Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DC Droppings - XIII


I didn’t think Democrats were that nutty or that Republicans would be so damn anti-business all of a sudden.

But both parties, and the president of the United States, have been frightened to death by the mob, whipped into a frenzy by all-consuming cable television and talk radio.

The issue of course is executive compensation for managers at AIG. The bonuses so much in the news are an infinitesimal amount of the bailout, and they do happen to be the result of a contract.

What eludes me is the line of logic you hear every day about neighbors who took out a mortgage they couldn’t afford or about industrial titans who make a lot of money while you don’t. As long as you have a roof, a job and food on the table, shut up. This country is a cesspool of class resentments, the class you hate being the one containing the guy who makes more money than you do.

I saw this first-hand when I briefly worked for a member of Congress during a time when members were considering a routine pay raise. A rightwing radio guy gave out my boss’s phone number and I spent the day listening to this, in one form or another: “I’m a (occupation) and I only make (dollar amount). I don’t see why he should get a raise.”

Well, members of Congress, business executives, people with competence, moxie and brains should make more than some bozo with nothing better to do than listen to talk radio. Extend the logic a bit and everyone but you becomes overpaid.

What is the right compensation for AIG employees? I dunno. No more than I know what the right compensation is for a teacher, an astronaut or a ballplayer. You get what you can and either take it or leave it. Simple, right?

But back to AIG. The very people who Congress is demanding give back their legal bonuses are the only ones who know how to get the company back on its feet, and since you and I own 80 percent of it, it would seem to be in our interest to change future compensation. Because if they have a legal right to the money, and they do, an attempt to take it back would cost AIG a lot more in lawsuits. And doing what Congress wants would destroy the foundation of contracts anywhere.

Besides it is obviously unconstitutional. The Constitution Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed."

Now, bills of attainder don’t usually occupy much of our conversations, but it means Congress is prohibited from passing a law punishing individuals without trial.

It is exactly what members of Congress are proposing for AIG executives– taxing them at 90 percent or 100 percent, or otherwise “making” them give the money back.

It is bad law, bad precedent and an ugly example of mob mentality.

Bayh Polar

Another ugly thing is Sen. Evan Bayh, a goofy looking genetic disaster sprung from the loins of a perfectly decent senator of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Bayh, a Clinton-supporting moderate from Indiana, was bypassed for vice president by Obama, so know he is publicly doing what he was privately doing – screwing the Democratic party and the president by opposing the basic elements of the program a majority of the country voted for. On every single major element of the Obama platform, Bayh says he is going to join with Republicans, who don’t give a damn about a thing other than sticking it to Obama, and ruining the country in the meantime.

I say, read him out of the party and let him sit with Lieberman, men without a party. And without principle other than ego.


I am still reeling from attending a public meeting today at a bastion of political correctness, in which the woman who was the host of the gathering introduced herself not once, but twice, as “madam of ceremonies.”

I shudder for my country and wish Congress, Evan Bayh and this stupid hunk of overeducated political correctness would just shudder up.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Well, 2 outta 3 ain't bad.

    You're right on Article I, Section 9. And don't also overlook this little ditty from Section 10, whereby the People of the United States *so* wished to preserve contract law that they approved: "No State shall...pass any...Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts."

    I guess the congress figures that somehow they have that power themselves, though. Funny, that's not written in to the powers of Congress in Section 8. Schmucks.

    Evan Bayh can and should (if he so chooses) freely go against the will of the majority of the voting public. That is sir, the *essence* of a Republic and why the framers despised democracy. The framers were a hell of a lot smarter than the dipwads we have today.

    Political correctness? Jackie Mason referred to the POTS as a swartze the other day. Thank god for people who despise political correctness.

    Keep it up, you're right on 2 outta 3 today. Sooner or later you'll come to be a Libertarian.