In spite of near universal disdain for AIG’s presentation of $165 million in bonuses paid for by federal bailout funds, it’s almost comical to see members of Congress wrathful about wasteful spending.
Most Americans are leery about bailouts, period. Even those who believe they may be necessary to rescue the economy have a hard time reconciling themselves to their tax dollars being used to rescue companies whose careless policies put them under. It goes against every good business principle to reward those who fail, and it adds insult to injury to see many who helped bring about the financial crisis being given millions of taxpayers’ dollars.
The AIG debacle demonstrates that the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, did not do its homework. Nor did Congress. And when word that bonuses were to be given — again — the very people who approved the bailout were aghast.
To date, AIG has received $170 billion in federal funds to cover what some characterize as a corporate gambling debt. Is there anyone who contemplates that the U.S. will recover that money? Is there someone who believes that AIG has demonstrated behavior that merits rescue?
But listening to members of the U.S. Congress fret over how $165 million in bonus money is frittered away to the undeserving is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Congress just approved nearly $1 trillion in bailout money so loaded with wasteful spending as to defy all logic.
Congress should be relieved that AIG personnel are getting bonuses. If nothing else, it deflects scrutiny — and anger — that should be aimed at Congress, where, like at AIG, failure is rewarded.
Congress lecturing AIG on the prudent use of federal funds has all the credibility of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich teaching a course on governmental ethics. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I, for one, feel like crying. If we don't wake up and kick some of these clowns out of office, that flushing sound we hear is our country going down the toilet. When China thinks we're a bad credit risk, the end is near.