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More About Those AIG Bonuses

Congress and President Obama find themselves in a cold sweat frenzy over the AIG bonus payments that hit the airwaves Sunday night (although Congress knew about them long before then). The Politico asked the best question of the day:

Here's something neither Obama nor Grassley answered in their bellicose remarks Monday: Why did it take so long for the president and senior lawmakers to get so worked up? More troubling, why did it take so long for them to discover AIG planned to give huge bonuses in the first place?

...AIG disclosed its retention-bonus program more than a year ago, including bonuses directed to those handling the exotic derivatives that got the company and the country into this mess.

Hmmm. From beneath the righteous indignation of all these lawmakers and the Obama administration a familiar odor of CYA is beginning to emerge. In an effort to stoke the populist fires around this issue some congressmen, upon learning they have no legal basis to unwind the already paid bonuses, are threatening the nuclear option:

Senate Democrats threatened to tax the bonuses at up to 91 percent through narrowly written legislation, said Schumer, if AIG does not return the money voluntarily. Republicans have said President Barack Obama should have done more to prevent the executives from accepting the bonuses in the first place.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus asked, "What is the highest excise tax we can impose that will stand up in court? Let's find out what it is."

In the House, Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, introduced a bill that would that would tax at 100 percent bonuses above $100,000 paid by companies that have received federal bailout money.

Setting aside for a moment the matter of paying these bonuses with tax payer financed bailout funds, any reasonable person must ask: Do I want Congress to go after me like that? That's not a moot question because once a precedent is set it's almost impossible for Congress to resist trying the same maneuver again.

Congress and the Obama administration are treading on dangerous ground with the AIG bonus issue and, understandably, the law of unintended consequences will soon be seen in other venues.



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Comments (59)

In any other venue, it woul... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

In any other venue, it would be called 'discrimination'. In Democratic nuance, it's called "sharing the wealth". It sounds so much better that way, comrade.

Those bonuses aren't a drop... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Those bonuses aren't a drop of piss compared to what's being hosed out from Obama's Spendulus package. AND they're getting a hell of a lot more air time than there was on the damn thing in the first place.

Misdirection is entertaining in magic shows - it's annoying as hell in government, and it's getting more annoying as time goes on and we see that its about all Obama HAS as a plan.

"Oh look! Something shiny! Go look at it, quick!" And presto - another few billion disappears from our collective wallets...

"First they came for the AI... (Below threshold)
STaylor:

"First they came for the AIG bonuses and I did nothing..."

I have always thought that the bailouts were a dumb move to say the least. And it does make me angry to see tax payer dollars used to pay private bonuses due to government incompetance, but seriosly with the trillions of dollars Obama is spending 160 million really doesn't seem like much any more. It would have been nice if he had used a tenth of this energy to stop the billions spent in earmarks, or trillions shoveled into the banks.
To me this wave of populist anger is disturbing. Yes, the AIG execs should not get these bonuses; but how long until congress starts directing similar outrage at other people considered to be undeserving of their money? Sure it starts now with 100% taxes on taxpayer funded bonuses but it will end with similar taxes being levied on execs with no connection to the public coffers, and it will continue from there.

Naturally this is why conse... (Below threshold)

Naturally this is why conservatives have always opposed direct government intervention in private sector employee compensation.

Who will be next? Movie and television actors? Athletes? I mean really, did Jennifer Anniston deserve $1 million per episode for "Friends"? Did Will Smith deserve to earn $80 million last year just for acting in movies, when hard-working American families are struggling to get by on $40,000 a year?

When you try to win political support using purely populist arguments, where do you stop?

When you try to win poli... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

When you try to win political support using purely populist arguments, where do you stop?

Ask Sarah Palin.

From <a href="http://www.fo... (Below threshold)

From Fox Business (emphasis mine):

Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on Monday night floated the idea of taxing American International Group (AIG: 0.9194, 0.1393, 17.86%) bonus recipients so the government could recoup some or all of the $450 million the company is paying to employees in its financial products unit. Within hours, the idea spread to both houses of Congress, with lawmakers proposing an AIG bonus tax.

The move represents somewhat of an about-face for the Senator.

While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. That amendment provides an "exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009" -- which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax.

The amendment made it into the final version of the bill, and is law.

Separately, Sen. Dodd was AIG's largest single recipient of campaign donations during the 2008 election cycle with $103,100, according to opensecrets.org.

