Feigned Outrage Over AIG Bonuses

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President Obama and his administration are the definition of disingenuous, that is, hypocritically ingenuous.

The Hill

I don’t think anyone on Capitol Hill should doubt the genuineness of the outrage,” Gibbs said. He added: “Barack Obama came in, and there was a new sheriff in town on executive compensation.

The supposed outrage over the AIG bonuses paid to executives in the amount of $165 million is mere play acting on the part of Obama, his administration and Democrats on the hill.

It is done for the benefit of the masses and as a tool to further the administration agenda. The administration knows that the majority of Americans are going to take them at their word, that the majority of Americans are going to believe the show of outrage is genuine and will not balk as the administration uses the AIG bonuses as reasoning for implementation of what other wise would be seen as intrusive government restrictions and control of business.

Turns out, and who would be surprised, that the administration and Democrats on the hill knew for sometime or at least should have known, that these bonuses would be paid.

I suppose they could claim ignorance being that they did not read the text of the stimulus package before having passed it.

Chris Dodd should at least have known as he is the the person who included in the stimulus bill an amendment which allows the paying of bonuses that were contractually agreed to before 2.11.2009.

But As For Me

From page H1412 of the Final Stimulus Bill, “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 writte 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.”

As the But As For Me blog, referenced in the above quote, points out; by having voted for the stimulus bill politicians actually voted to protect the bonuses of AIG.

That being so, then who is to blame for the payout of these bonuses?

Those crying the loudest, those who are so very outraged, they are to blame.

Who else knew, or again, should have known?

How about golden boy Timothy Geithner?

You know the man who we were told was the only person who could rescue America from her economic meltdown.

Politico

Timothy Geithner, then at the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, was a huge proponent and architect of the AIG bailout. So if Obama had strong private opposition to the idea it did not affect his pick for the person who would oversee all bailouts.

Do not be a fool and do not be fooled, the administration or a least enough persons in the administration knew that these bonuses were to be paid out that there should have been no surprise when they bonuses were paid.

This is fake outrage.

Fake outrage not without a purpose however.

UPDATE:

ABC News: Political Punch

Sources in the Obama administration Tuesday said that despite previous media reports administration officials did not know until a couple weeks ago that the officials of the controversial AIG Financial Product Division were set to receive $165 million in bonuses on March 13.
 
Given the fact that the administration knew of this two weeks ago their outrage appears even more disingenuous.
Delayed fake outrage.
 
Almost all accounts, other than the accounts of the administration, seem to demonstrate that the claim of only recently coming about the knowledge of AIG bonuses is a false claim.
 
First, remember the language of the Chris Dodd amendment to the stimulus package (provided earlier in this posting).
 
Yahoo is running an Associated Press article that contains several good insights.
 
AIG’s plans to pay hundreds of millions of dollars were publicized last fall, when Congress started asking questions about expensive junkets the company had sponsored. A November SEC filing by the company details more than $469 million in "retention payments" to keep prized employees. […]
In January, Reps. Joseph E. Crowley of New York and Paul E. Kanjorski of Pennsylvania wrote to the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department pressing the administration to scrutinize AIG’s bonus plans and take steps against excessive payments.
"I at that point realized that we were going to have a backlash with regard to these bonuses," Kanjorski said in an AP interview. In a meeting with Liddy later that month, he said he told the AIG chief that "all hell would break loose if we didn’t find a way to inform the public … and that we should take every step to put that information out there so we wouldn’t have the shock."
The administration clearly choose to go with shock.
 
Perhaps the “awe” was to come by way of President Obama providing a public smack down to AIG.
 
The story continues.
Around the same time, Congress and Obama’s team were passing up an opportunity to put in place strict laws to revoke bonuses from recipients of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. In February, the Senate voted to add such a proposal to the economic recovery bill that cleared Congress, but in final closed-door talks on the measure, that provision was dropped in favor of limits that affect only future payments.
 

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One Response

  1. FALLOUT GROWS: Those who voted for the stimulus supported the clause to protect the AIG’s bonuses. Obama’s Own Stimulus Bill Protects the AIG Bonuses He Now Condemns —


    http://www.butasforme.com/2009/03/17/obamas-stimulus-bill-explicitly-grants-aig-the-legal-right-to-hand-out-bonuses/

    Looks like Obama sides with AIG, as well as Chris Dodd.

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