It seems the GOP are making a ruckus in response to President Obama’s proposed compensation cap of $500,000 for executives at banks that take taxpayer bailout money. GOP members claim this is “unAmerican”. Senate Minority Leader Jon Kyl (R-AZ) commented:
“Because of their excesses, very bad things begin to happen, like the United States government telling a company what it can pay its employees. That’s not a good thing in America.”
Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) added:
“What executives have done is troubling, but it’s equally troubling to have government telling shareholders how much they can pay the executives.”
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) huffed and puffed as well:
“[I am] one of the chief defenders of Obama on the Republican side,” but “as I was listening to him make those statements [about executive pay], I thought, is this still America? Do we really tell people how to run [a business], and who to pay and how much to pay?”
Well, let’s be clear here. President Obama is talking about placing salary restrictions on those individuals who are taking government bailout money that they need due to their own extreme excesses. These people and their businesses are responsible for tanking the global economy. We’re not talking about putting salary restrictions on businesses that don’t need or want the bailout money. Since when does the government hand out money WITHOUT restrictions? Welfare recipients?
Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post writes:
“We demand that welfare recipients do an honest day’s work for their checks. And now, since President Obama laid down the law Wednesday, we demand that the guys who ran our banking system into the ground abide by our pay scales in return for our bailing them out.”
The government requires welfare recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to undergo regular drug testing, spend time doing government approved activities and show near-constant documentation of continuing compliance.
“After all, what’s the moral distinction between welfare recipients and the wizards of Wall Street, other than that the welfare recipients aren’t the ones responsible for tanking the global economy?”
However, Republican Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is one GOP member who agrees:
“I think it does apply to that. People are livid about these big bonuses and if the groups want to take government money it seems they should be able to have some limits on these bonuses.”
“If they don’t need it, don’t want it, fine. Don’t take it.”
Republican Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who didn’t like the idea at first, finally came around after hearing more details of the Obama’s proposal:
“You know what? I think I’m for that. I don’t disagree with what he’s doing.”