Ask Congress: The AIG Bonuses

The National Protrusion is proud to debut Ask Congress, a series where members of the United States Congress answer questions on a given topic.

Today’s topic: The disclosure that several executives at AIG received large bonuses, in some cases in the millions of dollars, at the same time the company has received billions of dollars in bailout funds, paid for with Americans’ tax dollars.

Participating in today’s discussion are three members of the U.S. House of Representatives, each of whom was asked the same four questions. The representatives are:

Rep. Candace Craig

Rep. Candace Craig

Republican, Representing Missouri’s 11th District

Rep. Chip Daniels

Rep. Chip Daniels

Democrat, Representing Maryland’s 9th District

Rep. Raymond T. Birch

Rep. Raymond T. Birch

Republican, Representing Florida’s 26th District

Q: What was your reaction when you learned that these bonuses had been paid out to executives at AIG?

Rep. Candace Craig

Craig: Outrage. Absolute outrage. But being outraged isn’t enough. You have to say it. You have to say it over and over again in front of television cameras.

Rep. Chip Daniels

Daniels: I’m a little fearful that I used up all my outrage on the Ponzi scheme guy.

Rep. Raymond T. Birch

Birch: The real sickness of this system goes much further than a few bonus payments to a few executives. Ah, if only everyone would read Ayn Rand as closely as she deserves to be read.

Q: In your opinion, what is an appropriate punishment for the executives who received the bonuses?

Rep. Candace Craig

Craig: I don’t know. Maybe they should be hung upside down? By their toes or something? I’m not really good at “make up a punishment.”

Rep. Chip Daniels

Daniels: Can someone get in touch with that Lynndie England girl? She’ll know what to do.

Rep. Raymond T. Birch

Birch: I’m not sure, but I bet Ayn Rand would’ve come up with something great.

Q: What about the bill approved by the House Thursday, which says that the bonus payments will be taxed at a 90% rate? Do you think that’s fair and constitutional?

Rep. Candace Craig

Craig: I think it’s absolutely fair. But I think we should go further and tax this money at 150%. What? That’s the same as them paying a fine? Well, excuuuuse me, Mr. Big Accountant Man. We’re not all Ben Bernanke.

Rep. Chip Daniels

Daniels: I’ve always been taught that the more anger there is over a given issue, the less the Constitution matters.

Rep. Raymond T. Birch

Birch: Taxes? Did you say taxes? Oh, I’m sorry. I thought we were talking about things that I recognize the existence of.

Q: How do we stop this from happening in the future?

Rep. Candace Craig

Craig: I would say, “We can’t afford to have companies that are too big to fail,” but I have no idea what that means.

Rep. Chip Daniels

Daniels: We elect someone who respects the rule of law. Who respects common decency. Who understands the value of a dollar and represents Maryland’s 9th District in the United States Congress.

Rep. Raymond T. Birch

Birch: We punish those who abuse the system. That’s how a free market works. Not that we have a real free market. What we have is a…You know what? Here’s a copy of “We the Living.” Read that, my friend, and you won’t have any more questions. Only answers.

March 21st, 2009 by