Friday, March 20, 2009

I Support AIG Employees

“The vote by Congress to tax Wall Street bonuses out of existence was economic populism run amok. This was legislating by rage, fear, and panic.”

-New York Daily News Editorial

Yesterday was a dark day in the history of the U. S. Congress. Our Congress voted to write a law that would retro-actively attack a small group of private citizens. These are the very tactics our country fought against in the Revolutionary War. Our Founding Fathers specifically outlawed this behavior in the U. S. Constitution. The thugs in Congress have decided they don’t have to play by the rules of the Constitution (assuming any of them still know where to find it to read). Our Congress has ignored the example of Washington, Jefferson, and Adams, and instead have chosen the example of King George during the 1700’s. One Republican even joked that these employees should kill themselves. Every single Republican and Democrat that voted to tax AIG employees at 90% yesterday should be forced to leave in disgrace.

According to varying news accounts, AIG paid out some $165 million in bonuses to between 73 and 463 employees. Most stories report the 73 number; I have seen one that reported the 463 employees. Pelosi, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd want these people burned at the stake in the public square. Why? Because they had a contract with AIG, and they were arrogant enough to believe their employer would honor it. The employees fulfilled their end of the bargain, and expected AIG to pay them for it. I don’t know how many of you go to work and give your employer the option of paying you. I expect to be paid when I go to work and I know Congress expects the taxpayer to pay them.

Pelosi and other Democrats have stoked popular anger to the point that AIG employees are receiving death threats. According to the International Herald Tribune, “The Connecticut Working Families party, which has support from organized labor, was planning a bus tour Saturday of A.I.G. executives’ homes, with a stop at the company’s Wilton office.” The Democratically controlled Congress and Senate, in conjunction with some Republicans, and with the approval of President Obama are trying to steal money from private citizens simply because they have stoked public opinion against these people. Our elected representatives should be ashamed of what they have done, and we as citizens should be embarrassed by their behavior. Should anything ill happen to these employees, the blood will be squarely on the hands of Pelosi, Frank, President Obama, and their partners in this, “…populism run amok.”


Andy D said...

Congress may be in more trouble over this than they realize. From the Financial Times today:

Bankers on Wall Street and in Europe have struck back against moves by US lawmakers to slap punitive taxes on bonuses paid to high earners at bailed-out institutions.

Senior executives on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday warned of an exodus of talent from some of the biggest names in US finance, saying the “anti-American” measures smacked of “a McCarthy witch-hunt” that would send the country “back to the stone age”.

Further into the story...

“There are three big industries where the US has global leadership: financial services, media and technology. Introducing this 90 per cent tax is like taking one of those industries out the back and shooting it,” said a top Wall Street executive.

Read the entire article here

the anonymous guy said...

Another post, another reference to armed revolution. No secrecy in this cabal!

If AIG wants to pay million dollar bonuses, they should take themselves off government welfare.

pack04 said...

Andy I thought for sure this post would bring out the President Bush walked all over the Constitution with his wire tapping plan justification. Happily I am wrong so far.

It is pretty sad that most people seem to be mad at AIG for following contractual agreements and what was allowed by the bailout law. I am frustrated by our Congress for writing it into the law that the bonuses could be kept and at our President for signing it. Additionally I am really mad that congress is trying to us taxes for punishment purposes.

How mad are people at the salaries/bonuses paid to the GM employees? That company has failed and is receiving bailout money. We have to pay them because they have a contract that says so. What is the difference with AIG. Is it the word bonus?

How mad do people get when you see people in the store using food stamps to by 5 packs of cigarettes, a 12 pack of beer and a couple bars of chocolate? Is that not a miss use of government bailout money?

the anonymous guy said...

Pack, you can't buy cigarettes with food stamps. Or alcohol. Or chocolate bars. Do a little research before you vent, man.

But welfare *can* pay for a new cigarette *boat* (if you work for AIG).

See, there's no shame in being bankrupt!

Andy D said...

Anon, are you taking my reference to our founding fathers and the the American revolution as a call to armed revolution today? Surely you aren't that silly.

I don't know the current rules on what can and can't be purchased with food stamps. I have seen first hand people buy candy (I believe it was chocolate, but can't remember for sure) with food stamps and use the change to buy both beer and cigarettes.

I also noticed that Anon doesn't disagree with my basic premise. The U. S. Congress shouldn't violate the Constitution.

the anonymous guy said...

Doh. I should take my own advice. You can buy candy (including chocolate) with food stamps.

The state of Minnesota (led by Republican Gov. Pawlenty) did try to prevent the purchase of candy with foodstamps but the USDA turned him down. I'm with the repub gov on this one.

pack04 said...

You are correct. I did not check the rules. I based my statement on seeing somebody in the Wal-Mart line purchase those things using an EBT card. I could have been mistaken. So in that case I will change my question a bit.
How do you feel about standing in line to check out with a box of hamburger helper and ground beef on sale because it is old and a person in front of you is using the EBT card to buy a nice fresh cut t-bone?

the anonymous guy said...

Pack, I've spent a large part of my life helping poor people with low education levels learn how to cook healthy, inexpensive food.

Some of the problems:

1) many family systems are broken so some people don't learn how to cook from elders, but from T.V. commercials. (When's the last time you've seen a commercial for dried pinto beans or plain, non-instant, brown rice?)

2) some people work two or three jobs and so they try to get food that is really easy and fast to prepare.

3) the most cost-effective way to buy *calories* in a grocery store is to buy really nasty junk food. Sad but true.

4) some people haven't had any the money management and health education or mentoring and so honestly don't know what's best.

5) some people make stupid, selfish decisions... just like the cats at AIG.

To answer your question: I wouldn't buy the hamburger helper, b/c it's not healthy and it's a ripoff. Plus, you have to buy fresh meat anyway to add to it--something that's expensive and unhealthy.

But I do think of this: I've accepted "charity" a lot in my life from scholarships, family members, and others. Does that mean I never should have bought things like chocolate, or steak, or a beer in those years?

While we all do need to be responsible, I believe even people receiving charity deserve *some* food that *celebrates* life... something beyond merely surviving.