The nation is outraged that insurance giant AIG, 80 percent owned by taxpayers, paid out $165 million in bonuses to executives while drawing down $173 billion in public money.
The public’s outrage is a signal to President Barack Obama and to Congress that they, too, should be outraged. And they are. House Democrats directed three committees to come up with legislation to recover bonus money paid to beggar-companies. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) thought suicide would be an honorable way to show remorse and accept responsibility, though he backed off that suggestion on Tuesday.
Among the thundering herd of the outraged is the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). Yet, Dodd himself may have played a large role in preventing any recovery of the bonus money. Fox News reports that Dodd amended the $787 billion stimulus bill to include language that restricted executive compensation, but the final bill contained an “exception for contractually