Truly Amazing

Sometimes things are said and done in the political  realm that just about leave one speechless with astonishment. One has the thought that they surely did not say or do such and such and if they did, did they mean it? Perhaps a a better thought would be, what were they thinking? On to some examples. AIG is much in the news these days for multiple reasons, none that are very good.The   company through some bad decisions or stupid mistakes or something, found itself on life support late last fall. In the intervening months, the government has  poured huge  sums of money into the company, such that the feds now own 80% of AIG.

Now, pay close attention to what is happening now. As soon as AIG announced the pay out of some $165 million in bonuses, a veritable firestorm erupted. They cant do that, those crooks, those robbers and worse. There have been death threats(some aired by CNN), Obama is gonna make this right, Pelosi is having a fit, etc. The best of the worst may have been Sen Charles Grassley, Republican, Ia who said these bonus  recipients should resign or commit suicide. Those were the only honorable choices. After someone realized what he said, a spokesman announced that he really didn’t mean it.

It gets even better, believe it or not. Treasury Secretary Geithner   was Chairman of the New York branch of the  Federal Reserve which helped to    orchestrate the early AIG bailouts. Said he knew nothing about the bonuses. Diplomatic envoy Richard Holbrooke was on AIG’s board for almost eight years and among other duties, served on the compensation committee. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said Mr Holbrooke knew nothing, about the bonuses, that is. Wisely, Mr Holbrooke is keeping a low profile.

Today,the House  passed a bill, with 40 minutes debate, taxing the bonuses at a 90% rate for those earning over $ 250,ooo. Two days ago, House Ways and Means Chair Charles Rangel was against using the tax code as a weapon to target individuals. Today, he was totally on board.And finally, we have Senator Chris Dodd,Democrat, Ct who  yesterday admitted that he had been involved in key legislative changes that helped pave the way for AIG to pay the now outrageous bonuses. However, he did it at the  behest of Treasury officials. Sure he did.

Don’t forget that along with the President, Mr Dodd was a great beneficiary of AIG contributions. It truly is the show that never ends.


March 19, 2009 - Posted by | economy, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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