AIG and the danger of government

Ok, the big uproar is the AIG bonuses that Chairman Edward Liddy paid out to its workers.

First of all, this was supposedly a legal obligation of the company. While I'm not a fan of paying CEOs hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses from a failing company, I can see that hey - if I'm owed money I better dang well get it!

Here is the thing: Liddy actually had to go and ask anyone who got $100k or more to give at least half back.

Not only is that gutsy, but honestly I say it was wrong.

If you're owned a paycheck, and because a lot of customers threw a fit because they thought you got paid to much so your employer asked you to give half back, would you happily give it back? Regardless of the "outrage" from people.

But, he also said that the roughly $165 million in bonuses paid out over the weekend should be honored as a legal commitment of the United States government, which now owns 80 percent of the battered insurer.

Let's take not first that this is a legal commitment. Not a simple greed thing. This was something offered and should be given - whether the American people like it or not. Is the next step to revoke former President Bush of his life time salary because people don't like him?

Now, the next thing to look at is the fact that the US government bought out 80 percent of this company - battered as it was. In this purchasing they should have seen "Hey, we owe people money - lots of it". How is this such a surprise to anyone in that branch of the government when the bonuses where handed out?

The next bit is something that made my eyebrows raise:

It is "time for us to assert our ownership rights," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the full Financial Services committee. Frank said Congress will be asking for the names of the bonus recipients — and if AIG declines to provide it, he will convene the committee to subpoena for the names. "We do intend to use our power to get the names," he said.

So the government is going to force people to give back the money is what this ultimately sounds like. Whether legally they're obligated to or not.

Man, I hope they give me my tax refund - even though they're legally obligated. I mean .. they own the US - so if they have this attitude now they obviously see themselves above the law.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said today that no one in his administration created the AIG situation but that the "buck stops with me" to fix it.

Hah .. "I didn't break it!" Obama says.

Let's review in bland terms:

AIG gives owed money to workers.
People find out.
People get mad and cause ruckus.
Law books thrown out because people are mad.
Money will be forced to be given back.

Yup. Sounds like a fair plan to me.

God Bless America. The land of the .. uh .. of the .. dang.

Good bye, Comrade.


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