Thursday, February 5, 2009

How To Feel Good About the TARP

Many people are queestioning Barack Obama's sincerity in putting a $500,000 limit on executive pay for companies receiving "extraordinary assistance" from the Taxpayers. The New York Post, for example, ventured that the timing of the message was designed to re-focus the media away from the Tom Daschle debacle. Whatever the motivation, you could say that a bit of bully pulpit sermonizing wouldn't hurt. It plays to the worst part of us, our petty resentments. If I haven't been clever enough to ever make over $75,000 a year, then why should anyone else, especially now that the national economy is slouching toward zero. So now that all of us low earners have nourished ourselves on the pablum of empty slogans, let's list a few of the problems associated with the Obama dictum:

* Lots of banks and institutions are exempt and have already been paid out, so they're already laughing at the windfall afforded them.

* Top executives will be looking for jobs as execs in foreign companies with subsidiaries in the U.S.

* Enforcement is impossible for a government that found it so difficult to monitor reckless, government sponsored institutions like Fanny and Freddie.

* Clever CFO's get to become CFO's by having the expertise to outwit the lead-footed spawn of administration public relations hacks newly lured away from the mass media.

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