"Sen. Dodd was AIG's larges... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Sen. Dodd was AIG's largest single recipient of campaign donations during the 2008 election cycle with $103,100"

I'm SHOCKED! SHOCKED! I tell you!

Where is THE CHANGE we were promised? Or did that have an expiration date as well? Along with lobbyists, and earmarks, and accountability, and transparency, and bipartisanship, and ...............

The madder they can get you... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

The madder they can get you about these retention bonuses, the less attention you have left to pay to Congress, which is exactly the point now, isn't it?

There is a major difference between a retention bonus and a performance bonus. Seen many articles describing the difference between the two?

Didn't think so.

HyperbolistWhat po... (Below threshold)
914:

Hyperbolist

What populist argument are You referring too?

Why is there no investigation of Dodds Frank theft of tax payer funds? what is going on in this fucking country?

When the "government" baile... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

When the "government" bailed out AIG they bought an interest in that company. In the private sector if you are going to buy a large interest in a big company you will probably do some due diligence to see what contracts, financial obligations are outstanding. I am sure if a modicum of effort had been made these bonus obligations would have surfaced. Compared to Obama I really miss Bush but this deal was fashioned by Paulson in an "emergency" situation and Paulson dropped the ball on this big time. I think Obama has been less than mediocre but I think in this one he is stuck with a deal he didn't have much of a hand in yet he is burdened with the repercussions.

Who will be next? Movie ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Who will be next? Movie and television actors? Athletes? I mean really, did Jennifer Anniston deserve $1 million per episode for "Friends"? Did Will Smith deserve to earn $80 million last year just for acting in movies

Did NBC and the movie studios get TARP funds?

There are many arguments to be made on both sides of this issue. Try making an honest one.

This is your typical divers... (Below threshold)
Hank:

This is your typical diversion from the daily debacle of the Obama adminisration.
Going after Rush didn't work.
They need a new target to demonize.

I'm suprised it took the geniuses at the Jlist so long to come up with this.

What I would like to see is... (Below threshold)
J. G. Gonzalez:

What I would like to see is Barack Hussein Obama explaining to the American people why he and his Democrat collegues are pretending that they didn't know about the bonuses AIG gave to their traders? Why our President is not telling the American people from where is the bail-out money is coming from? And why he allowed billions of the bail-out money, which obviously came from our Social Security funds, go to Banks in foreign countries? Why? It is not that those foreign banks were innocent victims of poor speculations by AIG alone? Why do we and our children have to sacrifice for some equally greedy comanies and Banks of other countries? Why Mr. President? Why?

Did NBC and the movie... (Below threshold)

Did NBC and the movie studios get TARP funds?

TARP money is fungible. GE (which received TARP funds) owns NBC so that's actually a good question, brian.

GE (which received TARP ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

GE (which received TARP funds)

They received TARP funds in 2004? I must have missed that.

Regardless, the government owns 80% of AIG. They don't own a majority stake in GE. Shiny object, distraction, etc.

Hyper tries to play Obama b... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyper tries to play Obama by throwing out distractions.

Brian

THe question is this, if they can do this to AIG then who CANT they do it to.

Will they do it Hollywood? Highly doubtful as the support for the left from Hollywood is well known.

But what if they do it to someone else who doesnt get TARP Funds.

Take the governors who may refuse bailout money. IN the legislation Congress has it written that the they will take the money no matter what. And oh by the way, Spend it as Congress wants it spent even if they neither want or need it.

The question is one of government control and govt writing legistlation specifically to punish one set of people.

If you signed a contract with your company that said "You do X, Y, and Z and we will give you a bonus of $1 million". Well if you do X, Y, and Z wont you expect your bonus money? Isnt the company obligated to pay you that money?

All AIG has to do is say "We are paying this bonus money from Pot A, instead of Tarp money."

I predict in a week this will be old news and some other outrageous indignation will be expressed by the Obama administration.

But what if they do it t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

But what if they do it to someone else who doesnt get TARP Funds.

How, exactly?

Take the governors who may refuse bailout money.

States aren't getting bailout money.

IN the legislation Congress has it written that the they will take the money no matter what.

No, it permits the state legislatures to override their governor, if they wish, and if he/she refuses the stimulus funds.

If you signed a contract with your company that said "You do X, Y, and Z and we will give you a bonus of $1 million". Well if you do X, Y, and Z wont you expect your bonus money? Isnt the company obligated to pay you that money?

