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March 23, 2009
The Real Headlines While You Were Watching the AIG Bonus
While you were watching
the AIG Bonuses Melodrama, you missed some more important headlines that
should have been aired in the media. We were all victims of
congressional theatrics and media frenzy at its best.
The melodrama has
produced a “Bully Bill” passed by the House, and under consideration in
the Senate, to place a surtax of 90 percent on those evil undeserved
The Bully Bill is just
another example of how Congress can use the insanely complicated and
unfair tax code to reward or punish people they like or dislike.
Sen. Chuck “The Bully”
Schumer (D-NY) set the tone when he said, “Let the recipients of these
large and unseemly bonuses be warned: If you don’t return it on your own
we’ll do it for you.”
Sen. Charles Grassley
(R-IA) went for the throat and said, “Come before the American people
and take that deep bow and say ‘I’m sorry’ and then do one of two things
– resign or go commit suicide.”
Folks, I hope I do not
have to explain to you that this was not about the less than 0.1 percent
of the bailout money to AIG used for contractual obligations. This was
and is all about deflecting the blame from Congress and the
administration for allowing this to happen.
My North Star Writers
Group colleague Candace Talmadge described the blame game beautifully in
her recent article,
AIG Bonuses: Feigned Outrage Fools No One, as well as the missed
opportunity to prevent this sideshow from happening.
Remember what President
Obama and Nancy Pelosi said: “We won, so we wrote the bill”. Yes you
did, and some of us don’t just look the other way.
While the media had
people preoccupied with Octo-mom and the bonuses melodrama, Congress
introduced the deceptive
Card Check legislation (a.k.a. the Employee Free Choice Act) in both
the House and the Senate on March 10, 2009.
A small article buried
inside Section A of the Wall Street Journal on March 20, 2009
should have been a big story (“Democrats Angle for Health-Care Edge” by
Weisman and McKinnon). It reported that the Democratic leaders in
Congress were likely to use a parliamentary procedure to win passage
this year of a national health insurance program. They would change the
60-vote requirement to end a filibuster in the Senate to a simple
majority of 51 votes.
The big story should
have been called “Bi-partisanship takes another body blow!”
Just last Saturday, on
March 21, 2009, when a lot of people had taken a day off from reading
the news headlines, there was an astonishing story written by Andrew
Taylor of the Associated Press:
Audit Finds Dire Deficits in Obama Budget.
There were at least 10
big stories in that article. Here are three excerpts that should have
1)“President Barack Obama’s budget would produce more than four times the
deficits of Republican George W. Bush’s presidency”
2) “The new Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) audit predicted a
deficit $2.3 trillion worse than last month.”
3) “White House budget chief Peter Orszag acknowledged that if the
CBO projections prove accurate, Obama’s budget would produce deficits
that could not be sustained.”
The other seven
headlines embedded in the story are equally astonishing. Or maybe it’s
Candace opened her
article with the question “How stupid do they think we are?” The
unfortunate answer is that they think we are real stupid.
Fortunately, some of us
are not so stupid, and some of us are not watching the side shows.
© 2009 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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