22 March 2009

AIG: It's Time To Follow The Money

Khaki Confession: I've been hesitant to write about the biggest story in America. The fact is that I don't like being told what to do. The president and his fellow democrats have once again tossed the media a villainous bone to draw attention away from their own indefensible spending orgy. And the media is once again all-too-eager to chase after Obama's bone.

Sure, we're all annoyed by the AIG execs receiving millions of dollars in bonuses, but how does that really compare to the Trillions (with a "T") that the Democrats are confiscating from Americans to feed their insatiable lust for power? Should Americans really be taking Obama's bait and posting death threats against AIG employees while ignoring the fact that the Chosen One and his congress have already raped the country to the tune of 25% of our nation's total wealth?

But AIG is what the president and his cronies want us to write and read about. OK, you want it, big guy, you got! But let's not focus the AIG execs . . . let's rip back the curtain and have a look at the real culprits behind this debacle. And to find out who's to blame you just have to do what you do every time the government gets involved . . .

Follow the money.

The congress is trying to take a bow and gain a little appreciation from the citizenry for dropping a 90% tax on the bonus cabbage received by AIG execs. Listen folks, if you think you're going to get a penny of the money that congress is taxing back into their pockets then turn off Comedy Central and step away from the boob tube. The government will use this newly taxed . . . no "re-taxed" money the way governments always use tax money -- for political gain. And now they've even proven that they can and will establish any tax they want at at rate they want any time they want (which I'm sure is going to have the best and the brightest lining up at corporate HQs across the country to take suddenly low paying jobs and help lead the banks to economic recovery . . . that, or it will have them investing offshore in Chinese drilling operations).

But let's get to the real issue. How did Obama and the congress let this happen?

I'm sure that some in the congress really were unaware of what was actually in the stimulus package. I hate to say I told you so . . . oh, who am I kidding, I love saying it. Many of us tried to warn you. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid pushed this bill through so fast you would have thought somebody was threatening them with public access IQ testing. They finished it one night and held a vote the next morning. There is no way the people voting on it could have actually read it -- assuming they would have put down their pages long enough to actually read something that didn't contain a dollar sign followed by lots of zeros and the signature of a special interest group.

But not reading the bill doesn't absolve them of blame. They should have joined the minority of voices calling for a delay until the bill was adequately reviewed and revised; the minority who refused to vote "Yea" until they were satisfied.

Of course, there are others who were fully aware of the bonus clause in the Stimulus Package that allowed for the AIG payouts. For example, there was Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn) who said on Tuesday that he knew nothing about it but on Wednesday admitted that he had provide the language with a nudge from the White House. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at first feigned surprise about the bonuses, only to come clean under pressure after sources revealed to Time magazine that he knew about them as early as February 28. I would provide a few more witnesses from the Treasury, but Obama has yet to fill a number of the important posts there -- where's the rush in this economy?

So if these folk knew about the bonuses, why did they push through the stimulus bill? They'll give you lots of excuses but in the end you'll understand why if you just follow the money.

Politicians helped AIG because AIG helped them.

Follow the money:

And note that the image above is dated. As of today, the top recipients of AIG contributions are . . .

1) Obama, Barack (D-IL) Senate :$104,332
2) Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate :$103,900
To view all recipients of AIG contributions, click to OpenSecrets.org