President Barack Obama has joined the chorus of politicians expressing outrage at the bonuses paid by insurance giant AIG ostensibly using taxpayer funded bailout money.

Various politicians from both parties have proposed levying an excise tax on the bonuses ranging from 35 to 100 percent in an attempt to make up for their own complicity with regard to the bonuses.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) added an addendum to the bailout legislation that gave an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed upon before Feb. 11, 2009.” And now he claims that he is outraged by these very same bonuses?

Who else is to blame for this mess? Try the Congressmen and Senators who in 2002 passed the Sarbanes-Oxley bill that limited the deductibility of executive pay above $1,000,000 that led to the generous bonus contracts that are now in such ill repute.

Or try Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner who said that he just learned about the bonuses a week ago, but was exposed by AIG CEO Edward Liddy who testified yesterday that Geithner actually knew a week earlier than he admitted.

Maybe we should blame Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke who Liddy said knew of the bonuses three months ago but did nothing.

Then there is Barney Frank (D-MA) who is demanding the names of everyone who received a bonus. What right does he have to this information? Is he planning on making the recipients scapegoats for something his party signed off on? That’s all we need is more government intrusion into our lives. We have seen how well that has worked in the past.

There is ample evidence that virtually everyone involved with the bailout shares the blame for the bonus scandal if that’s what we want to call it. But is it a scandal or is this an example of feigned moral outrage now that these politicians and administration officials have been exposed for approving the bonuses?

Obama said he is willing to take the blame even though he didn’t write the contracts. That’s all well and fine but he ignored the real problem which is the bailout itself. The taxpayers have had to continue to pour money into AIG and they are still losing tons of money and there is no end in sight. The bonus issue is a small part of a larger problem. But since the bailouts are a key strategy of the administration to revive select large corporations and the economy as a whole he can’t very well criticize his own strategy so he strikes a populist tone by going after employees and painting them as greedy.

Any more hope and change like this and we will be in real trouble.

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