Wow that was a painful title to type. I have to stop, take a deep breathe, and compose myself before I go on.
As most readers of my blog know, I do not very often agree with Barack Obama. This is mostly because he is virtually always wrong. I am big enough though to admit that I can be a little partisan too.
As far as this issue with AIG, Obama Says Administration Will Try to Block AIG Bonuses, I agree.
I am a very strong advocate of the free market system and I am not at all comfortable with the governement setting compensation for employess in the private sector.
I further am a strong believer in the 'slippery slope' theory in that if we allow something "just this one time", it will be easier to do it again. My concern therefore being that if we set compensation for the execs this time, then in the future it will be easier to set salaries, then future bonuses, etc. If we were to let this continue we could go as far as price controls and the logical conclusion would be governmental control of the private sector. Not a guarantee, possibly even unlikely, but a risk we should always guard against.
With this said, we need to do something to stop Wall Street and the rest of the financial sector from raping us. We have had too many instances of these companies getting billions from us and then throwing their employees lavish parties, giving out big bonuses, and flying around the country on private jets.
I have never been in favor of the bailout plans, neither the ones during Bush's last year or the new ones under Obama, but we did it. It's time to draw a line in the sand and tell these companies that if we are going to loan them money to stay afloat, they need to use our money wisely and use it to strengthen the economy, not as their own little slush fund.
Part of the argument for leaving the companies alone and not attaching stipulations to the money is that the amounts they are spending are but a fraction of what the stimulus money is. This is true but $165 million is a lot of money. If they were to send that money back out into the private sector as loans to businesses, we would create jobs.
The other argument put forth is that these companies have to compensate their staff well or they will leave. WTF? These staff have run the company into the ground. Let them leave and hire more incompetent people for less money.
So, for once, Obama is right and I agree with him. Don't worry though, it probably won't happen again. The doctors are adjusting my meds, I should be back to normal soon.