An Impotent Gesture

The AIG bonus structure was disclosed over a year ago, before the Bush TARP plan and long before Obama added $30 billion to AIG’s portion last month. It didn’t bother him then that AIG had retention bonuses coming up.

It also didn’t bother Senator Chris Dodd, who now wants to tax away 90% of the bonuses he was responsible for protecting in the original TARP, via his provision to exempt “contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009″ from federal restrictions. Nothing there about controlling whether taxpayers would fund the bonuses he knew were coming. Oh no, then he was protecting a major campaign contributor. (Note who was the second largest recipient of AIG money.)

These are retention, not performance, bonuses. That is, contractual obligations to pay people who stay around; an issue that would have very much concerned AIG and precisely what Dodd targeted.

Finally, Dodd’s provision was in last year’s TARP bill, and as Obama told us when he let 8,500 earmarks slip through in the Omnibus Spending Bill he just signed, he can’t intervene in “last year’s business.” We need to move on. What’s changed?

This whole brouhaha is an attempt to divert attention from Obama’s plans for economy punishing carbon tax proposals and massive federal intervention into health care, education and union elections.

See you at the Tea Party on April 15th. Bring your “Free AIG” signs.

Update: 6:30 PM
Recommended reads from the Wall Street Journal, The Real AIG Outrage and Congress Is the Real Systemic Risk

3 thoughts on “An Impotent Gesture”

  1. Exactly. Last week Carville and Begala (pls. excuse my spelling) devised the attack on Limbaugh to divert attention from the political class and their perfidy. This week it is AIG bonuses. Next week something else.And it works becasue the media are co-conspirators and because too many Americans are the ignorant product of government schools.The real crime at in the AIG takeover is where the tens of billions went, not where the tenth of a billion in bonuses is going. It went to Goldman Sachs ($13B), to other Wall Street banks, and to large foreign banks. Thats who got bailed out. Not AIG. And that is a dirty little secret being obfuscated by Dodd, Obama, and the media.

  2. Dodd said his staff added it at the request of the Administration, so I’m not sure we can blame Obama for it entirely.Dodd is Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and bears prime responsibility for changes to the bill. That he first said he “didn’t know how it got in there,” seems disingenuous at best.