Thursday, February 05, 2009

Governing By "Photo Op"

Hub, being a Republican at heart, is not enthralled with the daily Obama photo op nor the media's obsession with him. Like myself, he recognizes the flaws in sound bites. The current one that has us both concerned is the capping of executive salaries at $500,000 if their company receives bailout money. If one understands the way the business community works, a cap this severe may make we ordinary folks feel good but does little else that's constructive.

I'll agree that multi million dollar bonuses should be curbed along with retirement packages that are worth more than most of us will see in a lifetime. However, we should also consider what will be lost.

The President's salary is $400,000 per year. Everything else, with the exception of clothing and tooth paste is paid for by the taxpayers. For instance, using Air Force One costs somewhere in the vicinity of $27,000 per hour. That alone would kick his salary in to the million dollar range in very short order.

I agree with the premise that executives should not be rewarded for failing. I also feel actors are over paid at $15,000,000 per film and athletes making millions of dollars for playing their games. We should perhaps be looking at their tax returns too!

As for executives of companies receiving bailout money, they might not be guilty of failing as much as being the result of others failing. Should they be so penalized?

Then too, back to the question of what else will be lost. Assuming there are good guys caught up in this and they pay their taxes, they are used to living on multi million dollar salaries. With that comes the probability of multiple households and all the help and upkeep that is needed to maintain them. Nannies, cooks, housekeepers, grounds keepers, etc. Those are people being employed by those millions of dollars. Do we want them added to the already burdened unemployment rolls?

Consider the homes themselves. Do we want the keys to them thrown back at the banks who already have more than they can handle?

There's a lot of trickle down here and a whole lot of big brotherism that needs to be fleshed out to make sense. Consider that former Treasury Secretary Paulson forced banks that did not want bailout money to take it anyway. There is a flurry of activity afoot for companies to find funding partners so they can give the bailout money back. Those partners will no doubt be foreign entities.

It isn't as cut and dried as the rhetoric makes it sound. The administration has already backed off the "buy American" mantra due to threatened repercussions from other countries.

Soaring rhetoric and indignation sounds wonderful but it needs substance behind it. So far the substance, let alone how to enforce the pronouncements, has been lacking.

As with his cabinet appointees, Obama might be wise and cut out the photo op of the day and give himself time to think things through. The constant reminder that "I won" won't get him far if we the people continue to lose.


Anonymous said...

With a tip of my hat to Gertrude Stein...a politician is a politician, is a politician. Only the faces change, the self serving business continues as usual. So much for "change". The voice of the vox populi is still not heard in the land. CU

Word Tosser said...

While I understand this makes sense business wise, it doesn't seem logical... so how about the trickle if they lose their jobs and then can't afford the homes, those employee's that they seem not to pay taxes on. So if giving up part of their salaries, to tighten up their belts, it means they still get the big money, just not so much of it. That seems better than no money and no job... And I understand that bonus were because the companies did so well and profits are up... so how can bonus still be paid when the business is dumping? And I believe the deal is like the old Navy deal of don't make waves... except this time it goes up instead of down. Meaning if the company fails on the CEO'S watch, then he goes down with the ship...he/she is not blameless because of those below who sank the ship.
If they reap the glory for the company going well, they get the blame when it doesn't. It happen on their watch. At least that is what seem logical from this end.
But I am not business trained.

Linda said...

I agree, we need to know more. I'm totally confused by the whole economic thing. I doubt I could understand it if I spent a life time trying.

The one thing I do not want to become the norm, is the Republican system that measures the worth of human beings by how much money they have.

Rinkly Rimes said...

It's an old but true saying'If you pay peanuts you get monkeys'.