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Why all the anger over AIG bonuses?

March 20, 2009

Everywhere I turn I read about all the outrage and anger directed at those employees of AIG who are legally entitled to bonuses. Some of the DC jackasses are demanding that anyone who receives a bonus return it. Even the President got into the fray by directing our well known tax cheat treasury secretary to “pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses.” Then after stumbling over the words on his teleprompter, said he was “choked up with anger.”

If you worked for a company, and part of your employment contract entitled you to a bonus if specific conditions were met, would you turn it down? Would you really care that the guy down the street was envious of your bank account? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are every bit the liar our elected “representatives” who feign anger so well are.

AIG’s bonus pool is $1.2 billion. Our lawmakers are insistent upon raising the level of class warfare to a fever pitch over these bonuses which legally must be paid. What of the rest of the money the federal government gave AIG?

AIG paid $12.9 billion to Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs also received $12 billion in federal bailout money — then promptly paid out $14 billion in bonuses to its employees. Where was the outrage over that bonus payout?

AIG paid $6.8 billion to Merrill Lynch.

AIG paid $5.2 billion to Bank of America. Bank of America received $25 billion in federal bailout money — then promptly used 75% of those taxpayer dollars to pay bonuses to Merrill Lynch employees. Where was the outrage over that bonus payout?

AIG paid out $2.3 billion to Citigroup and another $1.5 billion to Wachovia.

Then there was the transfer of taxpayer wealth to foreign banks. Societe Generale of France and Deutche Bank each received $12 billion. Britain’s Barclays bank was the payee of $8.5 billion. Switzerland’s UBS received $5 billion from AIG.

These payouts represent legal obligations, enforced by contract. Those of you who feel the anger stirred up by the political infrastructure need to stop and think it over for a minute. Is collecting a paycheck for services rendered to a company any different than receiving a bonus check? No matter the salary, I haven’t heard of anyone returning theirs to the company, complaining that they were overly compensated for their labor.

None of these bonus payments represent illegal activity. None of the recipients of these bonuses are known to be guilty of any illegal act. Yet, the House of Representatives today passed outrageous legislation intent upon a 90% tax rate on bonuses paid by any company that received more than $5 billion in federal bailout funds. It’s truly unbelievable that no one is denouncing this proposed legal theft of wealth. And make no mistake, it is indeed theft.

This government has, in the form of corporate bailouts and wasteful spending, pulled off the greatest transfer of wealth from middle and lower income taxpayers in the history of the world. The even bigger crime is that we the sheeple allowed them to get away with it.

Until next time,

2 Comments leave one →
  1. dennyadams permalink
    March 23, 2009 8:02 pm

    Nice post, but you are a much better writer than one who needs to use “sheeple”.

  2. chosun1 permalink*
    March 23, 2009 10:58 pm

    Thank you. But at times, I truly feel we are a nation of sheep, readied for the slaughter. The men and women who founded this country fled tyranny. They were pushed to revolution by their European masters’ attempts at continuing that tyranny on this continent. That same spirit of freedom which actuated them at first must rise again for a modern-day revolution to succeed. I do not advocate violence. Non-violent protest and political action are the tools required to return power to the people. The question is whether we the people will break away from our home theater systems long enough to do something about the usurpation we have for too long allowed?

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