Rush Limbaugh correctly pointed out on his show (on 10-22-09) that the statement released by the White House claims “Special Master on Executive Compensation” Kenneth Feinberg made the decision on cutting executive pay on his own, without having to run it past Obama first. This begs the question “just how much autonomous authority do these czars (never subjected to Senate scrutiny) have?”
As distressing as that question and its implications are, it is even more frightening that there is no answer forthcoming (and I wouldn’t suggest holding your breath waiting for one).
One point that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity ALL failed to make, however, was one that popped in my mind Wednesday evening while watching ABC’s Nightly News reporting on the Pay Czar/Special Master’s announcement. Namely, that this 90-95% pay cut is for the top 25 execs from 7 TARP companies. But, as far as I’ve been able to determine, it states that these cuts are to be applied to base salaries.
Quite a few of these execs are making a base salary of $1 per year. So now they’ll be getting a nickel or a dime per year in compensation? That’s less than Michael Vick was earning per hour IN PRISON! Well, of course that’s not the entire compensation package for these executives. Their main perks come in the form of stock options, retirement plans, and bonuses. Oops! Not BONUSES?! We proved back in March with AIG that we can drum up a hell of a lot of violent faux “populist” outrage with the notion of bonuses!
Here’s my prediction: wait a few months (if that long) and the Congress will start holding hearings where these execs will be grilled (or, more aptly, raked over the coals) by grandstanding Senators raising the banner of righteous indignation over these “greedy profit-mongers” and their “undeserved bonuses.
This entire deal boils down to one larger point: with executive pay limits, and the inevitable future recycled furor over bonuses, the Obama administration gets a two-fer distraction to keep your minds focused on what they want you to focus on. They are magicians of the first order and this is grade-A sleight of hand.
How many balls are in the air right now, and being juggled by this inexperienced clown of a President? Afghanistan, Health Care Reform, Cap&Trade, Card Check, Stimulus 2, Net Neutrality, Executive Pay, Financial Sector Regulatory Reform… The list goes on and on.
We cannot allow them to make us focus on just one of these. We must all be vigilant, tiring though it may be (and by design, I might add. It’s the Chicago way.), and we must all focus on all of it at once.
To reiterate, watch your balls, America. Or, as Uncle Joe Biden would say, “Gird your loins!” ;D