Not if they, say, file for bankruptcy, in which case the judge could dissolve such contracts. The legislature wants to do the same thing, in effect, apparently by taxing the bonuses. Would you have been whining on behalf of those people if AIG had gone under? They still wouldn't have gotten their bonuses. And our economy would be in much worse shape.

All AIG has to do is say "We are paying this bonus money from Pot A, instead of Tarp money."

Guess what, the US government owns most of AIG now. Shouldn't they have some input?

I predict in a week this will be old news and some other outrageous indignation will be expressed by the Obama administration.

I predict in one day this will be old news and some other outrageous indignation will be expressed by every wingnut in existence, per usual.

What populist argument a... (Below threshold)
Clay:

What populist argument are you referring too?

Uhm. I actually had the same question. I didn't find her arguments any more populist in comparison to any of the other candidates. So, yeah. I'd be curious to hear your answer, HB.

Setting aside for ... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
Setting aside for a moment the matter of paying these bonuses with tax payer financed bailout funds, any reasonable person must ask: Do I want Congress to go after me like that? That's not a moot question because once a precedent is set it's almost impossible for Congress to resist trying the same maneuver again.

Congress and the Obama administration are treading on dangerous ground with the AIG bonus issue and, understandably, the law of unintended consequences will soon be seen in other venues.

What these idiots are doing are planning on doing is completely unconstitutional. The government CANNOT go after specific individuals in this manner. That comes under the bill of retainer clause.

RM, apparently the top exec... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

RM, apparently the top execs at AIG didn't do X, Y, and Z all that well, because their company went belly-up. Apparently all you had to do to get a bonus as a top exec at AIG was Q, R, and S, which didn't include MAKING A PROFIT.

As long as I've worked in private enterprise, I've never received a bonus I didn't deserve. (Although I've occasionally NOT received a bonus I DID deserve.) And if I'm in charge, and the company has to ask for government funds to stay afloat, I don't deserve a bonus. Period.

Hey, it looks like the <a h... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Hey, it looks like the House Republicans are going to try to force Treasury to recoup the bonuses.

So, do the wingnuts now direct their outrage at House Republicans about the law of unintended consequences and such?

The left must be sooo proud... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The left must be sooo proud of the past three years of democratic leadership and oversight. Look what a mess it is. And it is getting messier. Why? They do not know what the hell they are doing. ww

Speaking to "Main Streeters... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Speaking to "Main Streeters", "Hockey Moms", and "Joe Six-Packs"--as she did during the debate--is taking a populist tone. And her movement-conservatarian political views, with no grounding in any real moral system other than a baseless appeal to tradition wrapped in bizarro divine command theory, didn't strike me as very substantive.

Actually, come to think of it, she belonged on that ticket. The perfect compliment to a rudderless old man with no ideas who sucks up to everybody and appeals to no one.

Wild Willie acknowledges th... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Wild Willie acknowledges that Bush and his administration demonstrated a complete and utter lack of leadership from Katrina until his unceremonious departure from Washington.

Nice to speak the truth from time to time, eh?

The left must be sooo pr... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The left must be sooo proud of the past three years of democratic leadership and oversight.

Willie, you're a broken record. And it's still only two years. (FYI, a year is 12 months.)

They do not know what the hell they are doing.

Thankfully the House Republicans are there to direct the Treasury to recoup the AIG bonuses. Oh, wait...

Hyper -"Sp... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hyper -

"Speaking to "Main Streeters", "Hockey Moms", and "Joe Six-Packs"--as she did during the debate--is taking a populist tone."

Yeah, better not speak to the proles - they might start getting the idea that they're worth something and then they'll pay attention to what's being done in their name...

Anytime you get the governm... (Below threshold)
Thor-Zone:

Anytime you get the government involved in stuff like this, the level of incompetence soars to levels that are breath taking. People in government are not the people you want managing complex financial institutions like AIG. Granted AIG made some huge mistakes, and one can argue that perhaps they should have been allowed to fail, I don't know...

I do know enough to know that having tool-bags like Barney Frank deciding how to manage a company like AIG is GUARNETEED to fail! These guys are the biggest dopes, and in large part they are the ones who got this whole recession / depression ball rolling with the problems they created for FREDDIE and FANNIE. The fact that we continue to let the government led by these assclowns "lead" the way out of this problem blows my mind.

