Monday, March 16, 2009


President Obama wants his administration to find a way to claw back those AIG bonuses ... and Rob at Say Anything is horrified at the prospect:

Welcome To Socialism: Obama Will Use Bailouts As Leverage To Dictate Executive Pay, Bonuses

Forget that these companies are in the private sector, and that the government has no more business dictating compensation than it has business dictating product prices....

... in order to deflect that anger from the people who supported giving these companies our tax dollars (Obama and our other political leaders) they focus on demonizing the companies that are misspending the money. And they deserve demonizing, but they never could have spent the money if the politicians hadn't given it to them in the first place.

Second, this is a power grab. Now that these companies that took the bailouts and "stimulus" money are on the hook, Obama and the other big government types are going to use the money as leverage to enact more government control. In this instance, to control wages.

Obama isn't saving the economy. He's expanding and consolidating the government's power over the economy.

So, um, it's good to let them get away with this? Even if there's a legal way to stop them? (I'm intrigued by the notion floated by Aaron Zelinsky at the Huffington Post -- that this could be declared "unreasonable compensation"under a provision of the tax code.) It's good because the use of government power in this one extraordinary situation is somehow going to put us on a slippery slope to overall government control of wages (even though there's no evidence of this)? Is this the "one drop" theory of socialism again?

Rob isn't the only one talking like this. There's also Russell Roberts at Cafe Hayek, warning of (gasp!) "implicit nationalization." ("Want to bet they'll find a 'legal' way to stop those bonuses?" No! Heaven forfend!) And this Freeper sees a black socialist helicopter in the sky:

I was just telling my wife that Obama's plan is working chillingly well. Give money to companies. Then "expose" the company's waste of taxpayer money. Both Conservatives and Liberals will make a fuss. They can't do this - "The taxpayers are getting screwed" (Conservatives) AND "The rich get richer" (Liberals).

So - with huge support from the public, Obama gets to dictate to the companies what salaries will be made, how much profit is okay (remember his "Now is not the time for profits" line?), etc.

Of course you can refuse the bailout. And while being in a stronger in the long run, you might start off $70 million dollars in the hole compared to your competitor taking a bailout.

So - the capitalists will be weeded out, and those willing to have their company affairs dictated by Obama will stay. Revolution meets evolution.

Please, kids -- denounce the clawback attempt at your tea parties. Pump your fist and say Ayn Rand would have taken a bullet for the AIG bonuses. Shout it out loud. I dare you.

No comments: