Thursday, March 19, 2009

House of Hypocrisy, Part 3

The blog Facing South ( has spotted yet another example of rank hypocrisy on the part of Congressional Republicans.

Facing South links to a Human Events post:, which says:

Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and David Vitter (R-La.) will later this morning send a letter to Senate Banking Committee leaders demanding that they subpoena all records of bailed-out insurance giant AIG to find out how AIG executive bonuses were given unique and privileged treatment in the Obama stimulus bill. . . . . [the letter is] aimed at the Banking Committee Chairman, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) who authored the provision under which the AIG bonuses were exempted from the “stimulus” bill’s limits on executive compensation.

The New York Times reports that:

Republicans have seized on possible shortcomings in bills passed to combat the crisis, noting that the Democrats control Congress . . . . Some Republicans have also been offering reminders that not one of them in the House voted for President Obama’s stimulus program.

But wait! As Facing South points out (via link to the Huffington Post), here's what the Republicans said just last month, in opposing any limits on executive compensation:

President Obama has proposed capping compensation for executives at banks that take taxpayer bailout money at $500,000. Republicans hate the idea -- a position that puts them uncomfortably on the side of people currently about as popular as child-porn producers and subprime mortgage brokers.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) blamed the "tone deaf" bankers for creating the political environment that allows Obama to call for a cap.

"Because of their excesses, very bad things begin to happen, like the United States government telling a company what it can pay its employees. That's not a good thing in America," Kyl told the Huffington Post.

"What executives have done is troubling, but it's equally troubling to have government telling shareholders how much they can pay the executives," said Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL).

* * * *

The GOP is also concerned that setting compensation limits could put the country on the road to serfdom. "This is just a symptom of what happens when the government intervenes and we start controlling all aspects of the economy. This is just the first piece," said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). "If you accept the fact that the government should be setting pay scales in America, then it's hard not to go after these exorbitant salaries. But I think it's a sad day in America when the government starts setting pay, no matter how outlandish they are."

So, I suppose Senator DeMint was against limiting executive bonuses, before he was for them? Hmmmmm . . .

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