As the bonus payment flap continues, AIG is crying that they are contractually bound to pay their executives bonuses in spite of their economic standing. The question that begs to be asked is what was the performance incentive required to qualify for these bonuses? There is nothing inherently wrong with dabbling in uncertain financial instruments. But AIG is an INSURANCE company. Their job was to practice prudent actuarial science. It was AIG who was insuring the reckless banking industry. AIG may not have invented the problem but by insuring those who indulged in this foolishness they were complicit. Readers, the real outrage is not that they are paying out the bonuses but that the law allows this miscarriage.
Who in the Congress allowed these bonuses to become legal? Remember, that as part of the bailout, AIG was obligated to restructure previous commitments, much like the automakers were forced to do. And even though the Republicans are now pointing the finger at Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), it is clear that someone other than Sen. Dodd inserted the language allowing for these bonuses to be legal when the bill passed into law in mid-February. This is the troubling nugget mysteriously inserted into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.
Now the Republicans have become the people’s hero. They are crying foul! The Democrats are to blame for allowing AIG execs to fleece the American taxpayer. Any one who swallows this spin is out of their mind. I am sure that Limbaugh’s audience is salivating. Folks, not too long ago it was the Republicans who excoriated Democrats for having the gall to suggest that the government regulate executive pay and bonuses.
In September of 2008, Republican Senator Richard Shelby (SC) made it very clear that government had no business regulating private corporations. He said,
“It should be up to the board of directors of a private corporation to set the compensation of an executive… it shouldn’t be Congress’s role.”
In early February, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell (KY) had this to say about regulating executive pay, “I really don’t want the government to take over these businesses and start telling them everything about what they can do.”
But today they sing a different tune! This is nothing more than elitist conservatives trying to pass over as populists. (yes it’s the Republicans who are elitist!) They are for the working person (not). They are fighting for the American taxpayer (not). They are liars! The Republicans created this freaking mess! They rejoice in their deceit! Their past success has been based solely on their ability to spin, deceive and trick the American electorate. They have no shame. Call it what it is. The Republican Party of today is a party of self interest and personal gain. They pledge allegiance only to themselves and to their ideology regardless of the consequences to the nation and its citizens while shamelessly wrapping themselves in the flag and criticizing Americans who want to see America succeed.
The 2008 elections demonstrated that Americans are no longer that gullible. With an educated and savvy electorate, the 2010 mid term elections will prove that Americans will no longer fall for this Republican bullshit!
Disclaimer: I do not believe that conservatism and the Republican Party are one and the same. The party of deceit has hijacked conservative ideology in order to advance their hideous agenda. Though I am an advocate of liberalism, I do respect conservative ideology as an alternative economic, political and socio-cultural view point however much I may disagree with it.