As President Ronald Reagan famously said: “Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem.” This was never more evident than in the case of AIG, and the phony congressional outrage over bonuses for AIG executives. The Obama cabal and their media are telling us we should be outraged at AIG. So why don’t I feel outraged? Actually, I do; but not at AIG.
Executive bonuses didn't break AIG. Fannie and Freddie broke AIG, and congressional oversight by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd broke Fannie and Freddie. We don't see Obama and congress fueling outrage over bonuses paid by Fannie and Freddie, do we? AIG isn’t the culprit; it is just one of the victims of big government trying to regulate private industry, which has now become one of the victims in Obama’s War on Prosperity.
Aren’t we getting just a little tired of people in this government blaming corporate America for all of the economic problems government has caused, but refuses to admit to? Would it not be refreshing to just once hear Obama praise private enterprise and corporate America for their achievements, instead of constantly condemning them and making them the scapegoat for government failures? I’ve had enough of this un-American crap coming from this government - how about you?
If Obama and congress are so outraged over AIG and demanding that AIG executives return their bonuses, then why haven't Obama and Chris Dodd returned their $100,000 campaign contributions from AIG? They are only too happy to take AIG money but expect the taxpayers to pay for the losses. Could this be why this government is so willing to give our money to AIG? If that bonus money belongs to the taxpayers, then so do the $100,000 campaign contributions which should be returned to us as well.
This week, Chuck Schumer said on the senate floor: "My colleagues and I are sending a letter to [AIG CEO Edward] Liddy informing him that he can go right ahead and tell the employees that are scheduled to get bonuses that they should voluntarily return them. He should tell the employees if they don't give the money back, we will put in place a new law that will allow us to tax the bonuses at a very high rate [90%] so it is returned to its rightful owners, the taxpayers."
It wasn’t just talk. The House went right ahead and passed just such a bill even though it was not only illegal, it was also unconstitutional. The bonuses in questions were part of the legally binding employment contract between AIG and its executives. They were also protected by legislation added to the stimulus bill by Chris Dodd and the Obama administration, and with the consent and assistance of Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner.
That makes the bonuses a liability of AIG which they are legally obligated to pay. Congress knows they cannot legally invalidate that contract. If AIG could break those contracts with it's executive employees, then GM could break its contract with the UAW, and no contract henceforth would have any legal standing in this country. The only way a contract can be legally broken is by mutual agreement or in bankruptcy court - which is where AIG should be - not in the halls of Congress lobbying for more handouts.
So what did congress do? They decided to levy a 90% tax on the bonuses to create the populist impression that they are doing something for the taxpayers - who will never see a dime of that money that Schumer, Pelosi, Dodd, and Frank say will be returned to us. Anyway, that bonus money is just a drop in the bucket and a diversion from the trillions of dollars of our money that this government is giving away without our consent. Any outrage should be directed at Obama and congress, not at American business or industry which has done way more to grow this country than all of government combined.
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution reads in part:
“No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”
A “Bill of Attainder” is defined as: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial.
Details of this law can be found here. It was included in the Constitution to prevent this very thing from ever happening, and is why any tax by congress on executive bonuses is unconstitutional.
But AIG took $180 billion in government money, you say? Yes, they did, but that was also unconstitutional. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the government to hand out taxpayers’ money to anyone. Public funds are authorized only to fund the functions of government. Congress cannot legally create legislation for the sole purpose of passing out the taxpayers’ money, even though they have been doing it for decades. This is just one of the reasons why this government needs to be overhauled and restored to the constitutional body it was intended to be.
Schumer is using Nancy Pelosi's line: "returned to the taxpayers." This is a disgusting lie and he knows it. It’s almost funny coming from a Democrat. Taking that money back from AIG executives does not return it to the taxpayers. It merely gives it back to congress so that they can spend it on more socialist programs and dinner parties.
Congress is not the "taxpayers," it is the "tax spenders" who no longer represent the American people. Congress is a parasite on the American wage earners. They represent only their own special interests, political careers, and power. And to maintain that power, they use phony populist Pelosi statements like "returning the money to the taxpayers" when they know you will never see a dime of it.
Obama and congress are keeping this bonus issue alive because it fits their War on Prosperity template. If government hadn't interfered with unconstitutional bailouts, AIG would have dissolved their bad debts in bankruptcy court, downsized, and this despicably reprehensible national drama would be over. But instead, now congress is demanding the names of these AIG executives so that they can be targeted and attacked, not only by congress, but by their outraged Kool-aid drinkers who have been issuing death threats against the executives.