When you try to win politic... (Below threshold)
Thor-Zone:

When you try to win political support using purely populist arguments, where do you stop?

Ask Sarah Palin.

She never stops...she is still at it. People here are beginning to wise up and see her as she really is. An empty suit.

Mantis"States aren... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Mantis

"States aren't getting bailout money."

"No, it permits the state legislatures to override their governor, if they wish, and if he/she refuses the stimulus funds."

Now the 2nd statement is a true statement but how Mantis could say the first statement in light of the 2nd statement is beyond me.

Liberal logic. You have to love it.

"Not if they, say, file for bankruptcy, in which case the judge could dissolve such contracts."

No I wouldnt have been whining if they had gone under. The GOVT NEEDS TO GET OUT OF THE BAILOUT BUSINESS. IT IS REWARDING FAILURE. Not that that suprises me for democrats. THey werent allowed to go bankrupt thanks to the dems. If they had then this wouldnt be an issue and the taxpayers would have been saved oh umm BILLIONS.

"Guess what, the US government owns most of AIG now. Shouldn't they have some input?"

IMO umm NO. Why? Because the govt needs to stay out of the private market other than regulating it. Not setting compensation, not setting business rules other than saying what is and is not legal.

"I predict in one day this will be old news and some other outrageous indignation will be expressed by every wingnut in existence, per usual. "

Well you got me there Mantis. OBama has expressed his outrage, Frank has expressed his, Pelosi hers. The wingnuts are coming out of the woodwork expressing their outrage.
After they signed the bill that let this happen. That is what you call about a month late and oh about $160 billion dollars short.


Bruce"RM, apparently... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce
"RM, apparently the top execs at AIG didn't do X, Y, and Z all that well, because their company went belly-up. Apparently all you had to do to get a bonus as a top exec at AIG was Q, R, and S, which didn't include MAKING A PROFIT. "

Whereas probably quite true. HOWEVER, they met the LEGAL REQUIREMENTS THEY HAD TO IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THE BONUS. LEGALLY THE MONEY IS THEIRS.

If your contract said that all you had to do is sit on your ass for a year and collect a million dollars a day and that is what you did then you ARE LEGALLY ENTTITLED TO YOUR MONEY.

How many times has Obama said not to punish people playing by the rules? Guess what? THESE GUYS PLAYED BY THE RULES. Now Congress is yelling DO OVER.

How about Congress retroactively raise you taxes for the past 40 years and takes all your Social security money to pay for it? WOuldnt you say that that was a tad bit unfair? Yet Congress can pass a law and do it. It can also pass a law stating that anyone who makes over x dollars will get zero social security money even if they paid a million dollars into the "trust fund".

Govt retirements? Hey guys sorry we changed the rules.

GUess what? I was promised free health care for life if I put 20 years in the military. You know what Congress did? They changed the rules and now I pay for health insurance just like you do.


Now the 2nd statement is... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Now the 2nd statement is a true statement but how Mantis could say the first statement in light of the 2nd statement is beyond me.

Because there is a difference between the stimulus package and the bank/AIG bailouts, genius.

Liberal logic. You have to love it.

It helps if you know what you're talking about, I know.

THey werent allowed to go bankrupt thanks to the dems.

Such prominent Dems as George W. Bush, Hank Paulsen, Ben Bernanke, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner. Oh wait, did you forget the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 passed in 2008? Must have.

IMO umm NO. Why? Because the govt needs to stay out of the private market other than regulating it. Not setting compensation, not setting business rules other than saying what is and is not legal.

So majority stockholders should have no say in how a company is run? Interesting.

As for house republicans tr... (Below threshold)
retired military:

As for house republicans trying to recoup the bonuses I say they are in the wrong as well.

Until congress gets serious... (Below threshold)

Until congress gets serious about the BILLIONS of dollars in earmarks that show up in legislation every time a senator sneezes, I can't take their indignation seriously.
http://www.rightklik.net/

Speaking to "Main Street... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Speaking to "Main Streeters", "Hockey Moms", and "Joe Six-Packs"--as she did during the debate--is taking a populist tone.

Are you serious? Leading up to primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, Obama's campaign unfolded against a choreographed backdrop of factory floors and farmsteads, dinner tables and diners. He talked less often of the audacity of hope and more often of the anxieties of middle-class Americans (even throwing in allusions to NASCAR), fatty foods and beer, and playing the occasional game of basketball. The populist candidate who claims to speak for the people and against some political straw man has a long history, and Obama can't escape his own efforts at populism (check out his changes in speech patterns in accordance with the audience). But, calling a candidate populist is kind of like calling him/her a, er, candidate.

didn't strike me as very substantive.

