April 4, 2009

Bailout Backdoor on Rules

According to the Washington Post,

The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials.

Administration officials have concluded that this approach is vital for persuading firms to participate in programs funded by the $700 billion financial rescue package.

The administration believes it can sidestep the rules because, in many cases, it has decided not to provide federal aid directly to financial companies, the sources said. Instead, the government has set up special entities that act as middlemen, channeling the bailout funds to the firms and, via this two-step process, stripping away the requirement that the restrictions be imposed, according to officials.

Let's count the ways the hypocrisy exists.

(1) Transparency. Will they tout this decision with a press conference? Not likely.

(2) Equality of application of rules - AIG executives were practically forced at gunpoint to return their bonuses. Now? Well, not so much. You could argue Democrats learned from their mistakes, but there are two problems with that (1) they aren't going to give back the AIG confiscatory taxes they took because it all comes down to whatever buys them the most votes, and (2) they never learn or they'd have repudiated not only Marx by now but also Keynes.

(3) Sidestep the rules? Honesty. Accountability? Enough said.

(4) Bi-partisanship. The whole working with Republicans got lost somewhere on or before day 6 of the new administration. It's not directly relevant here (exactly how the Democrats feel about anything involving the GOP) but it's going to be a recurring theme of this Presidency - Republicans, take a walk.

(5) Blaming Bush,

At first, when the initiative was being developed last year, the Bush administration decided to apply executive-pay limits to firms participating in this program. But Obama officials reversed that decision days before it was unveiled on March 3 and lifted the curbs, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.

Oh, yeah lest we forget, this is still all President Bush's fault.

Surely there are more hypocrisies than that, but that should be enough to get everyone who reads it and still needs one, the grain of salt required to take with the Obama pontifications.


  1. You don't get it--"bi-partisanship" doesn't mean working reasonably together, it means that all those people too stupid to be Democrats bend over and let the President have his way. Because, you know, if you're not liberal it's only because you're not enlightened enough to really understand.

  2. I also love that they're using these middleman companies to clear off the direct regulation. That's what's called "money-laundering" when someone other than Congress does it.


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