The Treasury Department has some explaining to do.
I’ve seldom seen the degree of anger from the American people as I am seeing now. And much if not most of that anger is being directed at A.I.G., but the debacle with A.I.G. is just a symptom of the larger problem. The idea that if it’s right for big business it’s right for us, the taxpayers, has been all too pervasive for too long.
We’ve stood by while corporations shipped our jobs overseas. We stood by while unions got busted. We stood by while corporations rewarded CEO’s and other executives in spite of poor performance. We’ve seen corporations reduce benefits for employees while increasing salaries for it’s executives. We’ve watched while the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
As the Obama administration’s surplus plan tires to help forestall more Americans from getting foreclosed on what do the banks do? They raise the interest rate on credit cards. Yeah, that’s going to help a financially troubled populace, some of whom have been using credit cards to provide food for their families, or used for months to pay the outrageous gas bills we saw up until a couple of months ago.
When the price of gas skyrocketed, giving Exxon Mobile record profits, the price of most everything for consumers went up….food, clothes, building supplies, heating oil, electricity, and gas at the pump. Yet, little blame for the financial crisis many Americans find themselves in has been laid at the feet of the greed of the oil companies. A.I.G. has become the scapegoat for the ever increasing anger of Americans. Let’s not forget that A.I.G. is just one of many to blame for the crisis.
If I had to define the mood of the working class of America I could do it with one sentence: We’re MAD AS HELL and we aren’t going to take it any more.
The Treasury Department was responsible for inserting exemptions into the stimulus bill that allowed bailout recipients to receive bonuses, Senator Chris Dodd said in a CNN appearance on Wednesday.
According to the Connecticut Democrat, officials at the Treasury Department expressed concern that if the government were to prohibit payouts it could or would be sued by companies like AIG, which had contracts stipulating that bonuses were to be paid.
At the urging of and with consultation with Department officials, Dodd modified a clause he had previously inserted into the stimulus that prohibited bonuses from being issued by bailed-out companies. An exemption was added to allow bonuses that applied to in-place contracts.