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03-18-09, 11:51 AM #1
AIG Indignation - More than CHANGE!.
SPARE US YOUR FAKE FURY, DC HYPOCRITES
By Michelle Malkin
March 18, 2009 --
ALL the world's a stage, wrote Shakespeare, and in the world of Washington, the curtains have opened on the most elaborate farce of the year.
Welcome, taxpayers, to the Kabuki Theater of AIG Outrage - where DC's histrionic enablers of taxpayer-funded corporate bailouts compete for Best Performance of Hypocritical Indignation.
Over the weekend, cloaked in their finest populist costumes, the Beltway's hair-sprayed and powdered politicians and White House aides took to the airwaves to inveigh against $165 million in employee-retention payments made by the government-backed insurance giant.
The checks were mailed Friday, but the March 15 bonus deadline had been on the Capitol Hill radar screen since December.
But it wasn't until last week that the hapless court jester of the Obama administration, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, scrambled to rein in the payments.
AIG Chief Executive Edward Liddy basically told him to buzz off.
Geithner, the primary architect of the original $85 billion AIG bailout last fall, "reluctantly" approved the bonuses.
And now his outraged boss has ordered him to scour every legal nook and cranny possible to get the money back.
Spare me President Obama's finger-wag. He's "outraged?" Meh.
Two weeks ago, Team Obama forked over another $30 billion for the basket-case company after it reported $61.7 billion in fourth-quarter losses.
That's on top of the first $85 billion round and the second $38 billion round under George W. Bush - both of which Obama supported. (Obama, by the way, collected more than $101,000 in AIG campaign contributions.)
Don't talk to me about how the Obama administration opposes rewarding failure. And don't talk to me about all the politicians stampeding to tax AIG's bonuses.
Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, the corporate crony who is the largest recipient of AIG donations, is now leading the charge to tax the retention payments in order to recoup the $450 million the company is paying to employees in its financial-products unit.
But Dodd, it turns out, was for protecting AIG's bonuses before he was against them.
Fox Business reporter Rich Edson pointed out that during the Senate porkulus negotiations last month, Dodd successfully inserted a teeny-tiny amendment that provided for an "exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009," which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are seeking to tax.
Pay no attention to what his left hand was doing. Dodd's right fist is pounding mightily, mightily for the sake of the taxpayers. The hypocritical indignation on the Hill is bipartisan.
On his Twitter page last night, Sen. John McCain huffed, "If we hadn't bailed out AIG = no bonuses for greedy execs."
Well, if the GOP presidential candidate had held fast to his opposition to such doomed corporate bailouts in the first place, maybe bailout-a-palooza wouldn't have spiraled into the gazillion-dollar mess it inevitably became.
If Washington's newfound opponents of rewarding failure want to do taxpayers a favor, how about giving back their automatic pay raises? How about returning all their AIG donations?
How about taking back all the bailout money to all the failed enterprises, from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to AIG, the automakers and the big banks? Barry? Harry? Nancy? John? Chris? Bueller? Bueller?
Exit stage left. The curtain falls.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
03-18-09, 03:00 PM #2
I am absolutely outraged by all of this. But the worse part isn't AIG paying out bonuses of $165 million. That's what congress wants you to focus on, so it distracts from the real problem.
After receving the bail out money, AIG gave the following money to the following countries/companies:
Goldman Sachs - $13 billion
Merrill Lynch - $7 billion
Bank of America - $5 billion
United Kingdom - $13 billion
Germany - $17 billion
France - $19 billion
Switzerland - $5 billion
- Plus money to other small countries
Of all of there money, only $44 billion went to America, and $62 billion went overseas.
1993- President Clinton signed the Revenue Reconciliation Act which encouraged large bonuses to executives (for tax deduction purposes)
Then the Clinton cabinet instructed bank examiners to take in to account of how banks responded to complaints from minority community activist organizations such as ACORN. Heard of them?
December of 1995 - Sissero, Clinton's Head of Housing and Urban Development moved Freddie and Fannie May to a requirement that 42% of there mortgages on the books would now have to serve low and moderate income families.
2000- Andrew Coumo, Sissero's successor as head of HUD, the man who is now claiming these $156 million dollar bonuses are an outrage, raised the mortgage number requirement from 42% to 50%, and hiked mandates to buy mortgages in underserved neighborhoods for the very, very low income and encouraged them to strongly enter the sub prime loan market (which is what got AIG in trouble).
2003 - Barney Frank, the House Financial Services Committee Chairman says that Freddie and Fannie May are not in danger going under and people are making more an alarm of this, than there is real trouble.
2007- Bush raised the mortgage number requirement from 50% to 56%
2007- Gov't takes control
Dec 2007 - AIG pays some of its employees $55 million.
March 2009 - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank has the nerve in an interview on Good Morning America to say "By the way, it seems to me we're rewarding incompetence. These bonuses (The AIG $165 million) are going to people who screwed this thing up enormously."
Oh really, is that so, Barney. Well excuse me, but you are the one person in this who deserves more blame than any one single person.
So now, Barney Frank, Barack Obama, and the liberals in congress want to demand there $156 million back. They're outraged that AIG has the nerve to do this.
But they forgot to tell you one small minor detail....the fact that they knew AIG was getting $156 million in bonuses, it was laid out clearly in the contract the Gov't signed, which was reviewed for three months. Oops.
The fact is this, ladies and gentleman. Congress is trying to fool you. They are lying to you. We CANNOT allow Obama and the liberals in congress to break this contract with AIG. I can hear it now, 'but Brad, do you want those corporate screw-ups to have $165 million in bonuses?' Of course not. Why reward them for sucking at there job. BUT, our elected officials did sign an official legal binding contract with this company in which they granted them the right to give themselves $165 million in bonus money. If we break this contract, we are rendering contracts everywhere meaningless, and we are violating the constitution. You know, that pesky document that gets in the way of liberal agendas. You see, the U.S. Constitution prohibits the state or federal government from interfering with valid contracts. Breaking this contract would be flat out socialism. So whether you like it or you don't, and I am sure most don't, we need to re-direct our anger away from AIG, and towards our elected government, and do not support our government breaking this contract.
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