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AIG Bonuses – Who Got AIG Lobbyist Money?

Both Chris Dodd (D-Conn) and Democrat President Obama have voiced righteous indignation about the AIG bonus payouts. But when you look a bit deeper, you wonder why both men are complaining — after all, they each had a major part in allowing the payouts to go forward. First, the President, in a press conference, stating they knew where AIG spent all the money (that would include the bonus).

From White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’ briefing two weeks ago, when $30 billion in additional funds were announced for AIG. AIG had at this point designated $165 million in retention bonuses for officers of the Financial Products subsidiary, as well as an additional $121.5 million in executive bonuses.

TAPPER: AIG, is the administration confident that it, that it knows what happened to the tens of billions of dollars previously given to AIG?

GIBBS: Is it confident — I’m sorry?

TAPPER: That they know — that you guys know what happened to the previous billions before you hand over this next $30 billion.

GIBBS: Yes — yes, the — I mean, I don’t think it’s a — well, obviously, you’ve got a huge insurance company that is losing money, not the least of which because of its sheer size and sheer size and decrease in the growth in our economy. It experiences a far bigger drop, largely because of its size. But, again, the steps that — that Treasury and — and others took were to ensure a larger systemic problem wasn’t one that we had to deal with here today in letting something just die.

TAPPER: But in terms of specifically the — I guess it’s like $150 billion before, you guys are confident…


So the President says he knew where the money went — and that includes the bonus money. Gee, wonder why he never complained about it until now? We’ll see why after examining Chris Dodd’s role.

While the Senate constructed the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd unexpectedly added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. That amendment provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009,” which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are seeking to tax. The amendment is in the final version and is law.

So why is Chris Dodd (D-Conn) upset? He added law exempting bonuses to the stimulus bill. And now he feigns indignation?

So what do Mr. Obama and Mr. Dodd have in common, besides both men knowing those bonuses were to be paid out from the bailout money (one stated he knew where the money was spent, the other specifically exempted bonuses). They’re both number 1-2 in political contributions from AIG, Mr Dodd first at $103,000 and Mr. Obama second at $101,000 (third place was less than $60,000, and then fourth place on drops to $35,000 and less – so Obama/Dodd fed the most at the lobbyist trough. Data from Opensecrets.org).

Citigroup and AIG were top contributors to Dodd, while Goldman Sachs was a top contributor to Obama.

And that’s how they can both encourage and know those bonuses would be paid, and then (for political reasons) feign being upset about it, when they knew it all along. Same old politics in play — do one thing behind closed doors for lobbyist $$$, do another for the public.

That’s change we can’t believe in, just more of the same old-school Washington garbage.


Those who Don’t Know History …

… are doomed to repeat it.

Recall when the Patriot act passed Congress, and the Democrats complained it was rammed through Congress so fast nobody could read it (and we know how well that worked out)? It’s Deja Vu, all over again, only this time, it’s Democrats ramming a spendulous political payback bill thorough Congress so fast nobody can read it (with special “stimulus” spending for Reid’s and Pelosi’s districts — like train lines and mice). What happened to transparency? What happened to 48 hours of public notice? What happened to debate? Just like PAYGO, Democrats abandoned all their campaign promises — after all, they don’t need votes (right now), so why bother with those pesky little promises? Doesn’t everyone know those only applied to campaign season?

The bill just came out of conference committee, and at over 1,000 pages, it must be voted on today? Why the rush? Why no debate? Why can’t they even (gasp!) read the bill — is it too much to ask for Congress to actually read what they’re voting on? (Hint: It’s reported Pelosi wants to jet out of town today — maybe true or not, but even if true, it’s no excuse for a rush on spending trillions).

Would you put your name on a contract without reading it? If not, you’re smarter than the entire Congress, who can’t be bothered to actually read the bill — after all, they’ve got pork to distribute!

Unfortunately, they’re not putting their name on the credit card — it’s ours.

More Stimulus Bait and Switch

The “stimulus” pork fest contains a government takeover of healthcare buried inside. That’s right, according to Bloomberg:

One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions …

Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost-effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

Where’s the pro-choice lobby in blocking this — keep your hands off my body!

But Obama knows one thing — it’s totally impossible to pay for all the pork he promised during the campaign — someone will come up short (while it’s OK for him to heat the White House, he wants everyone else to turn their thermostat down).

In the healthcare debate, many, many people will be shorted to allow Obama’s dream of government run healthcare. And now you know why Mr. Obama is in such a rush to pass this “stimulus” bill — with a takeover of healthcare buried in it, is that what you have in mind?

The stimulus bill has little to do with the economy, and mostly to do with government expansion. That’s why the rush to pass it exists — so few people have a chance to read it. As public support continues to crumble, the more people find out about the garbage performed in Washington, the more fed-up people will become as the “stimulus” package turns out to be the biggest deception of the American people ever (and will actually make the economy worse — if government spending actually “multiplies” [like promoters of the stimulus claim] and creates prosperity why stop at $1 trillion? Why not spend $10 trillion and make everyone rich?).

Remember “Animal Farm” — all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. This “stimulus” divides the country into the elites who can have whatever they want (heat, healthcare, etc) while the lower class working drones suffer with whatever crumbs the elites feel to drop on the floor.

Fear used by President to pass Pork Stimulus

“A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe.”

— President Obama, Feb. 4.

Catastrophe, mind you. So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared “we have chosen hope over fear.” Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.

Why the rush to pass a bill which won’t have any stimulus for years? Because it’s filled with billions for ACORN and other non-stimulus pork. That’s why it has to be pased NOW NOW NOW. If you don’t give in to the pork, the world will end, or so says Mr. hope-n-change. Besides, if you really find out what’s in it, nobody will want it.

