Thursday, March 19, 2009

Circus

People are very upset about bonuses handed out to AIG execs. Granted, it is rather shameless for AIG to be continuing down the same seemingly greed driven path they have been on, but let's keep two things in mind. First, we don't know why the bonuses were given. There is a slight chance that these execs made some kind of herculean effort that minimized AIG's loses. Maybe without these people things would be a whole lot worse. I'm just saying it's possible. Second, it's only $165 million. That is just peanuts in the greater scheme of things. No, actually it's less then that, it's peanut shells.

Yes, it sickens me that a bunch of greedy bastards who screwed up royally are getting even more compensation for their irredeemable behavior, but this huge uproar over it is simply a side show we don't have time for. We and out leaders should be focusing on fixing the larger economic problems at hand. Spending this much time over how $165 was used is just stupid.

And, it's not AIG's fault, it was written into law. There was an amendment added that allowed any bonus stipulated before February 11, 2009 to be paid out. So can we really blame AIG for handing them out? Well, of course we can, but the bigger issue here is were did that amendment come from. There is a lot of finger pointing, but no one is fessing up.

This amendment is the much, much bigger breach of ethics then the bonuses themselves, because it is a grotesque use of political power. We need to stop talking about the bonuses and simply have the Senate setup an investigation into who added the amendment. It does not have to be a big show, put just enough people on it to get it sorted out. Once we know who did it, we know who will be resigning. Or, if they are too stupid and cowardly, who will be expelled from the Senate.

It is a bit ironic, but if the White House and Congress would spend even one percent of the time they have spent on this circus on each and every $165 million they spend, we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with.

2 comments:

Hugh Fryer said...

I agree, but applying the statute retroactively would have raised constitutional issues.

Oskar said...

Amen, bro'. One can only hope that the people that matter are only using this as an easy sound bite, and when the cameras are off they're focusing on the really important stuff.

http://xkcd.com/558/