AIG Bonus Furor: Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) Made The Bonuses Possible

Don’t you just love it when a Senator steps on his/her own foot and trips him/herself up? I do. That’s why I am blogging about Senator Chris Dodd and his hypocrisy about bonuses being paid out by American International Group (AIG).

While Congress was working on the porkulus/spendulus bill, Sen. Dodd added an amendment that I am pretty sure he wishes nobody remembered.

According to Fox Business:

That amendment provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax.

The amendment made it into the final version of the bill, and is law.

So, the Democrats (and a few ignorant Republicans) are all up in arms about bonuses being paid out in strict accordance with a law that they themselves passed!

Can you say CHUTZPAH?

Here are the rules of the Dodd amendment:

  • Crack down on bonuses, retention awards and incentive compensation: Bonuses can only be paid in the form of long-term restricted stock, equal to no greater than 1/3 of total annual compensation, and will vest only when taxpayer funds are repaid. There is an exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009.
  • For institutions that received assistance totaling less than $25 million, the bonus restriction applies to the highest compensated employee; $25 million to $250 million, applies to the top five employees; $250 million to $500 million, applies to the senior executive officers and the next top 10 employees; and more than $500 million applies to the senior executive officers and the next top 20 employees (or such higher number as the Secretary determines is in the public interest).

Now, why would Sen. Dodd have done something like this? Perhaps can provide us with the answer:


Note that Chris Dodd and Barack Obama were the two top recipients of money from AIG.

Now, people have known for over a year that these bonuses were coming out and a Democrat Senator introduced an amendment to make sure that those bonuses were legal. Why is their such a furor going on over all of it?

It is a distraction from other things, that’s why. It turns out that AIG was used as a launderer to spread money around to other banks. Someone doesn’t want us investigating that so they blow the bonus issue way out of proportion to try and make it into some type of scandal.

As for the outrage, I wonder why there was no outrage when public funds were used to shore up UAW retirement accounts?

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries To Undo Bonus Protections He Put In
Rich Edson
Fox Business
March 17, 2009


How The Bailouts Are Faring In Europe

Let’s see, the bailout of the banks has failed. The two bailouts of Detroit have both failed. The massive porkulus/spendulus package that was supposed to inject confidence in the economy has failed. How many more failures do we need to see before we realize that socialism is the worng way to go?

If not here in the U.S., then look at Europe. Rachel Marsden has an excellent column for Town Hall.

Here are some excerpts:

Hungary and the Baltic states want to be bailed out by countries like France and Germany, which are having enough financial troubles of their own.

Le Figaro newspaper reports that France’s debt is heading for 80% of its GDP (or $27,625 US per person) by the end of next year. France pumped $450 billion US into its banks last year, and another $7.8 billion to prop up French car manufacturers – because the world would be lost without Renaults and Citroens. Germany bailed out its banks last October to the tune of $675 billion US. And now the crippled are being asked to carry the wounded with a massive transfer of wealth.

It didn’t work in Europe and it certainly won’t work here in the U.S.


So far, the consensus is to deal with such bailouts of entire countries on a case-by-case basis. Hopefully, that means never. Argentina has been digging itself out of bankruptcy for the past few years, and will perhaps one day figure out that socialism doesn’t work. In the meantime, other countries can use the lesson: You can’t keep pouring money into a socialist society when there’s no production occurring to create the wealth you’re spending pre-emptively.

That is what socialists don’t understand. Socialism destroys the means of production which in turn destroys wealth. The big mistake that socialists make is that they think the main social goal of businesses is to create jobs. That is wrong. The main social goal of businesses is to turn a profit and from that profit new jobs will be created. That’s why higher taxes lead to higher unemployment. Taxes reduce the profit of a business.


Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why should I care, as an American?” Well, because President Obama is intent on spreading the misery of this crisis, and it’s unclear at this point how far across borders that misery will reach, or whether we’re looking at some kind of a new economic Marshall Plan to help out Europe. He’s already being prodded in that regard by UK PM Gordon Brown who, like Obama, is tossing money at make-work government projects and, unlike Obama, is facing a toss right out of office as a result. It would represent yet another failure of Obama-style socialism.

Perhaps I can put this in terms that some Brits can understand: Never before has the detriment of giving a socialist more money to piss up a wall been so glaringly evident.

Gotta love that parting shot.

