OK, so Congress causes a problem … the financial mess our country is in … and, while ignoring or denying their involvement, assert that THEY are the only ones who can “solve” the problem. While I have very little confidence that they can (or should) do that, it doesn’t change the fact that Congress decided to “bail out” a number of companies by either loaning or guaranteeing the obligations of a number of troubled private companies.
True to typical political meddling, they didn’t think through their bailout plan and got caught providing public backing to companies that then paid some very large bonuses. The AIG uproar could have easily been prevented but Congress was too busy to either think through all the details of their deal… or did it too hastily, not providing all members of Congress to review the bill and “catch” the flaws.
Then, it blows up in their faces. The public is outraged to be providing support for a company and then learning that millions of dollars are being paid out in executive bonuses. It turns out that Christopher Dodd actually even HELPED let this happen… and, interestingly enough, he received a lot of support from AIG. Of course, THAT’s how things work these days in Washington. But I don’t really want to get into the argument about whether AIG (or those executives) did anything wrong… that’s a separate discussion.
Instead, let’s examine the “rest of the story”… or another aspect of it that demonstrates how Washington “manages” things.
With government “taking control” of many businesses these days… indeed, even entire industries… we should be concerned about HOW government will do the job. Or if they can, at all. Will government really have OUR interests at heart… or will it become just another opportunity to grab power OVER us? Here is a perfect example:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government sponsored entities supposedly managed by Congress… which were at the heart of the financial crisis by both encouraging sub-prime loans and providing government guarantees that then allowed those loads to be bundled and sold as mortgage-backed securities… will pay out $210 million dollars in bonuses to THEIR executives and employees, including $4.4 million to its top four executives! THESE organizations LOST over $100 million dollars last year, were grossly mismanaged and absolutely assisted in the current financial mess, are STILL paying bonuses!
THAT’s how Congress manages things. They jump all over PRIVATE companies, passing taxes targeting specific people, chastising management in the media, even forcing the CEO of GM to resign and CONGRESS CONTINUES to allow entities DIRECTLY under their control to continue with the very same kind of “bad behavior” they publicly decry. Elected representatives, such as Barney Frank, CONTINUE to support these organizations and you don’t hear a peep about taking any responsibility for their actions.
Yes, this is the way Congress “handles” things… and the deeper they extend their reach into the private sector, the MORE we will see this kind of two-faced activity.
You have to wonder what other things Congress will allow as they grab for more power. Here are two companies that Congress, itself, is responsible for managing. However, these organizations ALSO made campaign contributions to some members of Congress. Doesn’t that seem a bit too cozy? And then Congress allows it do the same thing it doesn’t want to allow private companies to do.
As they say: stay tuned. I am sure we WILL be seeing more of this hypocritical “management” by Congress… they just can’t seem to help it. We need to clean house and VOTE THEM OUT! They are no longer working FOR us, they are USING US!