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
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.
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
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.