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?
Sent to prison the White House by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, these men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground D.C. Beltway. Today, still wanted by working for the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem – If no one else can help – and if you can find them – maybe you can hire the A-Team Middle Class Task Force.
So far, the only thing Joey’s crack team of specialists have done is met in Philadelphia and spewed some platitudes about “green jobs” (what ever that is). And looking at the website, all I can make out is that “A Strong Middle Class = A Strong America”. But take a look at the website and and decide for yourself…
Is the future of the United States already sealed? You decide. Watch these two in sequence. Remember Barney “the Dinosaur” Frank is in a policy making position and the Kato institute is a non-partisan outsider group.
Here’s a bit of animation that tries to explain just how the US got into this financial mess. It’s a pretty simplistic, if not completely accurate, lesson. Some omissions include the government’s role in pushing sub-prime (aka Risky) mortgages onto the market… But overall, a nice “Economic Crisis for Dummies” lecture.
See the budget for yourself. Try not to laugh when you see the words "Fiscal Responsibility".
April: The Bush Administration’s FY02 budget declares that the size of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is "a potential problem," because "financial trouble of a large GSE (government supported enterprise) could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity."
May: President Bush calls for the disclosure and corporate governance principles contained in his 10-point plan for corporate responsibility to apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (OMB Prompt Letter to OFHEO, 5/29/02)
A link to the actual letter is attached: http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/omb/pubpress/2002-29.pdf
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?