Right Thinking From The Left Coast
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti


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Your Bonus Is My Bonus

Stuff like this really irritates me:

President Barack Obama said on Sunday he told the chiefs of the biggest U.S. banks that bonuses are not acceptable while many Americans struggle to meet basic expenses in the midst of a severe recession.

Referring to a meeting Friday at the White House with the chief executives of banks that have received U.S. government bailout funds, Obama said bankers need to show some restraint from big bonuses during the financial crisis.

“That’s just not acceptable,” Obama said during an interview on CBS television’s “Face the Nation.”

He said he told the chief executives: “Show some restraint. Show that you get that this is a crisis and everybody has to make sacrifices.”

Everybody except government, apparently.

I realize that there is no law—yet—following on his declaration.  But that just reduces it to shameless pandering to wealth envy.

It’s worth noting again—some of the sacrifices that have to be made may be paying big bonuses to acquire and retain people who can fix the fiscal mess.  Or maybe not.  Maybe they’ll get their big boni and still screw things up.  Who the hell is President Obama—he of absolutely zero business experience—to tell banks what they should and should not be paying their employees?  These declarations are not the result of some careful consideration—they’re an appeal to wealth envy.

Are the bonuses morally right?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t seem so.  But there’s certainly a lot worse behavior going on out there—much of it government circles.  Whatever the execs at AIG might be doing, they aren’t imprisoning innocent men for decades for crimes they didn’t commit.  They aren’t getting us involved in dubious wars so they can appear tough.  They aren’t spending hundreds of billions of deficit-funded dollars and risking inflation to make it look they’re doing something about the economy.

I will probably not make as much money in my entire life as some of these bankers are going to collect in bonuses.  You know what?  It doesn’t bother me at all.  Even if they are just sitting around playing Mousebreaker all day, it doesn’t bother me.  And if those bonuses mean a slightly better chance of the banking system not imploding, I’m all in favor of it.

Mr. President, mind your own business.  When you submit a budget to Congress that isn’t a complete and utter mathematical joke, then I might be prepared to listen to your opinion on how much certain people should be paid.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/30/09 at 12:39 PM in Politics • Permalink

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