The talk of the town today in Washington, DC is the AIG bonus payments. Yikes! $165 million of our tax dollars to reward guys who ran a company into the ground! Talk about being paid for results. I thought it was just good results that earned one a check!
The rationale sounded pretty lame to me. Retention bonuses? A contractual obligation to the people who got them?
I do't think so.
78 employees (11 of whom no longer work there) got "retention bonuses" of over a million dollars. So some of the people who received the payments already left the failing giant, and the others probably should be shown the door.
There is something to be said for companies and individual living up to contracts. And we have a whole legal system to help hold up the contracts we sign, whether for employment or for buying a house. But this situation is different.
Should we be paying AIG's contractual obligations to a group of people who helped design the country's financial crisis?
And what about the auto workers in Detroit? Don't they have contracts with the auto manufacturers that are being tossed aside and renegotiated? And unlike the AIG guys, the auto workers are not earning millions a year each for making mischief!
Now our elected representatives on Capitol Hill are pretty pissed, and they are coming up with some pretty brilliant plans for recouping the money. They are probably going to pass an amendment to the IRS code that will tax the bonuses at 98%.
Um, they are assuming the Wall Street whizzes are not going to give the money back voluntarily.