But, hope and change was?

No I wouldnt have been w... (Below threshold)
Brian:

No I wouldnt have been whining if they had gone under. The GOVT NEEDS TO GET OUT OF THE BAILOUT BUSINESS. IT IS REWARDING FAILURE.

So then when the government saves the company from oblivion says "we're not going to reward failure", suddenly you want them to do just that.

Republican logic. You have to love it.

RM, I haven't posted here a... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

RM, I haven't posted here as to whether the bonuses should be paid or not. Honestly, I see your point quite clearly.

Just sayin', they may get the money, but they damn sure don't deserve it.

Hey, here's an idea! Give 'em the bonus money, then FIRE every single one of their sorry asses. Then hire new people from the legions of unemployed financial-sector workers, and tie THEIR future bonuses to actually doing their fucking jobs well.

Mantis"Because the... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Mantis

"Because there is a difference between the stimulus package and the bank/AIG bailouts, genius."

And the actual difference between the 2 is what? They amount to the same thing. Giving, um sorry, Loaning, money to failed institutions that in the end will do one of two things. A. Ask for more money (look at GM's example) or b. Go bankrupt anyway . Which leaves us holding the bag.

"It helps if you know what you're talking about, I know."

Well you do demonstrate your cluelessness quite a bit.


"Such prominent Dems as George W. Bush, Hank Paulsen, Ben Bernanke, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner. Oh wait, did you forget the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 passed in 2008? Must have."

Actualy I was talking about the other democrats. People like Obama, Frank, Dodd, Pelosi, etc.

BTW did you know that democrats recieved like 3 times the money republicans did from the AIG lobbyists?
And if I am not mistaken DODD authored the bill and put in a clause about bonuses as well.


"So majority stockholders should have no say in how a company is run? Interesting."

The govt SHOULDNT BE A MAJORITY (OR EVEN MINORITY) STOCKHOLDER IN ANY COMPANY. THAT WAS MY POINT.
-----------

Bruce

Actually 11 of them have quit already. But if you can get the govt out of the bailout business than the business model you suggest may work. Until then the govt is just rewarding failure.

Hey I saw where Citibank's economist went from Citibank to work for the Treasury. Gee. And he gets to join the folks who were with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac already working for the govt. It seems rewarding failure goes well with Obama's administration.

Brian"So then when... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Brian

"So then when the government saves the company from oblivion says "we're not going to reward failure", suddenly you want them to do just that."

You miss the point entirely. AIG should have been allowed to fail. WE DONT WANT THE GOVT TO SAVE THEM. The GOVT SHOULDNT BE IN THE BUSINESS OF SAVING PRIVATE COMPANIES.

What happens if GM fails? Will people stop buying cars? Nope. If they were going to buy a car they will still do so. Maybe not a GM car but a car. THus other companies who have sounder business policies will get increased business and thus get a reward for HAVING SOUN BUSINESS PRACTISES. INstead you have GM which has failed business practises being kept afloat with our money. And they continue to ask for more and more of it thus rewarding lousy business practises.

hyper - "The perfect co... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "The perfect compliment to a rudderless old man with no ideas who sucks up to everybody and appeals to no one."

Well no one voted for that ticket... except about 57 million that mostly held their nose and voted for something other than hope {lost] and change [that equates to "Bush III" on fiscal policy]

MantisRegarding yo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Mantis

Regarding your prominent democrats comment.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20108.html
"AIG disclosed its retention-bonus program more than a year ago, including bonuses directed to those handling the exotic derivatives that got the company and the country into this mess.

The bonuses were essentially a nonissue when AIG got its initial bailout money, almost $150 billion under President Bush in the two months surrounding the presidential election. Joe Biden, then the vice presidential nominee, came out strongly against the bailout. Obama did not.
Timothy Geithner, then at the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, was a huge proponent and architect of the AIG bailout. So if Obama had strong private opposition to the idea it did not affect his pick for the person who would oversee all bailouts.
"
"The bonuses were again a nonissue when Obama himself increased the bailout to $173 billion last month. "
"But the case AIG makes sounds very familiar to the one Geithner and others make when contending the company is too big and important to let fail."

