Thursday, March 19, 2009

The man has three houses to pay for

I was writing a post last night wherein I discussed wingnut attempts to pin the AIG debacle on Obama, even though their boy Bush was the one who gave AIG the $85 billion. Some very, very fine weed and a shiny box with moving pictures distracted me. One thing I commented on was the undercurrent of argument that the people who were getting the bonuses were just poor, hard-working slobs who had nothing to do with the crisis, and Obama was terrorizing them and making them fear for their jobs. It was the bit I didn't think anyone would buy, as I have often been accused of "reading too much into things." In my own, completely unnecessary, defense, I give you the Washington Post.
I understand Obama's railing against the bonuses -- but I think he may be making a mistake, both short-term and long-term.
Well, because in the short run, hammering the AIG employees to give back their bonuses risks costing the government more than honoring the contracts would. The worst malefactors at AIG are gone. The new top management isn't taking bonuses. Those in the bonus pool are making sums that for most of us would be astronomical but that are significantly less than what they used to make. Driving away the very people who understand how to fix this complicated mess may make everyone else feel better, but it isn't particularly cost-effective.

Yes, it really would be a tragedy if these hard-working Joes, the backbone of American industry, were driven away while their industry was collapsing and thousands of qualified people, who have not been part of destroying a financial giant, were looking for work.

Jesus Christ driving a turnip truck.

It gets worse, though. While Joe Sweat-Argyle needs his promised bonus, Joe Lunchbox at UAW can go take a leap. Yes, he has been forced to renegotiate a contract, but that's a future contract you see, so it's cool. He's already been paid for what he has done, if he doesn't like the new contract, he doesn't have to show up to work. It's just that simple.

There you have it, the nation's liberal media at work.

h/t: LGM


brown beard said...

I'm really suspicious of all this bonus talk. What's really going on here, and why has this (relatively) puny $165 million been dominating the news for a week and a half?

solidcitizen said...

If you're a wingnut, it's because Obama is running interference for his AIG buddies/donors so that the pubic doesn't realize Obama [Bush] gave them $85 billion and we have riots on the streets.

I think it is a genuine frustration from people about "bonuses" for those that failed. I mean I wish that people were outraged that executives get these "bonuses" so that they pay lower taxes on their "income," but I gave up on that a long time ago.

Democrats and Republicans have decided to exploit the frustration, but some republicans have tried to spin it so that those receiving the actual bonuses (otherwise known as "the base" in the GOP) are innocent.

yerobain said...

The whole "hard working corporate Joe" argument is integrally tied to these puke inducing "Going Galt" discussions happening. I want to buy a copy of Atlas shrugged just to take a runny shit on it every time I encounter someone talking about Going Galt. Can we get some OG posting on this subject please?