(NEW YORK) -- Vice President Joe Biden today likened the Occupy Wall Street protests to expressions of grassroots frustration by members of the Tea Party.
“Let’s be honest with one another,” Biden told an audience on camera at the Washington Ideas Forum. “What is the core of that protest? The core is: The bargain has been breached. The core is the American people do not think the system is fair, or on the level. That is the core is what you’re seeing with Wall Street," Biden claimed.
“There’s a lot in common with the Tea Party,” he said. “The Tea Party started, why? TARP. They thought it was unfair.”
Biden's statement comes despite the fact that the Tea Party movement espouses conservative values, while the patische of motivations from the Occupy Wall Street protests -- wealth redistribution, universal health care, and the like -- are hallmarks of many on the opposite side of the political fence.
Biden cited Bank of America’s recent decision to impose a $5 monthly fee on some debit card users as an example of new perceived unfairness related to the banking sector that has fueled more popular frustration.
“The middle class folks, these guys with the debit cards, are on their back. And [banks] are going to charge them $5 to use the cards? At minimum, they are totally tone-deaf,” Biden said.
This week, Frank Keating, CEO of American Bankers Association, blamed Senator Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, for mandating the hikes. "As a direct result of the Durbin Amendment," Keating told ABC News in am email, "consumers have started paying for financial services they previously enjoyed free of charge. Unfortunately, this proves that whenever government tries to control pricing of a product or service, consumers lose."
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