Obama and congress don't want it to be over. They want to keep the outrage at corporate America going to garner support for the government takeover of as many American corporations as possible. None of this would be happening today were it not for the Democrats “fair housing” programs for those who couldn’t afford them. Outrage should be directed at this government and the Democrat party, not at AIG executives whose only crime was legally profiting from misguided congressional laws.
I am not defending AIG or its executives, I am condemning Schumer, Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, and all who agree with them in the Democrat party for usurping citizens’ rights, and exercising power and authority over private enterprise - and its right to run its own businesses as they see fit - a concept that escapes most congressional Democrats’ understanding. If AIG executives made mistakes, they were the same mistakes that most major financial institutions made when they trusted Fannie and Freddie, and the people in congress who created them.
Had congress not written and passed laws to regulate lending institutions and dictate to whom they must grant loans and mortgages, those institutions would have been allowed to use their own good judgment and deny loans to people who didn’t qualify for them, thus preventing the mortgage meltdown in the first place. There would have been no Fannie & Freddie, no housing bubble, and no economic recession resulting from its burst. Government did this, and now we want more government regulations? Are we really that masochistic?
The AIG bonuses that politicians pretend to be so outraged about were known about as far back as a year ago. It came as no surprise to congress when protection for them showed up in the recent stimulus bill that nobody read until after it became law. This is simply more Democrat hypocrisy on display, and another occurrence of congressional Democrat socialists avoiding culpability and attacking private citizens and free market enterprise in their continuing War on Prosperity.
Fox News put a moniker across the bottom of the screen today that said: "Obama shares America's outrage at AIG bonuses." What do they mean by "shares?" He started it, for Christ Sake! He, and his cabal in congress, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid - the very people who are responsible for this mess - created the outrage and continue to fuel it, amplified by their media shills. Americans weren’t outraged about it until Obama started attacking successful Americans like Rush Limbaugh, the free market, and began making a big issue of it.
And speaking of the stimulus bill, Obama said he signed it, knowing it was full of pork, because it had things in it that were “absolutely essential to get done.” Isn’t that always the case with most every pork laden bill? Congress did it to Bush every time. When President Bush asked congress for $100 billion for military spending in Iraq, congress demanded another $20 billion in pork. Bush had to sign it or leave the troops without financial support.
Of course important legislation always contains tons of pork projects because that is how they get the money for them. They know the president cannot afford not to sign it regardless of the pork. In spite of Obama’s campaign rhetoric, he will continue to sign pork laden legislation for as long as he is in office. Congress has the president over a (pork) barrel, no matter who he is. You could call it “congressional blackmail” or simply extortion. But in the end, congress knows that the president cannot stop their earmarks if he wants money from congress.
While the socialists are screaming about $165 million in AIG executive bonuses, where is the outrage over the trillions of dollars of our money this government is giving away to bail out their friends in the mortgage and banking businesses? Where is the outrage over congress using AIG as a clearing house to launder our money which is then being sent to fund other financial institutions including Bear Stearns, J.P. Morgan, Citibank, and foreign banks in Britain, France, Germany, and Switzerland?
Why are they using our money to bail out foreign banks? Why don't those foreign countries bail out their own banks? Must the American taxpayers be forced to bail out the entire world? When did the economies of foreign countries become our responsibility? And where does the Constitution give congress the authority to give our money away to foreign countries? Frankly, it doesn't - not even when called “foreign aid.” This is just our contribution to global socialism and Obama uses the “global economy“ as an excuse for taxing away American money.
AIG, as with many others who were forced by government regulations, invested heavily in toxic mortgages and banks that invested in them while Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and other Democrats had assured them that any losses would be insured by the federal government through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was only when the insurance money came due that AIG found out differently.
Congress knows they cannot force AIG executives to give back the bonus money, so they have decided to tax it back, even though such a tax would be unconstitutional. But then, when has this congress or White House had any regard for the Constitution? Our highest laws of the land mean nothing to them. If they did, Obama wouldn't be in the White House but instead would be facing deportation or applying for American citizenship.
You want some outrage? How about some outrage over this inept and corrupt administration taking control of the 2010 census and contracting with ACORN to conduct it? With a history of uncontrolled voter fraud, tax money rip-offs, and loyalty to the Democrat party, how can ACORN be trusted to conduct a fair census? Obviously, this is why Obama wants them involved.
Don’t be tricked by this phony AIG outrage scam. Be outraged about a crooked, lying congress, growing government corruption, and Obama’s War on Prosperity that threatens us all.
JR Dieckmann is Editor, Publisher, Writer, and Webmaster of
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