Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Doctor, Doctor! It hurts when I do this!

All the outrage from congress over these bonuses to AIG execs really cracks me up. It's really a shame that people who are this divorced from reality manage to get elected to public office… I guess that means that the voters are this divorced from reality, too.

Everyone's pitching a fit over these bonuses which are really contractual obligations to AIG employees. Contractual… do you know what that means? Break the contract, get sued. And nevermind the threat of lawsuits… is it fair, is it moral to violate a contract? Before you answer, just ask yourself how you'd react if the contract you have with your mortgage lender or landlord were violated. Not good, right? We expect contracts to be honored, that's why we call them contracts. So if we expect the contracts we hold to be honored, then we ought to advocate that these contracts be honored as well. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, isn't that right? Love your neighbor as yourself, right? What kind of hypocrites would we be if we expected our own contracts to be respected, but then advocated that others' be used as toilet paper?

But what's really funny is that these idiots in Congress and our President appear to be utterly shocked and horrified to learn that the company that taxpayers bailed out last year will be using that taxpayer money (some of it, anyway) to pay these contractual obligations. And by the way, these contracts are nothing new… the congressmen who have their panties in a bunch have all known about them as much as a year. Read the story at the Wall Street Journal.

So the federal government thinks that it's possible, apparently, to hand out billions of taxpayer dollars to AIG and yet somehow avoid having that money be used to pay the company's obligations. WHAT PLANET DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE ON?

What's really going on here? These incompetent congressmen (and that's being charitable) wanted to have their cake and eat it, too. They thought it a good idea to invest taxpayer money into a failing private company like AIG, but now they've got a case of federal buyer's remorse… they see what they've bought and now it's too damned late. Of course, they never want to admit that, well, they were idiots for having made this decision, no… we can't have that. It must be AIG's fault somehow and, rather than get angry at Congress, we're supposed to angry at AIG and at the people who would receive the bonus.

This is exactly why government should never be involved with private businesses. The reason why you don't mix these two is because the government isn't supposed to have authority over private businesses… but the minute you hand taxpayer money to a private business, suddenly the taxpayers feel like the business is obliged to behave differently… more "responsibly" perhaps. I'm not saying that's unreasonable, but I'm saying that the taxpayers should never ever find themselves in that position because government doesn't have authority in the realm of business decisions like whether or not to hand out bonuses and in what amounts, nor should they.

And now, irony of ironies, we have Congressman Barney Frank saying that we ought to just fire these employees who are getting the bonuses. Well for one thing, they're getting the bonuses because they've performed well. Only a U.S Congressman could suggest firing someone who's doing their job well and somehow not lose his credibility. Incredible. And now you have a Democrat Congressman advocating that a number of people become unemployed… I thought Democrats were for "working people"?

As if all of that's not enough, there's something else funny about this whole thing… we have Congress--a body once famous for buying $600 hammers--complaining about AIG not being thrifty enough with the taxpayer's money!

The only right answer to this whole predicament is to have never bailed AIG out in the first place. Too late, now we're screwed.

But it's not just guys like Barney Frank who are responsible for this mess… I wish it were that simple. No, it's the people across this country who cast votes for people like Barney Frank. This is THEIR fault.


  1. The salaries that OBama limited to $500K were most likely contractual as well. But he still limited them. Contractual or not, when my social security funds and tax dollars are paying those contractual obligations, without my say so or input, I feel I have a right to complain about it and support someone stepping in to manage the payment of OUR funds. Contractual, based on their management of company funds. Not taxpayers dollars. Once they took the money from the government, the rules changed. I'd like to see them sue the government. That'd be funny.

  2. The point here is that private business is private business and taxpayer money should NEVER be used to prop up a failing business, no matter how big. Of course, I realize that AIG is not the first to be bailed out or subsidized by the government… it's been happening for years, unfortunately. Look at Amtrak. Government subsidized. WHY?

    We do have the right to bitch and complain at our stupid idiot congressmen who made this move. But no one, government or otherwise, has the right to alter a contract. Contracts are contracts. Those people are owed the money. That the money they get comes from my pocket and yours is not the recipients' fault, it's the fault of our stupid congress.

    I have a better idea… let's subtract these peoples' bonuses from the congressional salaries, but only for those congressmen and women who voted for the bailout!!

  3. And to reinforce the point, Senator Chris Dodd (D) admitted late yesterday or this morning that he added language to this bailout bill which allowed these specific bonuses to take place. He claims that someone in the administration insisted that he insert the language to permit the retention bonuses.

    And not only that, while Rockbama is acting as though this stuff just blindsided him, it's now clear that he's known about it for quite some time.

    As for salaries limited by Obama, whether contractual or not, the question isn't "Did he or didn't he?". The question is "Should he or shouldn't he?"

    We need to get government OUT of business and we need to, as a nation, stop resenting people who make more money than we do.

    I fear it's too late, though… this nation is heading straight for plain old socialism and, well, nobody gives a rats ass. Everybody either thinks that's a good thing or thinks somehow that it's not really socialism.

    What a shame.