sale of equity in April 2009.
Despite the fact that it’s become quite evident that Wall Street is Washington’s puppetmaster, and not vice-versa, Blankfein now has the audacity to come to Capitol Hill to lecture the government about good governance and how we need to aggressively cut so-called “entitlements” like Medicare and Social Security. As if caring for the sick and elderly was some sort of societal ill, while committing fraud against one’s own customers is perfectly reasonable, and the sanctions wrought therefrom a mere cost of doing business.
Here’s what America’s favorite socialist Senator, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders has to say about it all. Thing is, he’s right, and the plutocracy must be exposed and, frankly, smashed and replaced with the representative democracy the Constitution guarantees.