Bush Visits Wall Street, Discovers Income Inequality

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Bush visited the Stock Exchange after his speech yesterday. Photo: Getty Images


The president was in New York yesterday, and he brought some odd tidings for our city's financial industry. In a speech strategically delivered across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, George W. Bush — who on a trip to New York years ago delivered his famous "Some call you the elite, I call you my base" line — spoke out against excessive executive pay and lush severance packages. Meantime, an editorial in the same day's Wall Street Journal posited that any legislation curbing executive pay would immediately translate into higher taxes. As the person hectoring the gaggle of Wall Streeters about fiscal modesty was the same person who had drastically cut taxes for everyone in attendance, the listeners could be forgiven for mild confusion. The Sun calls the crowd's response "muted." But of course it was: The real target audience for the speech was the general public. "The fact is that income inequality is real," said Bush. "It has been rising for more than 25 years." And you're first noticing that now, George? Pardon the pun, but that's rich.

Bush Warns Wall Street on Pay [NYS]
George W. Bush: The Elite, My Base [YouTube]