Letter: Obama, Pelosi and the AIG charade

When you're playing in a game, the object is to keep your eye on the ball. Taking your eye off the ball, even for in instant, may be the difference between winning and losing. The opposition will use tactics designed to divert your attention from the game, thus giving them the advantage, and the win.

Take the recent turmoil about the $120 million in executive bonuses given out to AIG executives. To you and me, this sounds like a lot of money, and it is for those of us who have to work for a living. However, when you realize that the bonus money adds up to less than .1 percent of the total taxpayer bailout AIG has received so far, it's really just chump change. The Final Stimulus Bill, signed by President Obama into law, reads: "SEC. 111 EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: "(iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009 ..."

Now we get grandstanding from Obama, the press and the same people who signed this legislation into law about how shocked, surprised and appalled they are and that it is not right or fair that these bonuses are to be paid? Congress is now passing legislation so that the bonuses are taxed at 90 percent.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, "We want our money back and we want our money back now for the taxpayers." Why did she vote for it in the first place? This charade is intended to give the appearance that Congress has done something to correct the corruption, to pacify the taxpayer, and to help them keep their jobs. Something has been done all right, but what was it? Did they get your eye off the ball? The ball is the other $179.9 billion of taxpayer money that AIG has been given so far. AIG is doling out the money as fast as they can to the usual players in the financial world such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, and some of our tax dollars are finding their way overseas to foreign banks. There is a high stakes game going on. Is your eye on the ball, or are you getting played?

Mervin Fried

Kingman