12.21.2008

the great swindle

Having recently seen this movie, my old trope about the US turning into a third-world country is heavily on my mind.

If you haven't seen Spike Lee's "When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," see it, and soon.

And how does the other 1% live? For a taste, read Amy Goodman on the latest bailout outrage. Emphasis mine.
The $700-billion financial bailout package, TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program), was supposed to mandate the elimination of exorbitant executive compensation and "golden parachutes." As U.S. taxpayers pony up their hard-earned dollars, highflying executives and corporate boards are now considering whether to give themselves multimillion-dollar bonuses.

According to The Washington Post, the specific language in the TARP law that forbade such payouts was changed at the last minute, with a small but significant one-sentence edit made by the Bush administration.

. . . .

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said recently, "The Treasury Department's implementation of the TARP is insufficiently transparent and is not accountable to American taxpayers." Barney Frank, D-Mass., chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said earlier, "Use of these funds ... for bonuses, for severance pay, for dividends, for acquisitions of other institutions, etc. ... is a violation of the terms of the act."

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said of the loophole, "The flimsy executive-compensation restrictions in the original bill are now all but gone." Put aside for the moment that these three all voted for the legislation....

3 comments:

redsock said...

This cannot be repeated often enough:

The Federal Reserve has refused to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers.

$2,000,000,000,000!!!

If that's not a pitchfork and torch moment, I don't know what is.

L-girl said...

I think by now it's clear there are no pitchfork and torch moments in the US anymore.

And by "anymore" I mean in the last 100 years or so, minus a few years in the 1960s and 70s.

West End Bob said...

Put aside for the moment that these three all voted for the legislation....

Therein lies the problem, doesn't it, L-girl?

These professional politicians that wail later about legislation they voted for make me ill. Problem is, most of the electorate - and the MSM - never call them on it . . . .