When failing companies donate big to politicians, and then take a bailout and donate still more, should the politicians give the money back to the taxpayers? Absolutely they should, but will they?
President Obama and Senator Chris Dodd have widely criticized AIG for bonuses for employees. I’d like to hear why Obama and Dodd believe they are more deserving of taxpayer monies than the AIG employees. I’d also like to hear their reasons for not returning the donations to the citizenry…keep in mind that some of the donations were given before the bailout, but some were given after the bailout. Either way it doesn’t matter. AIG’s balance sheet didn’t go south in the matter of only a few months.
According to the Wall Street Journal, AIG has done well by Senator Chuck Schumer also:
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, threatened this week to increase taxes on the AIG bonuses if they aren’t returned. Mr. Schumer has accepted $112,000 in donations from AIG’s employees and its political action committee, making him the second-largest recipient among active lawmakers since 1990.
OpenSecrets.org says that over ten years, AIG has filled the pockets of politicians with $9 million, designating them a “heavy hitter.” Until 1968 the contributions were split evenly between Democrats and Republicans. Since 1968, however, 68 percent of the monies went to Democrats.
Two senators who chair committees charged with overseeing AIG and the insurance industry, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), are among the top recipients of AIG contributions. Baucus chairs the Senate Finance Committee and has collected more money from AIG in his congressional career than from any other company–$91,000. And with more than $280,000, AIG has been the fourth largest contributor to Dodd, who chairs the Senate’s banking committee.
The AIG employees are not to blame for accepting a bonus that was to offered to them, even if they didn’t deserve it. The Treasury is to blame for botching everything it has touched, starting with former Secretary Paulson.
The people of the Connecticut Worker’s Family Party, founded by ACORN, that descended on AIG employee’s homes this weekend, was a freak show. But the Ringling of freak shows is Congress, and don’t forget that President Obama lit that fire and whipped the flames, and the freaks poured out of the woodwork.
I agree with Glen Beck that the AIG bonus ruckus is the smokescreen designed to distract from the $1 trillion manufactured by the Feds, and poured into the Treasury (meaning, manufactured by us and given to us) this week. You can watch the Beck explanation here.
The video below documents Obama’s initial words about the AIG bonuses. Note that he said this:
AIG has received substantial substantial sums from the US Treasury and I’ve asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block those bonuses…
Obama asks how the employees can “justify this outrage.” Well, they don’t have to. And then he speaks of “fundamental values,” and indicates that the AIG employees should be guided by those fine values, but he mentions nothing about the thousands of dollars that have benefited him, and other politicians personally.
Obama says he wants greater authority to deal with failing financial institutions. Here’s his plan to gain “greater authority.”