$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

$380 million in the Senate bill for the Women, Infants and Children program

$300 million for grants to combat violence against women

$2 billion for federal child-care block grants

$6 billion for university building projects

$15 billion for boosting Pell Grant college scholarships

$4 billion for job-training programs, including $1.2 billion for “youths” up to the age of 24

$1 billion for community-development block grants

$4.2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities”

$650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”

Best ammendment offered so far: $2 billion to encourage low-income housing. Gee, isn’t subprime mortgages how we got in this mess to begin with? So let’s do more!

The more people find out about the “stimulus”, the more resistance will come. That’s why Mr. hope-n-change switched tactics to fear-fear-fear the-sky-will-fall without all the pork! He knows if you really know where your taxes will end up, nobody will want this pork-fest.

So tell me, how will the country pay back the trillions going to special interest groups? Is that the legacy hope-n-change leaves to the next generation – trillions for special interest groups? After all, following the example of his own cabinet, nobody will bother paying taxes anyway.

The Inconveinent Truth

With all the “stimulus” (read political paybacks) floating around few talk of the incredible inflation these policies will create. And yet Obama wants to add yet trillions more in “stimulus”? The only result of the pork-filled stimulus package will be …. massive inflation.

From the St. Louis Federal Reserve:

St Louis Federal Reserve Money Supply

St Louis Federal Reserve Money Supply

You can’t create trillions of dollars without causing inflation and devaluing the currency. What’s worse, the “stimulus” won’t accomplish anything positive for the economy, it’s only goal is to spend pork — most of the spending doesn’t even happen this year. So why rush it? Only so the political operatives can pay back campaign people quickly.

Thanks to Glenn Beck for finding this chart.

Why TARP, Bailout 2.0, and Stimulus is Doomed to Failure

As hope rides into Washington on a white horse, what chance does hope-n-change have for success? Consider the words from long ago:

It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulged, or undergo such incessant changes, that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess, what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action : but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed? (James Madison, The Federalist, page 350)

As Obama, Frank, Pelosi, Reid, et al, complain they had no idea the first TARP funds would be wasted, did they not take the time to read the bill they voted for? By their reactions, apparently not, as TARP was (is) a pork-fest of staggering proportions, and accomplished nothing.

As a revenue bill starting in the Senate (unconstitutional), switched to the auto companies against the language in the bill (in what way are they “financial” institutions), and then spent on pork (golf courses for UAW) — how does Obama/Frank/Pelosi dare feign indignation at it? They wrote it and voted for it. Oh well, we’re sure with the next $350 billion of taxpayer money they’ll do better.

And now Mr. Obama wants to up the ante — not just $750 billion for TARP, but trillions for “stimulus” to “save or create” 3 million jobs (note the weasel word “save” — a completely unquantifiable statistic. If the economy tanks, they’ll still claim to have “saved” 3 million jobs). Absurd.

The only stimulus coming is pork — as has been seen with TARP, Congress has no idea what they pass, and then are shocked — shocked! — when it works exactly like they wrote. As Michelle Malkin says, call it what it is, The Generational Theft Act of 2009 as Congress spends trillions on pork to be paid back in the future — how high will taxes go to pay for this pork-fest?

The economy has a hangover from the drunken spending of Congress; nothing can be done except to suffer through it. Think about it — what got the economy into this mess? Deficit spending and the forcing of (by Congress) easy credit given to people who they knew couldn’t pay. And how do our fearless leaders expect to save us from doom? Deficit spending and easy credit.

TARP was a pork-fest with no accountability — Congress wrote it that way, it worked that way. And Team RePO wants to double down with another trillion dollars (or more) of taxpayer money?

Yeah, great idea guys. Maybe this time read it before you vote for it.

Obama to Double Federal Deficit

Obama states he’ll run trillion dollar Federal deficits for years to come. To put that in perspective, President Bush is perhaps the most fiscally irresponsible spender in history — running up deficits of over $470 billion. But incoming President Obama takes fiscal responsibility to new lows — going from irresponsible to reckless in doubling the Federal deficit.

Change you can believe in? No, change will be all that is left as sooner or later massive inflation arrives reducing everything to pocket change. You can not borrow your way out of debt — a “stimulus package” is simply borrowing against future production — it must be paid sooner or later (hopefully for Mr. Obama if the bill comes after he leaves office).

There’s simply no way to continue to spend and spend and spend massive deficits without paying the piper. Our prediction: Obama’s administration will not only double the deficit, he’ll double the debt (by adding over $10 trillion in deficit spending during his administration), hoping the bill waits for his successor. But kicking the can down the road is not viable fiscal policy (for all those Bush-haters saying Obama has to “clean up the mess” left by Bush, repeat again You can not borrow your way out of debt — there’s no excuse to continue irresponsible fiscal policy which makes the situation worse).

The rapid increase of the deficit under Obama will make the ponzi scheme of Madoff look minuscule by comparison. Obama is in a bad situation — he promised massive new spending, free healthcare, social programs, welfare (disguised as refundable tax credits), and so on, but with a bad economy he can’t pay for it. But no problem, just crank up the printing presses and presto!

The debt passed to children and grandchildren is massive. Of course that’s nothing new, as politicians have been doing it forever. But the kick-the-can scale Obama proposes, and the complacent attitude of Congressional leaders (and Obama disciples) is astonishing. If President Bush was bad for massive spending (true), how can many times more deficit spending by Obama be our savior (it’s not)?

We hope Mr. Obama changes course (that would be change we could believe in), but with a liberal Democratic Congress passing massive deficit spending a liberal Democratic President wants, how can this train wreck be averted?