“Anyone can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not within everyone’s power and that is not easy.” ~Aristotle
This is the quote that came to mind when thinking about this whole AIG bonus business. It’s amazing to me how easily the government was able to divert the sheep’s anger away from them and towards the AIG CEO’s. Should we be angry that AIG employees are/were getting big bonuses while the company is taking government (a.k.a. our) money? Of course. However, there are many things going on here. Please consider the following:
1. Not every part of AIG has been failing.
2. Not every person receiving a bonus is “rollin’ in the dough”.
3. The bonuses were written in legally binding contracts.
4. Congress, in all its infinite wisdom, literally wrote it into the bill that all bonuses assigned under contract would be upheld. (This is a fact, look it up. I’ve seen the actual verbiage.)
5. The government never should have given them (or any other private company, for that matter) a single penny. If they hadn’t, this never would have happened in the first place. NO ONE, and I repeat, NO ONE, is “too big to fail”. Gee, who could have predicted that the government would have screwed this up?! The government always does things correctly, don’t they? Duh!
I so loved the utter hypocrisy of Congress ripping into that poor CEO, Liddy. What a joke! They’re yelling at this guy, who they assigned to the job and had absolutely NOTHING to do with AIG’s downfall, about how AIG is so irresponsible, yada, yada, yada. Hmmmm . . . I seem to remember another organization that’s been completely irresponsible, spending money that they don’t have, etc. Wow, Congress has cohones the size of watermelons!
Then, our “nonrepresenting representatives” tell Liddy that they want the names of all the AIG employees receiving bonuses and that if AIG doesn’t revoke the bonuses, they (the government) will. Excuse me?? Since when does the government tell private businesses who will, and will not, get bonuses and how much? We are treading on very slippery territory here, people.
THEN, Congress says they’re going to tax the bonuses, like, 90%. Since when is it constitutional to tax a specific, minute sector of society? Isn’t everything supposed to be at least legally fair? Next thing you know, they’ll be charging “rich” people at a higher rate than “poor” people. Oh, wait . . . heh, we already do that.
Also, this tax is going to affect those who have household incomes of $250,000 or more. Okay, so let’s say there’s a secretary making, like $50K a year and her husband at home (not employed by AIG) pulls in $200K. So now this secretary is going to receive basically no bonus? Nice.
In addition to all this madness, ACORN paid for busses to take people to AIG employees’ homes! No matter what you may think of these AIG people, how dare you frighten/threaten their families? We’re turning to mob rule now in this country. Amazing.
And then there are the poor saps who work in different divisions who, again, have nothing to do with the failure of AIG. Why are they being punished for someone else’s mistakes? Here’s a letter from one of those unfortunate people: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/25/opinion/25desantis.html?_r=2&ref=opinion&pagewanted=all.
I’m going to elaborate a little more on this craziness in my next post.