Answer to AIG Bonuses: Just Say No!

I attended Monday’s White House briefing with press secretary Robert Gibbs. As expected, most of the questions were about those obscene $165 million bonuses AIG just paid its top executives, using our bailout tax dollars.

Just about everyone in Congress and the White House, starting with President Obama, has expressed outrage over the bonus. But what are they going to do about it?

In fact, I was frustrated as hell at the briefing. Why, I kept asking myself, are reporters’ questions so complicated? And why are Gibbs’s answers so complicated?

This is not rocket science. This shouldn’t be hard to figure out. We don’t need another study. We don’t need another legal analysis. We don’t need legislation. We just need some bold leadership.

To me, the answer is simple. After all the money we’ve pumped into AIG, we taxpayers now own 80 percent of the company. So who’s in charge? We are. Or should be.

So let’s start acting like the new owners of the company, which we are. No. 1: Fire CEO Edward Liddy for paying those outrageous bonuses. No. 2: Either don’t send the checks, or stop payment on them, if they’re already in the mail. And then, No. 3: Dare the bastards to sue.

Who cares if these deals were agreed to while George Bush was still in the White House? It’s a new day. There’s a new team in the White House, and AIG has a new owner. All bets are off.

Auto manufacturers didn’t hesitate to cancel deals previously made with auto workers. Nor did airlines hesitate to wipe out deals previously made with pilots.

AIG executives, especially, deserve no special treatment. Just say no to $165 million in bonuses!




Visit Mr. Press's website at billpressshow.com.

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