Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
(Washington, DC) U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-06) March 19, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representative voted a super-tax on AIG bonuses:
"I share the public's distaste for these outrageous bonuses. The very executives who were responsible for AIG's financial downfall and who have retained their jobs by the grace of the American taxpayer should show a little humility and a lot of respect and reject this extravagance.
"But what has been lost in all this D.C. outrage is the stark reality that this debacle is what should be expected when government moves into the Board Room. Congress passed the misguided $700-billion bailout in October; Congress approved the second tranche of $350 billion for the bailout in January; and Speaker Pelosi and President Obama pushed through a "stimulus" package that specifically permitted these AIG bonuses on the taxpayer dime. When Congress and the Administration took these actions they set in motion this necessity that they feign outrage over misuse of hard-working taxpayers' money.
"These bonuses were public record as far back as May 2008-long before Congress started to send over $170 billion to bail out AIG. And, in November, the Federal Reserve was directly involved in an AIG working group set up to discuss these very multi-million-dollar retention bonuses. On Sunday, the Obama Administration said they couldn't abrogate the AIG bonus contracts. As soon as the public ire arose, the Administration was singing a tune of outrage and vowing to get the bonuses back. But, the Administration won't own up to the fact that they specifically inserted language into their must-pass, crisis "stimulus" bill to permit the AIG bonuses to be paid.
"The American taxpayers deserve to know the truth about what the Administration knew and when they knew it. And Congressional Democrats need to explain why they blocked efforts to stop executive bonuses in their "stimulus."
"This is just another example of how these programs lack adequate transparency and accountability. Congress must engage the same determination they used this week to enact an exit strategy for the American people from bailout-band-aid mania. The American people deserve our outrage about more than just these $165 million."