You can access the complete columnn on-line here:

Hang On To Your Wallets, Here Comes The EU!
Rachel Marsden
March 5, 2009

Socialism? The Current Proposal From The Democrats Is Outright Marxism!

You are not going to believe this, but read it for yourself:

Congress will consider legislation to extend some of the curbs on executive pay that now apply only to those banks receiving federal assistance, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said.

“There’s deeply rooted anger on the part of the average American,” the Massachusetts Democrat said at a Washington news conference today.

He said the compensation restrictions would apply to all financial institutions and might be extended to include all U.S. companies.

Yes, if you read all the way to the end of that clip, you saw the words: “to include all U.S. companies.”

That’s right. The Dems are now proposing Soviet-style control on how much money you could potentially make.

Think this is just some leftist idle chat? Read on:

Mr. Frank seems to be in synch with the Obama administration in his plans for executive compensation.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said last month that he might try to extend to all U.S. companies a restriction that prohibits bailout banks from taking a tax deduction of more than $500,000 in pay for each executive.

The Troubled Assets Relief Program legislation enacted in October seeks to give companies receiving aid under the $700 billion bailout a number of incentives to curb what it calls excessive executive pay.

Mr. Geithner said he would consider “extending at least some of the TARP provisions and features of the $500,000 cap to U.S. companies generally.”

Yes, our current tax-evading Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, said that.

Any of you libs out there still want to whine about the Dems being referred to as “socialists?” Maybe you are right. This latest proposal puts them in league with the Marxists.

There is an old saying: “With the first link, the chain is forged.”

This idiotic proposal the Dems are making is that first link.

Wake up, America!

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Barney Frank: TARP’s Comp Curbs Could Be Extended To All Businesses
Neil Roland
Financial Week
February 3, 2009

Democrats At The Trough: Your Taxpayer Dollars Feeding The Pigs

If only all journalists in the United States had as much integrity and courage as Cal Thomas does to write what is overwhelmingly obvious and write it with so much clarity. Take, for example, government spending, why it has become so bloated and what effect such spending has on you and I, the American taxpayers.

Cal’s latest column is about overspending by governments: Federal, State and Local. And he explains clearly why such overspending occurred and what the (mostly Democrat) elected leaders in these governments want to do by way of a “solution.”

From his column:

Democratic governors from overspending states like New York, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Ohio are among those seeking financial deliverance. The governors want Washington to pony up $1 trillion for their absolutely-essential-non-negotiable-if-we-don’t-get-the-money-people-will-starve programs.

But why should we, the taxpayers, fund this bailout? Who among us would not be held responsible, as individual citizens, for spending more than we take in?

Read on:

New York Governor David Paterson claims that, because tax revenues have plunged, 43 states now have budget deficits totaling around $100 billion. No, those states have deficits because when times were good and the money was rolling in they thought they could get away with endless new programs, while putting little or no money aside for the inevitable rainy day. Neither did they consider which programs were necessary and which ones were just politically beneficial. Or, maybe they did and they opted for politically beneficial, thus creating their problem, and ours.

Notice the sleight of hand about to be perpetrated on hardworking taxpayers. In the end, it is we who pay for the plans of politicians who are unable, or unwilling, to control themselves when it comes to other peoples’ money. When Republicans cut taxes, Democrats scream about growing deficits. But Democrats never worry about the deficit when they spend more than what the government takes in. So it really isn’t about the deficit at all. It is about how much of our hard-earned money the Democrats, mostly, will allow us to keep.

Bingo! Look at that simplicity of comparison. Conservatives cut taxes and the libs complain about not enough money to spend. Libs spend more money than they have and then delude themselves into believing that our grand-children will be happy to pay for the libs non-sense appropriations. What would happen to you if you ran your household budget like this? You would, at the very least, recieve a very low credit rating and not be able to get new loans, or at worst, go to jail.

And what is even better is that the comparison between the libs and Conservatives is valid and absolutely true.


The incoming Obama administration wants to spend gobs of money on “infrastructure,” creating government jobs that will end when the work is completed. Isn’t infrastructure primarily supposed to be the work of state and local governments? Isn’t the gasoline tax supposed to go to build and repair local roads and bridges? The federal responsibility should begin and end with the interstate highway system.

