President Obama feigns choked up anger and Democrat Congress critters bloviate and threaten confiscatory taxes. It is all an act — an attempt to cover one’s posterior.
The Associated Press reports the Obama administration and members of Congress have known for months that American International Group was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while surviving on taxpayer bailouts:
It wasn’t until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.
[. . .]
So far, the administration has been unable to match its actions to Obama’s tough rhetoric on executive compensation. And Congress has been unable or unwilling to restrict bonuses for bailout recipients, despite some lawmakers’ repeated efforts to do so.
The situation has the White House and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the defensive. The administration was caught off guard Tuesday trying to explain why Geithner had waited until last Wednesday to call AIG chief executive Edward M. Liddy and demand that the bonus payments be restructured.
Not only did lawmakers and administration officials know about A.I.G.’s plans to pay hundreds of millions of dollars of bonuses last fall, but even more infuriating is the fact that language in Obama’s so-called stimulus bill actually protects the A.I.G bonuses.
The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” provides at Section 111(b)(3)(D)(iii):
`SEC. 111. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE.
[. . .]
`(iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.
I can’t help but wonder what, if anything, those bonuses Obama received from A.I.G. had to do with this mess.