Today, when we needed another fifty pounds of stupidity from Washington....we got it. This coming from our good friend....Senator for Life and Full-time Dimwit Christopher Dodd, who happens to be the awesome chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
His comment over the AIG episode? "This is another outrageous example of executives -- including those whose decisions were responsible for the problems that caused AIG's collapse -- enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers."
Chris decided to inform CNN that he’s now considering an unusual approach for forcing a fix onto the whole bonus problem with AIG.....TAX the money back into federal hands. "One idea we're kind of thinking about is a tax provision," Chris spoke. "We have a right to tax. You could write a tax provision that's narrowly crafted only to the people receiving bonuses. That's a way maybe to deal with it."
I sat there for a while...looking over all these comments...from Chris, the White House, the Today Show....and after a while...I came to realize that this is mostly 'scripted'. Yes, its like a "Lost" episode....with the players saying the right things at the right time.
First, consider this...the AIG deal for bonuses, was written into the contract twelve months ago. We know this today. Its absolute fact. AIG management knew this, and the dimwit congressmen who did the big "we-want-to-save-you" bailout knew this.
We also know today that ole Chris Dodd actually wrote mighty fine paragraph into the AIG bailout paragraph...giving an exception for the $180 million bonus.
Heres the thing...the guys who would get the bonus...were known a year ago. The amount....known a year ago. The distribution plan...known a year ago. In this case, Chris or one of his staff members knew of this entire deal.
So the script?
The AIG organization is stuck...they already signed the contract and must pay the money. The treasury guys and congress team doing the AIG deal...knew precisely this. So an arrangement was made. Chris wrote his exception into the rules....and the guys involved...thought they were safe. So weeks have passed and here we are. So we move into phase two.
Here, everyone has a scripted response when learning that the bonus is about to be paid out. Neatly and tidily, Chris is now ready to write a new tax code....designed strictly for the $180-million guys. They can collect the money...but he'll just arrange for the tax to handle recovery of it. So the company stays clean and tidy with the contract....and the boys are totally screwed by the US government...nice and legal.
Along the way...everyone appears correct and happy to take the bonus away...making their rounds on the Today Show and MSNBC. Heck, at this point, Chris looks dopey but he's been accused of being dopey for two decades...so whats new?
Pretty neat...a tidy script...a bunch of idiots in the senate and house....and then some rich executives who made too much money. You couldn't ask for a better script unless some orphan girl appeared out of thin air, or some dwarf became president.