Friday, May 15, 2009

What's “Fair” With Bailout Bonuses?

Sitting in the doctor's office waiting for my turn, I saw a “New York” Magazine with a big picture of a fist on the front. The words next to it was, “The Rage of the Rich”. The article was written by Gabriel Sherman (article title was, “The Wail of the 1%”). I only read the first couple of paragraphs that spoke of AIG executives watching their boss, CEO Edward Liddy, on TV before congress getting wailed on by the panel regarding the bonuses that were paid with the bailout money Congress and President Obama approved. The article then talked about the AIG execs getting a memo from Liddy the next day asking them to give back 50% of what they received – and they were pissed. They feel that some kind of “sacred contract” of honoring pay agreed upon either in writing or a golf clubhouse handshake was broken. They didn't want to give ANY of the money back!

Now, regardless of the fact that millions of our tax dollars (and future deficits for our children and our children's children) went to insuring that a handful of Americans could continue to lead the life of excess, they were promised these bonuses. The company had to make due on it.

However, as many conservatives like to point out that the government isn't their to provide a living, just manage the laws and the military, AIG wouldn't have HAD any money to give out if it weren't for us taxpayers. I would like to know, if we did things the strict conservative way – which would be to keep out of businesses business and let companies sink or swim strictly on their own merits – if AIG filed for bankruptcy and went belly-up flat out broke with not a penny to their name, how would they have been able to pay out these bonuses to the AIG executives? The fact that these people got ANYTHING from the government for essentially being a failure, they should be happy.

So I'd like to know – how WOULD they have gotten ANYTHING of a bonus without us taxpayers? What, we scream bloody murder that they get a whole-ton-of-extra-moolah while the rest of us are struggling to keep up with our rents and mortgages in this economy and they think WE'RE being unfair?!


The way I feel about it, the way things are, they should be happy to have OUR table scraps – instead of us (the majority – aka middle-class) getting their scraps.

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