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- Yes, I did hear most of Liddy's testimony, and I did hear the insistence that these were contracts. So, I ask: if AIG was left to go completely bust, what money would have paid the policyholders? Are those not contracts? Or is it because those contracts are with mere mortals they are somehow less important that those of the financial wizards? Because, taxpayers buy into protecting policyholders - that was the point of the bailout, or so we thought because so we were told. Taxpayers do not buy into big salaries, and cannot comprehend "bonuses" in this context.
- Yes, I did hear Senator Dodd say he was the one to allow the bonuses because it was a compromise with the Treasury Department. So I ask, who in the Treasury Department? And did that "who" act alone? Specifically, where was Tim Geithner? Don't these meetings have minutes? I hear the Fed knew? Which Fed? Tim Geithner's New York Fed that he was president of at the time?
- Yes, I did hear Congress up in arms. But I ask: Don't you read every line before you vote on it? I imagine given the public outcry surrounded this legislation, and Paulson's attempt to have no review, no oversight and unlimited power in the first draft that it might, just might, have been a good idea to read every word before you voted on it?
- Yes, I did hear the Republican members of Congress try to blame this Administration. So I ask: Which Administration presided over the free for all that created this mess? Wasn't the last President a Republican? Now I agree: please use conditions to try to do what you can. But when the horse is out of the gate, and the Republicans opened the gate and egged on the horse to move as fast as he can, can the Republicans really complain about the gate and the horse now?
- Yes, I did hear President Obama. And without being biased, he's really the one who's the most correct. He didn't sign those contracts, but he takes responsibility. Translation - ok, now that we know, prepare for strict rules and regulations. And then at his Town Hall at Costa Mesa he did a fantastic job of explaining this mess in plain english - you know, the language that us mere mortals speak - and why it has to be fixed. When I find the video, I will be sure to post it.
So where are we?
Well, Liddy has said he has asked for a portion of the bonuses to be returned, and we hear that some people are returning all of the bonus. I commend them for that.
For those who do not want to return any portion of the bonuses, and are really content with Congress taking up time tomorrow for the House to try to tax 90% of these bonuses, and the Senate to try to tax 70% of these bonuses, I humbly submit that you are making matters worse for yourselves, your professional future, and your own profession. Frankly, Congress has lots of work to do to fix the economy that all these exotic products destroyed. It doesn't really have the time to do something it really does not want to do ideologically - and that is impose taxes of this magnitude. Shockingly, neither party wants to do this ideologically. But they will.
Respectfully, you bonus recipients are missing the entire forest for the trees. When the Government gets "tax happy" - watch out!
If this wasn't so important, and so sad, this would be a real soap opera.