Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Intimidation Is Not Justice

When I was a youngster, there were two things I was forbidden to discuss with my friends. My mother's age and my dad's salary. They were no one's business. Nor were they mine for I knew neither.

When I learned New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo threatened to make the names of the AIG bonus recipients public it was one more step too far. His rationale was that the public had a right to know where their tax dollars went. They already do. They went to bonuses. It need go no further. The recipients had no part in determining the bonuses.

He finally thought better of it. Considering the recipients had been instructed to call 911 should they feel at all threatened, to watch out for anyone who might seem suspicious around their place of business or home and to wear nothing that would indicate that they were an employee. Of course there was also the e-mailed suggestion that these recipients "should be executed with piano wire around their necks."

It seems this whole fiasco is surrounded by people who are trying to further their careers, like Mr. Cuomo, or save their careers like Geitner and Bernanke, Dodd and Frank.

This administration and those entwined with it are beginning to bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the Bush administration's governing by fear. Bush relieved us of too many of our rights in the name of "security". The Obama administration is using the economic melt down to grab power.

Yes, we are suffering the consequences of bad management and greed but fear mongering to the point of turning us into frothing mobs of hatred is no way to solve the problem.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself" no longer rings true. We well should fear those who instill it.


Rinkly Rimes said...

I had no idea that 'calling 911' should be a possibility although I can understand the Bonus Scandal upsetting everyone. Do the recipients really fear for their lives?

Margie's Musings said...

The fiscal situation was a mess when president Obama came into office. President Bush promoted no fiscal responsibility at all. All regulation was eliminated so that the rich got richer and the poor got even poorer. Restrictions that had been in place since the Roosevelt administration, were eleimated so that monopolies
That president gave massive tax cuts to the very richest people in the country. That segment of the country pays a good deal of the country's budget.

During the war, George Bush insisted on continuing his tax cuts. He borrowed the money to fight the war from China, the only country with sizable savings. We also borrowed as much as they could spare from our allies. We also borrowed from Saudi Arabia.

"Pay as you go" or paygo was sacrificed by the Bush administration. They did that to pay for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan, for which there was no money to pay. This plan will cost 60 billion dollars just this year. The Bush administration was the biggest spender since World War II.

Barack Obama came into office with a ten trillion dollar Bush made deficit. George Bush came into office with sizable surpluses and surpluses that were due to be sustained for decades to come, thanks to the Clinton administration. After the massive tax cuts on the richest 1% though, the budget surpluses were gone very soon. Taxes on the very rich make perfect sense. They never even miss the money and their taxes pay a sizable part of the budget. Unfortunately, when the very rich get tax cuts, they do not create jobs. Instead they save money in offshore banks, buy expensive toys like private jets and private luxury ships and multiple homes.

Ronald Reagan gave huge tax cuts too but then he discovered they were not sustainable.And then he enacted the largest tax raises in history.

So, the way I see it is that most of the top economists say there is really nothing else president Obama can do except what he is doing. To do nothing at all is not an option and the Republicans have no optional plan. They just want to complain. Let's face it..their objections are all politics.

Dogwalkmusings said...

Rinkly, All the rhetoric about how we're doomed if we don't accept Obama's plans along with the bonus flap which hasn't been spelled out in a way those of us not in those income brackets can understand has raised emotions to a fevered pitch. The threats have been made. There are enough nut cases "out there" that makes it prudent for those involved to take precautions.

Word Tosser said...

As much as I hate the big bonus, I have two thoughts..
first that we DO NOT need to know who the people are that get the bonus... This is a big confidential breach....
and second thought, they should NOT be taxed 90 to 100% on those bonus. That is just grandstanding, and the Senate will sit on it and kill it as it should be.
I am on the lowest of low income bracket... but even I think it would be injustice to tax that much.
I would be curious to know how many people get the bonus.. is it 20 or 50 or is it in fact maybe even 300 people, which make the bonuses less than 500,0000... or even 3000 people making it even less.