As I have reported previously, it appears that Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) will support a government “bailout”, but he wants a few things for his support. First, he wants to put a stop to the so called “golden parachutes.” Second, the senator wants a personal apology from Wall Street executives.
Grassley has said that his constituents do not support the bailout being considered. He claims that the largest complaint, eighty percent of complaints according to comments he made on WHO radio in Des Moines this morning, is about the golden parachutes executives receive when they leave their failing companies. This frustration is understandable, but it must also be understood that this provision would either give the government the ability to nullify existing contracts or only apply to contracts for new executives, which would have little impact on the current “crisis.” Don’t get me wrong, I am very frustrated with the pay packages CEOs receive when they leave their failing companies and cause investors to loose billions, but I am reluctant to allow the government to dictate private contracts agreed upon by the private Board of Directors of a company and their CEOs.
I would also argue that the senator my be putting too much emphasis on the golden parachute issue. It may be true that this is a concern constituents have voiced to the senator’s staff, but I know for a fact that there are many Iowans that are completely against the bailout period. Those of my like mind are not opposed to this bailout because it does or does not include golden parachute legislation. We are opposed to the government once again interfering with the markets. We are opposed to the government, that created the environment that allowed this event to occure, to dictate to the taxpayers that it is our responsibility to bailout Wall Street. We are opposed to Barney Frank, who was strongly opposed to the Republican effort to create new regulations to reign in Fannie and Freddie in 2005, blame the political right for deregulation and then write a bailout bill on the public behalf. We are opposed to the government acting like financial experts (the governemnt that has proven its expertise through huge budget and trade deficits, a bankrupt medicare system, and a bankrupt social security program) and dictate the best financial solution for the current “crisis.” We are opposed to Secretary Paulson, President Bush, Senator Obama, Senator McCain, and the Democrat leadership crying the sky is falling and “DEPRESSION” when many financial experts say this will be tough, but is not going to lead to a depression. As I said, I think the senator may be overestimating the importance of the golden parachute issue.
The senator has also requested that the CEOs of companies that have caused the current financial situation publicly apologize. In statements he gave to WHO Radio, he asked these CEOs, in the Japanese style, to come in front of the public and bow in apology. He clarified by saying those that don’t commit suicide should bow in apology. Mr. Grassley, those comments are inappropriate and not helpful. A public apology may shame these CEOs, but they will not restore our investments, home values, and retirement accounts. In stead of an apology, I would like to see civil action and an expanded criminal investigation looking into the activities of CEOs of these companies and politicians that received large campaign contributions and preferential treatment from the companies.
Senator, do not support this bill. Vote against any bailout legislation that would utilize taxpayers funds. Look to the example set by Representatives King (R-IA) and Latham (R-IA) who voted down the House version of the bill on Monday. They listened to their constituents, please do the same. You have said that 90 percent of the calls you have recieved are opposed to this bailout, please listen to those callers, emailers, and those that recieved busy signals, and vote against this bill.
Originaly posted 09/30/2008 on Grassley Watch