The federal government decided to include billions of dollars in earmarks in the recently approved omnibus budget. The federal government decided to give AIG billions of dollars without a sincere effort to regulate executive compensation.
The price of the earmarks dwarfs the value of AIG's bonuses, but the Obama administration told critics of earmarks that the budget was "last year's" business. The banking bailout -- or TARP -- was actually enacted last year, unlike the omnibus budget. As you witness the federal government condemn AIG, consider the source of the outrage.
Prior to his inauguration, President Obama met with Democrats in Congress and threatened to veto any bills that placed tougher restrictions upon the usage of TARP funds. Some Democrats, seeking greater oversight surrounding the distribution and use of TARP assistance, proposed measures that would govern the second distribution of $350 billion in federal funds for the program. Now, the White House worries that voter disenchantment with banks and bailouts will kill public support for the President's other initiatives.
Recently, a Treasury Department official testified before Congress and urged lawmakers not to "micromanage" banks. But now, the Treasury Department is outraged over AIG's bonus structure. Dictating executive compensation probably qualifies as "micromanagement."
Is the federal government's sudden outrage sincere or false?
Update: Obama is trying to negate the bonuses, paid with last year's budget.