Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Are Analysts Accurate?

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/03/23

The list of stimulus and bail-out and other big-government deficit spending programs seems neverending, starting at the end of the Bush (43) administration and exponentially amplified in the Obama administration. Bush (43) did say he violated his own free-market principles in signing TARP but the emergency situation was the reason. I have to wonder what principles are permitted to be violated under duress. Don’t they become preferences instead? Again, we come back to the standards to which we hold those in authority. We seem to be focusing on LCD when, historically, we focused on something similar to GCF. (I love math.)

Obama, for his part, has always been far-left. His agenda and policies are socialistic, which require massive government spending. George W Bush stated he wouldn’t ask Congress for the second part of the TARP unless Barack H Obama wanted it, since Bush’s time in office was just a matter of days. Obama did ask Bush to ask for the second traunch, so Bush did. After Obama took office, he presided over the second traunch of TARP, which I believe included, if not all, the vast majority of the car-manufacturer bail-outs. Then came the rush-rush $787 billion “stimulus” package. And after that, Obama has offered up a $3.6 trillion budget – which itself approaches $2 trillion in deficit spending. The “stimulus” package and the second traunch of TARP is all deficit. The socialized health-care plan will be a massive detriment to national financial health until the end of the US, if ever passed, and will result in rampant health-care shortages, not to mention the rampant morality-code violations any moral health care provider will have to endure, all for the sake of the nanny state.

After the “stimulus” package passed – without giving anyone enough time to read even 25% of it (and they all admitted nobody read it) – we found out there was a change in it. A change that has become glaring. AIG, under contract to pay bonuses, did indeed pay those bonuses, much to the chagrin of the talking heads. Chris Dodd, the greatest benefactor of AIG’s political largesse, changed a tiny section of the package after the Senate voted and before the House-Senate committee that hammered out the differences saw it. But Dodd blamed the Administration. He claimed the Administration pressured him to make the changes, which resulted in requiring AIG to pay those bonuses. Obama was the second greatest benefactor of AIG’s political largesse.

Enter the Legislature’s grilling party and AIG’s CEO, who came out of retirement to get paid ONE DOLLAR A YEAR to bring AIG out of its mess. The Legislature repeatedly made offensive attack-dog statements against the CEO, who came out of retirement at the Administration’s behest and took a salary of ONE DOLLAR A YEAR to bring AIG out of its mess. The Legislature, Barney Frank, demanded to know the names of people who legally received pay, and if the CEO would not release the names of people who legally received pay (which he did not), the Legislature, Barney Frank, would subpoena AIG and force AIG to release names of people who legally received pay. Guess what. The Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) would require the government to release the list of names it got, even if the grandstanding Democrats didn’t release the names willingly, and they would giddily release the names. And, since the leftists in power and mainstream media have whipped up the sheep-like populace into a frenzy over the supposed horrible actions of AIG, there would be a serious and real danger to those people who legally received pay. Life, bodily harm, property destruction would all be at risk, just because their names would be publicized for legally receiving pay.

Remember the Democrats poo-pooing people who cried out about the billions in pork because the pork was only two percent of the bill? These legal bonuses, required by contract, amount to less than one tenth of one percent of the government money transferred over to bail them out. And the Left and mainstream media (redundancy) went ballistic. There is no contradictory action there, is there? No hypocritical activity or anything? So, the House passed a 90 percent tax on the bonuses on top of the regular taxes after the bonuses were paid. And that is unconstitutional. And many Republicans stupidly voted for it.

It is important to remember many banks were required to take TARP money even though they didn’t want it. The feds did not want any negative response from the population to banks that had to take the money. Taking the money would mean the banks were in trouble, so the feds required all the biggest banking institutions to take the money, need it or not. And those banks that were required to take the money despite not wanting it are also forced to stand to and limit their pay to their executives and kill bonuses for their executives because they took federal money.

Everyone who signed off on the “stimulus” package and everyone who had a hand in crafting it (read the Obama Administration and the Democrat Legislature hierarchy) claimed they only found out a week before the bonus payouts. Yet, evidence has shown Geithner knew about the bonus structure as early as September of 2008. It is highly likely a great deal more who are claiming ignorance also knew about the bonuses months in advance.

While Congress is working on passing a “bill of attainder” that a great many have loudly declared unconstitutional and even Obama hinted may be unconstitutional, there are rumors of plans in the works to federally mandate wage limits for all executives of all businesses, even businesses who have not taken any government money.

I have heard some analysts and other talking heads wonder out loud if the Democrat Legislature and the Obama Administration were uninformed or unskilled, suggesting the choice is one or the other. If people knew about the bonuses months in advance, as it is becoming painfully obvious they did, I believe there’s a third option. Adjust the wording in the bill nobody will read and the public will not see to allow for the contractually mandated bonuses. Then scream in agony when the bonuses are paid. Build a huge outcry among the populace. Try to pass an unconstitutional law. Upon failing that, set across-the-board salary, bonus, wage limits on everyone doing business in the US. The nanny state will protect you while big brother becomes omnipotent.

So, are the analysts accurate in supposing these clowns are either ignorant or unskilled? Or is it possible there was a much more devious, statist, socialist plan behind it?

Addendum: Karl at Patterico’s Pontifications speaks more directly at the congressional beneficiaries of AIG’s largesse, linking to Massie Ritsch at OpenSecrets.

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