Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We're From the Government, and We're Here To Rip You Off

So this AIG shit has me bemused. The government blew a wad of cash into AIG's mouth and now they're pretending to be outraged that AIG decided to spit instead of swallow?

Who cares? There were no rules as to how the money was supposed to be used, it's not really that much overall anyway, and if it was worth $150,000,000,000 to keep AIG unbankrupt then surely it's worth $150,000,000 to keep its key people paid? So I really don't have much respect for the people or the pols who are expressing real or fake outrage.

But just to show that there is no limit to how tyrannical at heart real lefties are, along come some nice people to "explain it to us":

Hat Tip Little Green Footballs.

"Recipients of these bonuses will not be able to keep all of their money," declared Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in an unusually strong threat delivered on the Senate floor.

"If you don't return it on your own, we will do it for you," said Chuck Schumer of New York.

So, get paid money owed to you via legal contract? The Democrats will simply single you out and take it from you.

Govern a state and decide that you don't want to take a shot in the mouth of government cash? Ignore state law and simply bypass the governor.

Show the Democratic presidential candidate up for the socialist he is in public? You will be hunted and attacked by professional media outlets.

Disagree publically with the President's policies? You will be insulted and mocked by name from the podium of the White House Press Secretary.

I wonder, I really wonder, what is going on in the minds of the people who truly hate and fear and loathe President George W. Bush and who now hear the words and witness the actions of a truly thuggish and oppressive government. Do they feel emarrassment? Shame? Outrage? Fear? Or do they not care?

These people have stated clearly and without embarrassment that anything they feel they want to take from you, they will take. They will unashamedly pass laws to take it from you specifically. If you disagree with them or question them you will be mocked or insulted.

I sometimes regret that I never made the time to visit Soviet Russia. The last couple of months make me feel, just a little, like I needn't have bothered.


cnick said...

First let me say that I think the AIG bailout and the whole bailout philosophy in general is a major problem and I don't like it.

However, three points:

1. Without the bailout, AIG wouldn't exist any more and there would be no bonuses to be paid, contract or no. Its not like the government intervened spontaneously in some random company's affairs and started rearranging contracts. They effectively bought the assets of a failed company. I see no problem with nullifying contracts in that case (though I think they should have just let AIG and the banks who depend on AIG to fail and not bailed any of the fuckers out).

2. The media game between the white house and certain political pundits is just that - a game to manage the media. Rush Limbaugh and others like him are not just ordinary private citizens, they are public figures who apparently represent the voice of the Republican party more effectively than the party itself can (see e.g. Steele). The white house isn't insulting or mocking ordinary private citizens.

3.The comparison to Soviet Russia is absurd, and making statements like that takes away from the credibility of the rest of your argument.

Atom Smasher said...

1) If they want to act like bankruptcy judges then they should have let AIG go bankrupt. We have laws and rules and they should be followed. Or if you're going to bend the rules then take everyone into a back room or a public hearing and just lay it on the line and do it. The histrionics are the same as the Schiavo crap a few years ago.

2) I couldn't disagree with your three sentences more. A comments string isn't going to be sufficient. :)

3) I agree a line for line serious comparison is absurd, but as hyperbole for effect it's quite adequate. We have an Executive branch actually doing what people cried about what they pretended the Bush folks were doing for years - consolidating power in the Executive, hounding businesses and individuals they do not like, and so on. To a first approximation and again, for effect, it's accurate.

cnick said...

Well, it looks like what the house wants to do is tax ALL bonuses from all firms receiving bailout money over $5bill. Not just AIG. So they aren't targeting companies or people by name. That is certainly more reasonable, but again I think the best approach is to let them all fail. Fuck 'em if they can't take it.

Regarding #2, I expected you'd disagree. I was just answering your question wondering "what's going on the minds of people." Now you have at least one answer: basically, we don't see it the same way you do :)

When Biden tries to claim that the vice president is part of the senate and not the executive branch, maybe then I'll buy Soviet thing.

Atom Smasher said...

But the bill is clearly aimed at the AIG folks. Still smells and it's still a sympton of the congresscritters thinking they can get a woman half pregnant. But overall I think we probably feel mainly the same way about it.

Post a Comment