Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Need I Say More?

Why yes, thanks for asking. Every American taxpayer needs to stare at this chart for a minimum of 30 seconds. It should cause outrage, even in the absence of an economic meltdown.

You would think chief executives would be willing to bite the same bullet the rest of us underlings do. But how could they survive and be happy with a $350,000 a year salary, or even an $800,000 a year salary. How could they even be motivated to get up and go to work for such a paltry salary?
But Wall Street, its lobbyists and trade groups are waging a feverish lobbying campaign to try to fight compensation curbs. Pay restrictions, they say, would sap incentives to hard work and innovation, and hurt the financial sector and the American economy.

“We support the bill, but we are opposed to provisions on executive pay,” said Scott Talbott, senior vice president for government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, a trade group. “It is not appropriate for government to be setting the salaries of executives.”

But it's appropriate for taxpayers, most of whom are pinching pennies, to bail them out so they can continue drawing outrageous salaries? The only word which comes to mind is bullshit.
Senator Christopher J. Dodd, chairman of the committee, said the “authors of this calamity” should not walk away enriched.

So true. But to help keep this in perspective, let's not forget that most of us consider Dodd one of the good less corrupt guys in Congress, and his hands are far from clean.
“This was no act of God,” Mr. Dodd said. “This was not like Hurricane Hike — Ike, rather. It was created by a combustible combination of private greed and public regulatory neglect, and now we must confront the present crisis.”


Mr. Dodd, who has received more contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s political action committees and employees ($133,900 since 1989) than any other senator, didn’t mention lapses in Congressional oversight.

Between the corruption in Congress, and the greed driving the lobbyists, how in the hell can we trust anyone there to work out a bailout plan that will actually work the way it should?

It sounds like the $700 billion could become another bridge to nowhere. Or a bridge directly into the corporate boardrooms.

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