Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Clash of the Egos

Instapundit links to this story about the $210 million in retention bonuses that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be paying, and asks whether the recipients of the money will receive the same harassment as AIG employees faced.

I suspect they won’t. Why? Part of the reason is that Fannie and Freddie have political cover. They are, in effect, government run businesses. Their boards and management are largely composed of politicians and politically connected people. Why does that save them attacks? In part it has to do with the passions at play in the current financial crisis. John Adams noted long ago that the basic political passion is the "spectemer agendo"--the desire to be seen in action. When the market produces billionaires regularly, and those billionaires look down upon politicians, the politicians come to want their pound of flesh. Why are they in politics in the first place if not to gratify their desire to be loved? By tearing down businessmen, they are trying to block the competition.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Part of the reason is that Fannie and Freddie have political cover. They are, in effect, government run businesses.

The same is true of AIG.

By tearing down businessmen, they are trying to block the competition.

Nothing has been more obvious these last few months than that the politicians and the businessmen are working hand in glove. I wish they were at each others throats. That would distract them from picking the taxpayers pockets.

By my calculation, that amounts to 276 dollars per bonus.

Ren

So in essence, you're not against bonuses paid by those companies receiving government subsidy bailouts, so long as everyone get's "their fare share".

The problem with this bonus double-standard is not the dollars and cents, but our attitudes. AIG doles out 165M in bonuses, and the ACME Pitchfork and Torch Co. see's it's greatest sales day ever. Fannie and Freddie trump that by $35M, and it's okay because they "share the wealth".

One the positive side, $216 is much lower than the per-capita tax liability of the One's cabinet nominees...

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