Blogs » Politcs Plus » Mr. President:The honeymoon is over


The AIG retention bonuses, endless spending, layoffs, and the uncertainness of the stock market are enough to make Glenn Beck cry again, and cause this country to be in an uproar. It reminds me of an old western when someone from the mob yells out “Get a rope.”In fact one senator said the recipients of the bonuses should come to congress, apologize, and then commit suicide. Senator Grassley (R-IA) recanted his statement.

On September of 2008, the first bailout (loan) came from post-depression powers that allowed Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke, to lend AIG $85 billion with no real provisions. . This action came after deciding to let 158 year old Lehman Brothers fail. The first bailout and recent bonus retentions of today passed the scrutiny of the SEC, back in November of 2008. Fast-forward five months to the current outrage. This last $30 billion that was recently issued; initially had a provision authored by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Olympia Stowe a republican from Maine; that stated that any company taking bailout money would cap their bonuses at $100,000. That provision was stripped. It should not be too hard to lookup the committee members and follow the lobbyist money, and then ask the hard questions. Sounds like another job for Jon Stewart. Pretty easy to roll out some video where Jon Kyl (R-AZ) or Richard Shelby (R-AL) were outraged at the government for even thinking of capping CEO pay of the bailed out firms. Then again, Christopher Dodd is Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee or maybe Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner...........Follow the money.

It didn't take long ,today CNN is reporting : Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN’s Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer Wednesday that he was responsible for adding the bonus loophole into the stimulus package that permitted AIG and other companies that received bailout funds to pay bonuses.

Later this afternoon President Obama said the buck stops at his office.

I do think AIG has committed fraud and I wouldn’t rule out Goldman Sachs because they always seem to be part of the picture.

It’s ironic the nation’s largest insurance firm, AIG, is now concerned with breach of contract laws. I bet the victims of Hurricane Katrina were surprised to hear that.

To avoid all the grandstanding, like republicans blaming the current administration and democrats blaming the previous one, we have to enact a FDIC like branch and staff it with MIT accountants, to prevent this from ever happening again. All these knee jerk proposals like creating a special tax provision to tax 418 employees will not pass constitutional mustard because although repulsive as the bonuses are, the employee’s contracts are valid. The government is going to want to partner with the private sector to get rid of the toxic loans. If the government gets into the business of reneging on contracts, what reputable company would do business with them? The automaker’s union was told to redo their contract, but they were already in contract negotiations with the automakers. Funny, I don’t hear the public demanding that Wall Street employees give up their health insurance or go down to minimum wage for the good of the country.

As if this was not enough to keep the president busy and concerned, today it was revealed by Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana that he and 15 other centrist senators are forming a blocking committee to at least slow down the presidents aggressive agenda, especially on the budgeted items like health care reform and cap-and- trade. I think this check and balance will help the new president because this country won’t go for the policies of the far right or left. If George W. Bush would have had a committee like this, we might not had gone for “Stay the course” or all that massive spending, while cutting taxes.

As I read the daily Dr. Diary rants against President Obama, I can only imagine if John McCain and Sarah Palin were elected…..I remember that day John McCain said “the fundamentals of the economy are sound” and his spokesman Phil Gramm(his choice for Treasury secretary) said we were a nation of whiners. Candidate McCain suspended his campaign, stayed over a day to be interviewed by Katie Couric, and didn’t do anything once he arrived in Washington. He railed against earmarks in the first bailout, but voted for it anyway. While the economy was still in crisis, he resumed his campaign…..I can’t even imagine what Palin and Joe the plumber would have said, but Jon Stewart would have to extend his show to seven days a week with all the material they would have given him, and Jay Leno would have stayed on…And, yes I would have written a Dear dairy daily rant against the GOP administration.