I have been waiting for days to make some comments on this AIG fiasco. I wanted to hear as many details as possible before giving any sort of opinion. First of all I will say it is wrong for these companies to take tax payer money and then give it out like it is candy. BUT! Our government knew about this and the facts are starting to come out. It was not just the Bush Administration, but also the current administration. They are all at fault. For our so called "leaders" now to stand up and say this is an outrage is well, an outrage! Did or did they not just pass a $400 Billion budget omnibus bill with 8,000 earmarks worth $80 billion dollars? And they are now "outraged" over $160 million.
I feel sorry for the CEO at AIG. The man was retired and from what I have heard was a great leader for Allstate and had a great career. He comes back to assist for payment of $1 (I am not sure I fully believe this) and no bonus and jumps right into a tigers cage. He did not authorize the payments although he should have curtailed them some how. I watched his testimony the other day and it sounds like (again, trust is a huge issue with all of us these days) he and AIG have made some huge gains and he has a "plan" to continue to pull the company forward. What a novel concept: A Plan! What do we have to do to get "a plan" from the adminstration or the treasury secretary in regards to all the toxic assests that are continue to paralyze the economy thus our business in real estate?
Again, I hate that the bonus money was given out and tax payer money was most likely the main source, but is this not the United States of America? We are told from birth that if you work hard and get an education you can do whatever you want in life. I suspect many of the AIG employees worked hard and are very well educated. They signed on with the company with a salary and benefits package and their contract said they would be paid X amount. Who are we to question that? That is just unamerican! I personally do not think anyone is worth millions of dollars, but if that is their earning potential, well then congratulations. I get the sense that the adminstration is more concerned about leveling the playing field for all across the country. I think that is called socialism, but I may be wrong.
The part of all this that scares and upsets me the most is the reaction from Congress. Do you realize the house passed a bill to retrocatively tax the bonus money up to 95%? Do you not think there is something wrong with that? It sounds like something that Cuba or the former Soviet Union would do to its citizens. I will say again AIG should have modified the bonus structure, but a contract is a contract. For the Congress to step in and make a law is outright illegal in my opinion (I am no attorney, but I do have a bit of common sense). What are we doing here? We are we going as a country? It is getting scarier by the day the direction our leaders are taking us. (Case and point take a look at the Pelosi Video in regards to immigration from a few days ago).
What can we do? It seems that we are powerless, but I have taken quite an interest in Glen Becks "We Surround Them" cause. His 9/12 Project is gaining much support to take all of us back to the principles that built this great nation. All Americans must first get educated on the facts. They are hard to find becasue the media seems to be part of the problem. We do know that our "leaders" do not appear to be in it for us, but for themselves and self-interests. They also do not seem to understand the history of our country. It is the land of the free, home of the brave! Lets not let them forget that!