Obama, Democrats approved AIG bonuses?
Posted by sanityinjection on March 19, 2009
Bloomberg is reporting that a provision of the Democrat-written stimulus package, championed by President Obama, authorized the payment of executive bonuses by financial institutions receiving federal funds, including those paid by AIG which have been the center of a firestorm this week.
According to the article, Senate Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd (D-CT) said that he weakened restrictions in the stimulus bill on executive compensation to allow any bonuses that had already been agreed to in contracts – including the $165 million AIG has paid its execs. Dodd claims he did not want to do this but was asked to do so by the Obama Administration. The Administration denies this, saying they only expressed concern over whether Dodd’s original language would survive a legal challenge against retroactive changes to contracts.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that the stimulus bill written and championed by the Democrats and the President authorized these bonuses. So it is a little ridiculous for Democrat legislators to be barking in outrage about them now. (Most Republicans voted against the bill.)
Perhaps the real lesson here is that no amount of whipped-up economic panic makes it a good idea to vote for legislation if you haven’t read it and don’t know what it does.