Obama Bank Tax: Wall St. Mulls Court Challenge

The proposed tax, though, would not apply to government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, nor would it apply to bailed-out automakers General Motors and Chrysler, a fact that has some critics crying foul.

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"It is very unlikely that the government is going to be able to get back its money from GM and Chrysler and if it levies a tax on them it makes it more difficult for them to get its money back," said Peter Morici, professor at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business.

"This tax," he said, "makes no sense at all."

Last Thursday, in his remarks announcing the proposed tax, President Obama warned Wall Street not to fight it.

"Instead of sending a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal, or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee, I'd suggest you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibilities," President Obama said. "I'd urge you to cover the costs of the rescue not by sticking it to your shareholders or your customers or fellow citizens with the bill, but by rolling back bonuses for top earners and executives."

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Wall St. Mulls Challenge to Obama's Bank Tax

But Wall Street was already voicing its opposition to the proposal even before the President outlined it.

"I think using tax policy to punish people is a bad idea," said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Dimon cautioned that these taxes may ultimately be passed on to ordinary Americans.

"All businesses tend to pass their costs onto their customers," he said. "That's not abnormal."

Morici argues that Wall Street is really making much ado about nothing.

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"The bankers are screaming about a death wound when the tax is merely a paper cut," he said, calling the tax "meaninglessly small."

"I don't think they've got much of a Supreme Court case because there are all kinds of examples of the government singling out firms by size," he said. "The corporate income tax does that. I don't think they've got a leg to stand on. But if you ask a lawyer if we've got a case here, he'll take your money."

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