The news that AIG is planning to shell out $165 Million in “bonuses” is driving both sides of the isle in to a feeding frenzy. The Prez is demanding the bonuses be stopped by any means necessary. Republicans and Democrats both are threating legal (and even bodily harm) to the AIG employees who refuse to give up the extra cash. But I just have one question – “what’s the big friggen deal?”
Take a look at the numbers – $165 Million. Yes that’s a big number, but its less than one tenth of one percent (.09%) of the overall bailout loan us taxpayers invested ($173 Billion). Given The Prez’s penchant for spending money, and Congress’ exuberence for earmarks, which total a heck of a lot more than the “meare pittance” given AIG – shouldn’t the American taxpayer be more upset with the government?
So what exactly does $1 Trillion look like? For the common person, it’s hard to visualize. But fortunately, there are computers – and they’re really good with numbers – and visualizing. So take a look at what Google SketchUp, and a site called PageTutor.com, visualized for us (after the jump)…
Here’s why the government has the lowest approval rating in history. Check this out – Congress convened a panel, called the National Commission on Surface Transportation Infrastructure, to review the current Federal Gas tax, which is currently 18.4 cents a gallon on gas, and 24.4 cents a gallon on diesel. Their findings? People are driving less. Consequently, revenue from gas sales are lower, and the result is fewer dollars to pay for road maintenance and repair. So their recommendation? Raise gas tax by 50%!
A 50 percent increase in gasoline and diesel fuel taxes is being urged by the commission to finance highway construction and repair until the government devises another way for motorists to pay for using public roads.
The National Commission on Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing, a 15-member panel created by Congress, is the second group in a year to call for increasing the current 18.4 cents a gallon federal tax on gasoline and the 24.4 cents a gallon tax on diesel. State fuel taxes vary from state to state. – [Source CNBC]
So let’s understand this a bit better. People are using less gas. Why? Because of one of two reasons – 1) CAFE standards, implemented by Congress, which is requiring higher fuel efficiency, and 2) the higher price of gas, which is much lower than it was, but still not below $1.00 a gallon, and is still a partially a result of the current tax. Both the policies encourage less gas usage, and subsequently, lower revenue. Taxing will only encourage less consumption… Am I really the only person in America that realizes this?
Looks like Chrysler is in some hot water – again. Seems the boys in the boardroom thought it would be a good idea to take some of that hard-earned bailout money, and use it to thank the American tax payer for their generous support. So they go and spend almost a quarter a million a pop on full page ads in the leading newspapers (who reads those anyway?). Does that seem like the best way to spend your money?
“Years ago there was a robber who was really polite. He said please and thank you while he was robbing people. At the end of the day, people had their money stolen. Saying thank you doesn’t make it OK. They should give the money back.”
Original story on Fox News.
Here’s something that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever:
Despite the country’s economic meltdown, Congress is about to receive an automatic $4,700 pay raise on Thursday — a 2.8 percent increase over the current $169,300 salary for most members.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get an automatic pay raise every year, do you? Shouldn’t something like this be tied to, oh, I don’t know, an approval rating or something? How come the same (mostly liberal democrats) get all up in arms about executives that get pay increases despite poor business performances, but let something like this slide?