For the record, I am not in favor of any business giving huge bonuses to people if that business is being propped up by taxpayer largesse. Failing businesses have no “business” handing out extra money to those who have contributed to their failure.
Further, even though I oppose government bailouts of such businesses, if a bailout has occurred, there has to be oversight. Financial aid always should come with conditions.
Yet there is almost a sense of comedy in the spectacle of outrage on display in Congress this week over the $165 million in bonuses handed out at AIG. If you watch the videos of the hearings, what you witness is grandstanding on a grand scale. The comedic aspect is hearing congressmen lecturing anyone on fiscal responsibility, let alone a man who came out or retirement for a salary of $1 per year to try to keep AIG together.
This is the same Congress that passed a so-called stimulus bill [totaling $787 billion] so rapidly that no one had a chance to read it [which, by the way, was a broken promise from the Obama campaign; he had said no bill should be voted on until it had been scrutinized by the public for a number of days prior to the vote]. That same bill included the clause that allowed AIG to do what it did with those bonuses. It seems to me that if Congress wants to get upset, it should aim its ire at itself.
Yes, it is. Let’s get a sense of proportion here.