The President's announcement that he'll crack down on evil CEO's and executives who are abusing their power and making too much money might be a worthwhile expenditure of his time in other circumstances. He promises to cap compensation to $500,000 until all federal loans are paid up, and he's taking 'the air out of golden parachutes'. When Mr. Obama came out swinging the other day, declaring an end to what he considers to be Wall Street greed, he received loud applause and his minions in the media gave three cheers to the whole concept that big business was finally getting their comeuppance. His fiery words ignited passion across the airwaves as America felt at least a little better, knowing the fat cats were finally getting their due. The problem is, this bold new policy is not retroactive, and the righteous indignation is hollow.
The stimulus package that Democrats will likely push through in the next few days does not provide for the bail out of any major corporations, banks or businesses. I have not read the entire bill because my computer freezes up when I try to scroll through it (that may be why many legislators have failed to read it in it's entirely, as well). Had the president imposed his policy retroactively to the banks and companies bailed out last fall, it would have had some viability. Right now, he's talking about what will happen in the future. He's apparently going to get tough at some point, but what has happened in the past is not important.
We learned yesterday that $78 billion of our hard-earned tax money used to bail out banks in October has been wasted. The Treasury bought up stocks in failing banks and paid prices far above the value of those stocks and thus, the American taxpayer got taken to the cleaners. At the time, polls revealed approximately 70% of Americans were against bailing out any failed organization. Our voices were ignored. Our new Secy of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, apparently was involved in the entire bail out process, working hand in glove with Henry Paulson. We've been told he must be confirmed for his new position because no one else is qualified. I think we expected someone with requisite qualifications to correct our problems, not make them worse and create more waste and debt. Still, we are asked to have the utmost confidence in the direction our leadership is moving on economic matters.
The President is talking about applying his compensation rules from this point forward, so that must mean he has plans to do more bailing out of banks and major business that he hasn't told us about yet. Is $500,000 now the standard for a year's worth of hard work? If so, will other hard working Americans get their pay raised to that level? What method was used to arrive at this amount? Will it go up when the economy improves or down if it doesn't improve? Will the salaries of other employees working for bailed out companies be mandated by the federal government, as well? Why didn't the president go back to the executives of the bailed out banks, insurance companies and automakers and require them to turn over any 2008 earnings above $500,000 to the Treasury Department in repayment? We learned not to ask questions during the campaign, so I'm not expecting clarification any time soon.
Goldman-Sachs has apparently decided to back out of the socialist trend of our government taking over the financial sector and claims they will pay back all the money they received from the government. Some are criticizing them, saying they just want to be able to pay their executives whatever they choose. That's possible, but perhaps they also want to turn back a portion of the tidal wave of government take-over of every aspect of our lives.
Tax, spend and waste with fearmongering and class warfare as a political agenda. Righteous indignation, indeed.