My Petition to Geithner About the AIG Bonuses

Today I signed the MoveOn petition to stop the AIG bonuses. Here is what I said:

I am outraged that my tax money is being used to pay bonuses to irresponsible executives who were motivated by greed, and wound up destroying the economy. I am already being unfairly taxed by thousands of dollars a year because my marriage is not allowed legal recognition in this country, and now I find out that my tax dollars are paying AIG executives bonuses. While my wife and I struggle to make ends meet, and while I watch my family, friends and neighbors deal with unaffordable housing and unemployment, I am enraged to know that my tax money is being used in this way.

I encourage you all to sign, too.

8 thoughts on “My Petition to Geithner About the AIG Bonuses

  1. So…you and these people want the government to completely set aside the law in this manner? That IS what you’re demanding after all.

    Now – if they want to remove the money spent on bonuses from the remainder of the money that AIG is “entitled” to under TARP, that’s another story.


  2. Why should the tax payers be held responsible for upholding the law and paying the bonuses that AIG is “contractually obligated” to pay? They should be the ones left holding the bag, not us. How is the government breaking the law by insisting that our money not be used to pay those corrupt execs? That money should never have been used in this way. From the beginning, this has been the question that tax payers have asked: How is the TARP money going to be distributed in such a way as to help the economy?

    I don’t see how paying these bonuses is going to do that.


  3. Daniel

    jonolan, you forget that we, “these people”, are part of the government. The government is the people and we write the laws, not just corporations. As you should know from American history, the government can, and has repeatedly, changed laws because of this kind of behavior.

    Think of it this way.. you are saying there is nothing to do about the money because the government didn’t handle this situation when they passed legislation authorizing the bills. That we would somehow break the law by going back and writing new laws taking back the public funds they intentionally and maliciously misappropriated.

    But that is like saying.. we can’t arrest bank robbers unless we catch them in the act of robbing the bank. The government never will give you that chance. They will never say Whoops! we didn’t catch you when you robbed us, so there is nothing we can do about it now! That is just ridiculously poor critical thinking. It also shows a lack of knowledge in American history; especially both progressive democratic times *and* progressive republican times, which you probably never knew existed if you only read right-wing and corporate news sources, never went to college (or paid attention in history or economics if you did), or just became such a zealot that you can’t think straight. I mean that in the most friendly way possible.

    It is just that people who think like you are really hurting our nation. You need to think about this meme people have planted in your brain.

    I don’t like either party. I think they both need to go. I don’t care about what I see on the television. I care about the actual first sources I find. This leads to an undeniable position that a massive scheme has taken place to rob our national treasure blind. It is our government, as a government of the People of our nation, to do something about it. They can and should take that money back. If AIG is so well off they can pay the bonuses, then we can rest assured that taking that much money back will not hurt them, right? The same Congress that allocated our money to them can take it back. Just think about it clearly. Please.


  4. Sarah,

    It’s called “The Rule of Law.” We don’t – or aren’t supposed to – allow our politicians to abrogate the law when they find it expedient – even when the enforcement of that law is hellish, as is it in this case.

    From a more practical perspective, if the government abrogates these legal contracts it will send shock waves through American finance and industry. Companies will no longer be able to trust any contracts between themselves and any firm who received federal funds.


    You might just want to look up Ex Post Facto and Article I, section 9 of the US Constitution.

    Since what you advocate violates the Article I, section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, I’d suggest that you reconsider which of us “are really hurting our nation,” and about “about this meme people have planted in your brain.”


  5. Daniel

    This is not a contract. It was a Congressional legislation that allocated public funds to ease a specific business failure. If that corporation then uses the money in a way that suggests fraud in the initial claim of a failure, then either the company deliberately misled our government about the failure, or the company is unable to manage itself. In the former, people go to jail (for real). In the latter, the company could be federalized if they indeed are running themselves into the ground, exposing our nation to incredible risk.

    I will give you an example of what the government can do. When I was in the USAF, a company was given public funds to build a factory and tools to manufacture a specific engine indicator for an aircraft. That company took the money and manufactured the plate for a while. Then they decided it would be in their interest to not manufacture the the engine indicator. But our nation would be at risk since this particular aircraft was necessary for our general defense. The government federalized that company. If you think this doesn’t happen, then you need to wake up.

    If you think that bailout money from public coffers, allocated by a bill signed into law, cannot be taken back, then you need to read up on your history. This already happened. We are going through the same thing because baby boomers ignored the lessons from the great depression. This time, it hopefully will not be too late before we start hauling bankers into jail and managing these funds.


  6. Thanks, Daniel. I’m just not persuaded that there are no legal avenues to pursue here to get our money back.

    I’m opposed to these bonuses. Additionally, my attention is drawn to what the New York Times is calling “the back door bailout” being paid to financial institutions through AIG.

    I hope more citizens start paying attention to all of this more closely and speak out, just as they have about the bonuses.


  7. Sarah,

    That “back door bailout” is why AIG was bail-out in the 1st place. AIG was actually still financially sound except for it’s derivatives and securities unit – though capital outlays to cover their losses did bring AIG out of compliance with regulations.

    They were bail-out so that those “counterparties” – largely foreign banks, but ones who do a lot of business in the US – would fail.


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