So yep blame all those republicans.

ANd I dont buy "AIG is too big to fail line" .

If a nuke went off at AIG HQs does the US just simply put their hands up and surrender and say "Hey come take us over, we are doomed, AIG Failed, time for us to quit"

That is BULLSHIT. Politicians didnt want to deal with the political fallout so they are throwing our money at a problem and as usual, DC throwing money at a problem, A. solves little except for making a few well connected people rich, B. doesnt solve the problem, C. invariably creates other problems, and D. costs the taxpayer more money than if nothing had been done in the first place.

BTWGEitner knew ab... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW

GEitner knew about the bonuses at least as early as last Friday.

AIG's letter to him dated 14 March

http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/read-letter-aigs-liddy-treasury-secretary-geithner/

Speaks specifically about having discussions with Geitner about bonuses.

Did Geitner not tell Obama or was Obama just waiting for the right moment to get outraged. Mabye a slow news cycle or since Rush was off last week they didnt have anything else to talk about.

Charles Grassley has a <a h... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Charles Grassley has a different solution.

Stay classy, Republcans.

BrianAs opposed to... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Brian

As opposed to all the democrats who were calling for Bush to be executed, assasinated, etc.

I oppose what Grassley said. He was an idiot for saying it. But liberals have won the stupid idea of the day award for the past 8 years running.


Ask Sarah Palin.... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Ask Sarah Palin.

She's too busy actually RUNNING a government properly.

Separately, Sen. Dodd wa... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Separately, Sen. Dodd was AIG's largest single recipient of campaign donations during the 2008 election cycle with $103,100, according to opensecrets.org.

Gee...fancy that. Wonder if Dodd will get such a nice big contribution next time around.

And, hey, campaign contribution is kinda like a bonus as well...I think Dodd should give that all back, too.

Charles Grassley has a d... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Charles Grassley has a different solution.

Stay classy, Republcans.

Yeah, well, Grassley is a fucking idiot too.

Stay classy, Democrats.

Grassley isn't some guy on ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Grassley isn't some guy on a blog, RM. He obviously does not have the right temperament for the job.

Clay, I guess you're right in that all pandering is populism. I had in mind the pernicious anti-intellectual know-nothingness variety of populism. Palin wrapped herself in an affectation of ignorance as though it's a quality that people should aspire to. I didn't get that from Obama and McCain was horrible at faking it.

And the actual differenc... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And the actual difference between the 2 is what? They amount to the same thing. Giving, um sorry, Loaning, money to failed institutions that in the end will do one of two things. A. Ask for more money (look at GM's example) or b. Go bankrupt anyway . Which leaves us holding the bag.

That's all bailout. Has nothing to do with stimulus money going to the states. Please, try to figure out what you're talking about before you type.

BTW did you know that democrats recieved like 3 times the money republicans did from the AIG lobbyists?

You need to stop believing right wing outfits you read without looking at the primary documents. Democrats took twice as much money from employees of AIG and subsidiaries in the last election cycle. Before that, they had spread their contributions around pretty equally among the two parties. Guess they saw the writing on the wall in 2008.

Anyway, pretty much everybody in Washington knew they needed to be bailed out as the alternative would have been disastrous. And the bailouts happened in 2008, so the idea that AIG employees (not the company) and those of its subsidiaries donated to democrats even though they didn't know a bailout would be needed before it happened, and then, afterwards, it had already happened, is idiotic. So what was your point about campaign contributions?

And if I am not mistaken DODD authored the bill and put in a clause about bonuses as well.

I agree, Dodd is in the pocket of the banks. No argument there. I also recall that one of the biggest sticking points for Republicans was the idea that bank bailouts would include rules for executive compensation, or clawbacks.

The govt SHOULDNT BE A MAJORITY (OR EVEN MINORITY) STOCKHOLDER IN ANY COMPANY. THAT WAS MY POINT.

Clearly, but you were arguing about what the government should be doing now that that has already happened. The government is the majority shareholder. Arguing that they shouldn't have a say as majority shareholder because you don't think they should be, even though they are, is pretty stupid. Accept reality or don't debate it.

So yep blame all those r... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So yep blame all those republicans.

I'm not, but you guys sure are running around blaming Obama for a lot of things that happened when Bush was president. You also seem to forget that the TARP bailout was proposed by the Bush administration, and passed with the votes of many Republicans. You all seem to think Obama's been president for at least eight months.

