The AIG Bonuses… A Letter to Our Leaders
Back when the TARP was being passed, I noted among other things that a) it wouldn’t work, b) it would be gamed, and c) it would just serve to further enrich the same clowns who got us into this. I further suggested the obvious solution included letting all the firms that needed to go bankrupt do just that. Now that even to those who run for and win public office are able to tell that the bail-out hasn’t been working, has been gamed, and is only serving to further enrich the same clowns who got us into this, there’s outrage, at least with respect to the AIG bonuses.
Well – the options now suck. As an American citizen (and thus a shareholder of AIG) I don’t want the money coming back from AIG (what’s this clawback $#!&?), nor do I want the company getting sued by the clowns for not paying the bonuses.
So to our elected officials: here’s what you do. AIG pays the bonsues.
But… Congress often exempts or adds taxes to particular entities. So pass a law taxing each and every one of the recipients by name.
That’s not enough, though. Because what matters is not getting back the bonus money. What matters is sending a message that the system does not tolerate the sort of gaming that brings down the economy while enriching a small number of people. So make it a flat tax. Make it equal to 200% (yes, two hundred percent) of everything any of them have made in the past seven years. A nice flat tax tax. And while you’re at it, prosecute. Use RICO. (You ain’t gonna get the taxes back from foreigners living and working abroad who were involved with this scam, but you can sure as heck can make them weary of coming to the US..)
And have the decency not to stop with AIG. The clowns who worked at Goldman and the rest of Welfare Queens that played this game need the message too. And don’t just go after the folks at the very top either – the Nuremberg defense is no defense.
If we had done this after the S&L crisis – if Neil Bush, for instance, had seen and was still seeing the inside of a jail cell – we wouldn’t be here today. If we had done it after Enron or Tyco or WorldCom we wouldn’t be here today. We don’t want to be sitting here again in seven or ten years. Its time for an example. Its time for overkill.