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In the Washington Post today, former director of the Congressional Budget Office Douglas Holtz-Eakin pretty much says it all about the AIG dust-up and much else:
The … lesson is that no matter how bad you think market capitalism is, the federal government has proved it is worse. Congress originally banned these very bonuses, then stripped the ban out of the stimulus bill and is now threatening confiscatory taxes on the lawful recipients. The Treasury knew about the bonuses and vouched for their legality but now wants double the money back somehow. How, exactly, the Treasury expects any straight-thinking financial entity to enter into a voluntary public-private “partnership” to solve the financial crisis given this track record is a mystery to me.
Part of the fun in reading these ridiculous quotes is reading some of hilarious user submitted comments. Here are some of the best and most appropriate ones that echo my same sentiments:
“AIG bonuses = kind of bad.
Grandstanding about AIG bonuses when you signed and approved the bill knowing full-fucking-well that they were going to get paid = galling hypocrisy of the first order.”
“Right. The bonuses are bad… but they were enabled by the bailout, which was/is also bad. More than bad. It’s the goddamn problem. But, then, the government is also bad: maybe 95% of the people who make it up are stupid and the other 5% are actually evil.”
“How about taking back 100% of Congress’ pay?
Good start. I’d also reduce the session to no more than thirty days in a year. Serving in the legislature needs to be like serving on a Jury. It should NEVER be a way to make a living.”
And here’s Ron Paul’s views on this whole mess:
“..Quit Bankrupting this Country, Quit Destroying The Dollar”
Talking about AIG Bonuses on CNN American Morning