The governors’ request for more money from Washington is also about unfunded mandates, the rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid and a lot of other “entitlement” programs that could have been made solvent during the Bush administration, which tried, but was unable to succeed due to opposition from Democrats who preferred to have an issue rather than a solution.

And there is the reason the Dems don’t want any real solutions to the overspending problem. They need wasteful programs in order to buy votes and they need a way to keep people dependent on the government for their livelihood.

This is a most excellent column and everyone should read it:

Pigs At The Trough
Cal Thomas
January 6, 2009

$33 Million Lakside Resort Owned By UAW Exposes Jim Webb’s Hypocrisy

You know, one of the things that really angers me is arrogant hypocrisy. What I mean by that is a “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude. As the proud father of a newborn baby boy, I can honestly say that I will teach my son to never engage in such behavior. I only wish that the full-grown politicians who ride roughshod over us would live by the same rules we teach our children to live by.

To wit, there is an interesting story from Fox News that came out on December 26th concerning a resort owned by the United Auto Workers and financed by the Big Three Automakers through union negotiated contracts.

You all may recall that I wrote letters to my Congressional Representatives concerning the proposed bailout of Detroit. I noted that legacy costs such as the Jobs Bank program were forcing higher costs on the Big Three and that was why they were facing backruptcy. I further noted that many small businesses here in Virginia were in danger of failing but that no one was talking about bailing them out.

Well, I did get a response back from Jim Webb. In his response, he noted that the Big Three executives recieved much higher salaries when compared to the executives of foreign automakers and proposed forcing the U.S. executives to take a parity of salary. It should also be noted that Senator Webb never made one single mention of the plight of small businesses here in Virginia nor did he express any concern their situation.

This brings me to the point of the above mentioned arrogant hypocrisy. If we are to take such a negative view of the American Automakers executives’ salaries, then we must also look at the perks that the officers of the UAW are enjoying. One of those perks is a UAW owned golf course that has bled off $23 million over the past five years.

From Fox News:

Even as the industry struggles with massive losses, the UAW brass continue to own and operate a $33 million lakeside retreat in Michigan, complete with a $6.4 million designer golf course. And it’s costing them millions each year.

The UAW, known more for its strikes than its slices, hosts seminars and junkets at the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center in Onaway, Mich., which is nestled on “1,000 heavily forested acres” on Michigan’s Black Lake, according to its Web site.

But the Black Lake club and retreat, which are among the union’s biggest fixed assets, have lost $23 million in the past five years alone, a heavy albatross around the union’s neck as it tries to manage a multibillion-dollar pension plan crisis.

So, if we are to take Jim Webb seriously about his proposal of forcing executives to accept parity of salary, should we not also impose the same standard on the UAW officers who live the high life while the rest of America (most of whom can’t afford to spend time at high class resorts like the UAW does) floats them?

Or how about applying that same standard to Congress and other government officials? Should we not also impose “parity of salary” on them as well? According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in the United States in 2007 was $50,233.00. Thus, government officials, if they truly believe themselves to be the servants of the people and to be in touch with the peoples’ needs, should only accept salaries of $50,233.00 per year. If they are not willing to accept such parity for themselves, then they certainly should not be suggesting that it be imposed upon others.

But I am certain that Jim Webb lacks the integrity necessary to make such a bold stand. He has no problem imposing his standards on others, but will resist to the end any attempt at imposing those same standards on himself.

If any of the bailout money that President Bush released to finance the Big Three ends up floating that resort, it will serve as proof that the Democrats were more interested in repaying the UAW for political support than they were in bailing out the Big Three.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Autoworkers Union Keeps $6 Million Golf Course For Members At $33 Million Lakeside Retreat
December 26, 2008

Great News! Automaker Bailout Dies In The Senate!

This is good news for America. The proposed bailout for the Big Three in Detroit has died and for very good reasons. The remaining GOP Senators demanded that the United Auto Workers scale back their demands to be more on par with the compensation given to auto workers employed by Toyota and Honda.

That was a more than reasonable request given the current economic conditions, but the UAW wouldn’t budge and the Dems couldn’t do anything about it.

Associated Press has this to say via MSNBC:

Republicans, breaking sharply with President George W. Bush as his term draws to a close, refused to back federal aid for Detroit’s beleaguered Big Three without a guarantee that the United Auto Workers would agree by the end of next year to wage cuts to bring their pay into line with U.S. plants of Japanese carmakers. The UAW refused to do so before its current contract with the automakers expires in 2011.