Mantis,We have an ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Mantis,

We have an issue with RHINOS. I do recall that a number of republican voted against the first TARP packages and were roundly attacked.

We have an issue with RHINOS. I do recall that a number of republican voted against the first TARP packages and were roundly attacked. The simple fact is that it was bad idea. The other fact was it was supported by the majority of Democrats and media types.
Bush should have never done Tarp or bailout the banks. That was wrong.

However, Obama gave his full support for this. He said he was leader of the original bill in Sept and was making sure that the American people's tax money would be protected. He demand that all the original Tarp be spent before he took office.

He nominated Timothy F. Geithner, who was instrumental in drawing up TARP and we were told, he was the only man for the job and we must ignore his tax evasion record. I stated in long running debated that not just because of his tax evasion but because he was in charge of NY FED and was asleep at the switch. He also showed an amazing lack attention to detail.
Obama owns this he was apart of it from the beginning.

Heck Sen Dodd as late as Feb 12th made the sure that AIG could pay this money out.


As opposed to all the de... (Below threshold)
Brian:

As opposed to all the democrats who were calling for Bush to be executed, assasinated, etc.

Sorry, I assumed you would have followed the link and seen that Grassley is a sitting US Senator.

Name a sitting Democratic senator who called for Bush to be executed.

She's too busy actually ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

She's too busy actually RUNNING a government properly.

Ah, James Cloninger does his late-night "spew out a few pot-shots and then disappear" act again.

Anyway, with regard to what you said, not so much.

Brian / HyperI am ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Brian / Hyper

I am fully aware of who Senator Grassley is, as I have met the man and attended a briefing that my organization gave him some years back.

---------
"Name a sitting Democratic senator who called for Bush to be executed."

I didnt say a sitting Dem senator called for Bush to be executed.

However, I could probably pull some quotes up by former Dems who were in office at the time that came close ie Cynthia McKinney.

And if we are going for stupid remarks made by sitting US Senators/Congressmen/Congresswomen do you want to throw in the 911 truthers? Dumb Remarks made by Conyers? Waters? Dodd? Murtha
How about Joe Biden -
"Stand on up. Oh God Bless you"

RM's right and it ties into... (Below threshold)
Clay:

RM's right and it ties into what I was saying earlier. We've created a political system where all dems and repubs are pandering to the popuation. Do you really think these guys are intellectual heavyweights? They say stupid things to seem like 'one of us' and often they're appealing to the lowet common denominator. It was never intended that they make a career out of this. If you as a Democrat/Republican think that you can make political hay out of some dumb quote by a Republican/Democrat -- well, you're as dumb as they are. Really? You want to hold up Grassley and say your guys are better, that they don't speak idiocy? Seriously?

How about Joe Biden -<br... (Below threshold)
Brian:

How about Joe Biden -
"Stand on up. Oh God Bless you"

So your response to a Republican senator calling for AIG execs to kill themselves is:

  • Democrats have called for Bush to be killed.
  • Well, they've possibly come close, maybe.
  • Well, Joe Biden once told a blind guy to stand up.

That says everything we need to know about Republican accountability.

Whoops... disabled, not bli... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Whoops... disabled, not blind. (I was thinking of the time Bush made fun of the blind reporter for wearing sunglasses.)

We have an issue with RH... (Below threshold)
mantis:

We have an issue with RHINOS.

Perhaps a big game warden is what you need?

You got a lot of details wrong but this:

Obama owns this

is correct. I know this, and I'm not trying to say otherwise. I just find it amusing that during eight years of Bush anything negative in the economy was Clinton's fault, but Obama is responsible for things that happened before he got sworn in.

Whoops... disabled, not ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Whoops... disabled, not blind. (I was thinking of the time Bush made fun of the blind reporter for wearing sunglasses.)

You're proving my point. The discussions here are becoming increasingly inane. Why? Because you're sticking up for the Democrats and trying to stick it to the Republicans -- or the other way around. You folks are all appearing as shills for your respective parties in totally predictable fashion, instead of discussing the issues sans party lines. It's too bad that America's going down like this.

You act as though you are talking about facts, while you are merely arguing about words.

I just find it amusing t... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I just find it amusing that during eight years of Bush anything negative in the economy was Clinton's fault, but Obama is responsible for things that happened before he got sworn in.

Okay, mantis. Bush was a horrible president. Are you ready to move on now?




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