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
Republican, Representing Missouri’s 11th District
Rep. Chip Daniels
Democrat, Representing Maryland’s 9th District
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?
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.
Daniels: I’m a little fearful that I used up all my outrage on the Ponzi scheme guy.
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?
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.”
Daniels: Can someone get in touch with that Lynndie England girl? She’ll know what to do.
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?
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.
Daniels: I’ve always been taught that the more anger there is over a given issue, the less the Constitution matters.
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?
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.
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.
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.