Why is such a request meaningful? Because of this:

Congressional Republicans have been in open revolt against Bush over the auto bailout. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky joined other GOP lawmakers Thursday in announcing his opposition to the White House-backed bill, which passed the House on Wednesday. He and other Republicans insisted that the carmakers restructure their debt and bring wages and benefits in line with those paid by Toyota, Honda and Nissan in the United States.

Hourly wages for UAW workers at GM factories are about equal to those paid by Toyota Motor Corp. at its older U.S. factories, according to the companies. GM says the average UAW laborer makes $29.78 per hour, while Toyota says it pays about $30 per hour. But the unionized factories have far higher benefit costs.

GM says its total hourly labor costs are now $69, including wages, pensions and health care for active workers, plus the pension and health care costs of more than 432,000 retirees and spouses. Toyota says its total costs are around $48. The Japanese automaker has far fewer retirees and its pension and health care benefits are not as rich as those paid to UAW workers.

If the Japanese carmakers can produce cars for only three-quarters of the cost that American carmakers incur, then there is absolutely no reason why American carmakers can’t bring themselves in line with the lower costs.

But the unions are against this, mostly because it reduces their power and because the union bosses will no longer have any justification for their own high salaries nor for the massive donations they routinely make to the Democrat Party.

The GOP was absolutely right to make sure this deal is killed. It will be a day of reckoning for the UAW and for the Dems who have failed to pay them back for their support. Plus, it aims the spotlight exactly where it needs to be pointing.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Auto Industry Bailout Plan Dies In The Senate
Associated Press via MSNBC
December 12, 2008

House Approves Automaker Bailout, Sends Measure To Senate. Time To Tell The Senate “No!”

Well, the House has approved the ill-fated bailout of Detroit, mostly along party lines. It is clear that the Dems are serious about paying back the big unions for their support in the election and that they want the American taxpayer to foot the bill for it.

The only good thing I can say about this is that my own Representative, Frank Wolf (R-VA) actually voted against this bill. Maybe because of the letters he recieved from people like me or maybe because he has looked back at the dismal failure of the Wall Street bailout and thought better of doing the same thing again.

Now, we have to stop the measure from passing in the Senate. According to Bloomberg:

The House approved a $14 billion loan package intended to prevent a collapse of domestic automakers that would threaten millions of U.S. jobs. The 237-170 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where opposition is growing.

Some Republicans said the measure would waste taxpayer money without saving the companies from collapse. The bailout “won’t save a single job,” said Representative David Dreier, a California Republican.

In the Senate, Republicans said the bill lacked the 60 votes needed to overcome delaying tactics threatened by some members. Democrats have a 50-49 edge in the Senate.

It’s time to get going and write your Senators. Ask them to vote “Nay” on the automaker bailout. It is destined to fail as surely as the Wall Street bailout failed.

Besides, given that Congress has been running massive deficits and cannot balance a budget, can we really trust them to prevent the Big Three from going into bankruptcy? I am not the smartest man in the world, but even I know better than that.

You can access Congressional email directories on-line here:

Congressional Email Directory

Just click on your state and you will be taken a page with contact links for your Congressional delegation.

Here is a sample of what you can email to your Senator. Feel free to copy and paste it:

Dear Senator,

I am writing this email to ask you to vote “Nay” on the automaker bailout bill which recently passed the House of Representatives (H.R. 7321). This bill is destined to be a dismal failure just as the $700 billion Wall Street bailout was a failure and huge waste of taxpayers money.

It is already bad enough that our children and grandchildren are going to have to pay for these bailout failures. We need to stop this foolishness now before we begin saddling a debt on our great-grandchildren as well.

The best thing to do for Detroit is to let them go into Chapter 11. That way, they can reorganize and retool. This will allow them to modernize as the foreign carmakers have done and Detroit can become competitive again. Right now, the Big Three have manpower costs such that they must pay over $70 an hour to build a car whereas other automakers can do the same job for $35 to $45 an hour.

Bailing out Detroit will only prolong the inevitable and waste billions of taxpayer dollars in the process.

As a final note, you should realize that hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the United States are in danger of failing, but no one is proposing to bail any of them out. Please apply that same standard to Detroit.

Thank you.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

House Approves Automaker Bailout, Sends It To Senate
John Hughes
December 10, 2008