Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Suburban Mom's Political Fix: Colbert, a Pitchfork and AIG Outrage

The more I think about the latest round of AIG bonuses -- of which, according to U.S. Rep. Cummings who was on MSNBC this morning, there are likely to be more -- the angrier I become.

The latest news from Bloomberg -- which reported, "American International Group Inc. . . . budgeted $57 million in 'retention' pay for employees who will be dismissed" -- was just icing on the cake.

Reading this New York Times piece this morning while watching Morning Joe, I could literally feel my blood pressure rising. Here are the main arguments for the AIG bonuses:

-- A contract is a contract. (Tell that to the auto makers whose employees have changed terms of their contracts in light of dire economic circumstances. Try to hand that line to the people who had contracts one day, then their companies went out of business, whose companies didn't receive federal bailout money, and those contracts became just worthless pieces of paper.)

-- We should support the bonuses for the smart people still working at AIG, so they won't go to another firm, because they might be able to get the company out of the mess it's in. (You mean the people who got AIG, and by extension, the taxpayers, into this quagmire in the first place?)

-- The government shouldn't be interfering with private contracts at a private company. (You mean the company that's now 80 percent owned by the federal government? The one that's received billions in taxpayer bailout money? The one that wouldn't exist without federal money?)

Bah humbug to all the naysayers who pooh-pooh this justified taxpayer outrage, label it simple-minded populism, and say that the bonus money only represents a tiny fraction of the AIG bailout money so we shouldn't be angry about the bonuses, but instead we should be steamed about the overall mega-bailout. (Me, I'm steamed about it all.)

That being said, Stephen Colbert's spoof on The Colbert Report about the angry, anti-AIG mob was very funny. (Link to the video here.)

1 comment:

Quentin said...

Geithner's a fool. He gave the money without the strings and now everybody is outraged because we didn't condition receipt of the funds on NO MORE BONUSES. This is mismanagement on top of mismanagement. the American people are much smarter than the greedy, ignorant "talent" at AIG.