Pull Your Head Out, Mr. President
Obama: Executives Won't Be Rewarded for Failure
Mr. President. Dude. I understand you work in a world where soundbites are more important than reality, but this soundbite doesn't "pass mustard" (as I once saw it written) at all.
First off, you're not talking about reeling in the egregious pay packages at banks you've already bailed out. So stop the pretending. This deal is for banks on double secret probation, or the ones who come begging for something extraordinary, beyond the giant handouts you've already given them, no strings attached.
You're talking tough after the bullies have already pounded you into the dirt, dude.
Second, it's not such tough talk after all. "Furthermore, the new limits would be voluntary for most recipients of fresh government aid."
Voluntary? Wow. You're really sticking it to them there, Mr. Obama.
Finally, this late-coming, get-tough act fails to acknowledge the reality that these guys already got paid a ton for the massive failure they made. They pocketed billions and billions when times were good. The theft (and that's what it is to me) is already booked. That money's gone, they blew up their businesses, and you've rescued them from those terrible decisions.
Believe me, no one on Main Street is going to believe you're tough if you explain how things really go: "You know that guy who made $80 million running his bank into the ground last year? Well, we're getting tough with him. This year, while we pour millions more into the bottomless rathole he created, Mr. CEO's only going to get half a million dollars -- that is, if the company joins our voluntary pay cut program."
"You hear me? Only half a million dollars on top of the tens of millions they've already pocketed. That'll teach 'em!"
Doesn't that make all you laid-off citizens feel better? Do we not get justice with our new Chicago tough guy act?
I'm not sure what can be done to rectify this historical wrong, but I know that this bit of posturing is as toothless as Tom Daschle's tax inspector.