The A.I.G. Bailout Fiasco!
Seldom if ever in the history of this all-news radio station have we witnessed a greater public outcry than over the way the outrageous bonuses to A.I.G. executives was handled.
The outrage was directed first to the executives themselves who pocketed those million dollar plus bonuses at A.I.G., a company that has received $200 billion in bailout money. A total of $165 million in bonuses was doled out to A.I.G. officials. These are the same corporate leaders who drove the A.I.G. bus into the ditch. Talk about a reward for incompetence!
Now, the outrage is also being directed at the U.S. congress who, through tacit approval, incompetence or inattention, were complicit in these bonus awards; verifying again that hypocrisy reigns supreme in that bastion of self-serving egotism!
There is finger-pointing in every direction. A.I.G. raises the argument that these bonuses were guaranteed under contractual arrangement and those contracts must be honored.
It has become apparent that some members of congress were aware of the existence of these contract even when they were voting to approve the bailout. There is no question that the administration pushed through the Stimulus Bill and the Bailout Bills in record time…on the faulty premise that A.I.G. is too big to be allowed to fail!
As we know, many members of congress never even read the Stimulus and Bailout Bills before voting on them. And let’s not forget that “fox in the nation’s fiduciary henhouse,” Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner who a few years ago headed up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and should have known about these bonus payments.
The A.I.G. officials who have received the bonuses have been asked to return the money despite the contractual arrangement. Congress in its infinite wisdom has threatened to pass legislation to tax the bonuses up to 90% if they’re not returned. Whether that legislation is constitutional is in question. It certainly is confiscatory!
There is an irony that some of these payments are termed “retention” bonuses because they were intended to make sure that top A.I.G. officials would remain with the company. How stupid! Not only were some of these officials among the villains in this shameful taxpayer rape scenario, but more than 50 of them left the organization despite the retention incentive!
In retrospect, it seems to us that before congress approved the Bailout Bill there should have been restrictions on the bonuses in question.
Blame can be placed everywhere…corporate greed, the holier than thou members of congress…and the administration for its rushing through the Stimulus Bill and the Bailout legislation.
Regardless, it’ll be a long time before the taxpaying public’s outrage diminishes!
Robert W. Dickey
Broadcast: March 27, 28, 29, 2009
Mr. Dickey I always look forward to them. Your comments almost seem to be right on. Today and the one on the State office building are great. I hope enough people take notice, and Jack Wagner can stop it going through. Yours Aye Dave S.-David S., Ross Twp.
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