Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shameless Self-promotion blogging: AIG Outrage edition

Hi kids, it's that time again. The time when I busted my ass on an article for GlobalComment and now I beg you to read it. Well, not beg. Ask nicely. I pretend that y'all come here to occasionally read what I write in between the historical images and debates over Eagles records. Ha.

Anyway, I got my pitchfork all sharp at the AIG bonuses, noted some suggested solutions, pointed out Eliot Spitzer's article with information on the real outrage here, and calculated how much more these assholes make than your average auto worker, whose contract is certainly not nearly as important as some overpaid douchebag who ran the country into the ground.

AIG has received $170 billion—yes, with a B—in federal taxpayer bailout dollars since the first payment from then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, while George W. Bush was still in the White House. Its current CEO, Edward Liddy, was put in place by Paulson after the government took a stake in the company. The company is now nearly 80% owned by the federal government—in essence, the taxpayers. You know, us.

Anger over the bonuses is a nonpartisan sentiment—Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa implied that the AIG executives should make a public apology and then either quit or commit seppuku, and Democratic Representative Barney Frank said, “We can’t keep them from getting bonuses but we can keep them from having their jobs. … In high school, they wouldn’t have gotten retention (bonuses), they would have gotten detention.”


Executives and government officials should take note of the public anger. No longer are huge bonuses the stuff of aspiration and dreams. They’re evoking anger. That sound you hear is the death knell of trickle-down economics.

Americans have heard for 29 years that we were going to reap the benefits of tax cuts on the rich, while seeing our own real incomes shrink and get replaced by credit. We aren’t going to accept being told that inequality is simply the proper outcome of a market economy. We know we work hard, and it’s about time we got some recognition of that fact.

Read the whole thing. Thanks.