Sometimes, the Simplest Answer Works Best

Throughout the day today, politicians and pundits were burning up the airwaves talking about AIG and executive bonuses. Because I’m impatient, because I’m on vacation . . . here’s my simple take:

Instead of looking into ways to recoup the money–if that’s really what should be done–through a special tax or some other measure heavy on government interference, perhaps our elected officials in Washington, D.C. should now engage in the long-overdue discussion about whether we should have sent an additional $130 billion to a company which posted a $61 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2008.

See, instead of taking the fiscally conservative and responsible route and refusing to bail out the company in the first place (remember that we were told it was too important to fail), our government sent more good money after bad with all sorts of caveats and assurances and indeed promises–the latter not a strong suit of the Obama White House–that this time there would be oversight, that this time it would be different.

It’s like Chris Brown and Rihanna. We know he’s going to beat her up again, yet we watch helplessly as the same mistakes are being made.

We knew this was going to happen. In fact, Sen. Christopher Dodd, who took more campaign money from AIG than anybody else, ensured it would happen with an eleventh hour amendment snuck into the “stimulus” package, a provision which specifically made an exception for bonuses contracted upon prior to February 11, 2009. In other words, the man who took more campaign donations from AIG than anyone else enabled AIG to send out the checks despite wicked nonperformance.

Incidentially, while Dodd accepted $103,000 in campaign cash from AIG in 2008, he only beat the guy below him on the list by a little less than two thousand dollars. The second guy on the list? Barack Obama, who accepted more than $101,000 in donations from AIG.

So, to conclude this exercise, the answer is simple: STOP the madness, and stop it now.



  1. Anonymous says:

    “Stop the madness”, Jeff?

    Exactly how does one do that when integrity and morality are so weak as to not really exist at the political level? I don’t think that the entreaties of the righteous masses are going to make much of an impression on the arrogant power structure that we have to deal with.

    It was obvious from the start that the whole bailout thing was staged by the elite financial forces to simply use public funds to backfill the huge amounts that they and their peers had risked and lost in an effort to maximize the housing bubble. Unfortunately, the Bush administration, including Bernanke and Paulson, were as much in on the TARP deal as the Obama administration is responsible for the follow-on stimulus bill. That’s the real scary part; who can we trust to do the right thing?

    So this big kerfuffle over the AIG “bonuses” is just a red herring to distract the public from what the politicians have done with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money that they have funneled to their partners in crime, both domestic and foreign. Every one of those econmic geniuses who put together the bailout package came out of the same Wall Street system as AIG and knew exactly how the compensaton system worked, so, if they were serious about the bonuses, they could have dealt with that issue when the bailout funds were authorized.

    Now that the public has become enraged, the political class is stomping around, saying how “shocked they are there gambling is going on here” and how they are, by God, going to make those AIG rascals pay dearly for their lack of integrity and appreciation. (Choke, choke.) Of course, all of the remedies that the Barney Franks and Chris Dodds are proposing are blatantly unconstitutional, which shows their continuing habit of trampling on that document when conformance is incovenient or interferes with their corrupt shananigans. Well, it will at least give the starving lawyers something to do for the next year.

    The American public has got to be absoluely insane not to storm the bastions of D.C., guillotines in tow, and clean the place out. I think that I hear Thomas Jefferson applauding the whole idea.

    The faux hand wringing and outrage is so phoney that it nauseats me. A pox on them all.

    I will be surprised if the growing frustration and the feeling of impotency doesn’t result in an explosion of retribution towards all elected politicians. Our only hope is to elect some fresh, conservative. blood to the Congress in 2010 who will start to undo what the current administration is trying to accomplish.

    In the meantime, I would urge my fellow constitutionalists to try to keep a cap on their anger and frustratio and apply thier pent up anger to the 2010 election.

    Old Bob

  2. ForMySons says:

    I have read everything I could find on this, and I guess I should be relieved that the Administration is forcing AIG to pay back the bonus money. Whew….
    but…….wait…….if AIG is having it deducted from the next 30 billion dollar check..don’t the employees keep the bonus????…..hmmmmmmmmm.

    AIG is nothing more than a pipeline, through the guise of “insurance”, to get bail out money to financial groups with out having to show them as being on the take.
    we are now beyond it being a “crock of crap” we are up to it being a “blivot” ..5 lbs of crap in a 2 lb bag

  3. PEME says:


    All the blowhards in DC can rant and appear angry all they want. They’re not fooling anybody that has more than a single brain cell and synapse. If they were really angry about it, how long do you think it would take to stop the transfer of 30 billion? They are talking about witholding a paltry 165 million compared to 30 billion. That is a glowing example of how common sense has died in our government. I say let them fail and eat cake.

  4. CAL says:

    The democrats knew about these bonuses. They are using this as a way to gin up more class envy between us all and keep the focus off of Obama’s miserable performance to date. Obama does not care about helping the economy. His priority is to pass his radical agenda. In order to do this, he needs to keep the public’s eye off of the ball as we would never go for any of this in good times.

  5. CAL says:

    In addition to Geithner not putting any strings on this money and Dodd exempting bonuses from limitations in the stimulus bill, Rush explained that much of these bonuses were retention bonuses. A lot of the people who got the money are going to be fired or have been fired. In order to keep these people working while AIG winds down certain business areas, AIG needs to pay these people to keep them from leaving too soon. Otherwise these people would just take off and get a job elsewhere leaving AIG with no experienced people to wind things down. If Americans want their investment in AIG back, they need to let AIG manage their company.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, are you scrubbing responses, or is it the NSA?

  7. Rix says:

    And someone says Putin’s Russia is a corrupt regime… At least, Russian oligarchs know fear of repercussions; the Congress does not.

  8. Gail B says:

    What galls me is the fact that AIG’s campaign contributions are being paid back with taxpayers’ money! Pure and simple. And, this is not the only way contributions are being repaid.

    Don’t tell me that the liberals in Congress don’t know what’s going on. WE know!

    Verify word: eingne (as in engine, or political machinery?)

  9. THOMAS PAINE says:
  10. Linda says:

    okay – here’s another angle. As everyone knows, they’re talking about taxing these bonuses out of existence. Doesn’t it bother anyone that the government can “impose” a tax whenever it wants?

  11. MR GREEN JEANS says:

    Until Dodd is in prison, this is no longer America. Better yet, pitchfork him (straight on).

  12. MR WHIPPLE says:

    We need a plan, Phase I being that on a selected night every congressman and senators house gets toilet papered. This signaling to them that we know who they are, and where they live. Still working on Phase II. These jerks think they are so invincible. There is a time and a place for intimidation, and damn it, NOW is the time.


    Old Bob, make up your mind. In one paragraph you call for guillotines, then a paragraph later you call for calm till 2010. Make up your mind. I am for the guillotines, and yes, I feel Jefferson would be right there with me.

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