Monday, December 15, 2008

CEO government

When Bush was appointed president in 2000, he promised us a CEO government. Many assumed he meant a sort of business technocracy, government by experts who would keep a clear eye on the bottom line and make government more efficient. Eight years of ballooning debt has disproved most of that assumption. A new revelation about the Wall Street bailout should put to rest any remaining illusions as to what he meant.
Congress wanted to guarantee that the $700 billion financial bailout would limit the eye-popping pay of Wall Street executives, so lawmakers included a mechanism for reviewing executive compensation and penalizing firms that break the rules.

But at the last minute, the Bush administration insisted on a one-sentence change to the provision, congressional aides said. The change stipulated that the penalty would apply only to firms that received bailout funds by selling troubled assets to the government in an auction, which was the way the Treasury Department had said it planned to use the money.

Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole, according to lawmakers and legal experts. In a reversal, the Bush administration has not used auctions for any of the $335 billion committed so far from the rescue package, nor does it plan to use them in the future. Lawmakers and legal experts say the change has effectively repealed the only enforcement mechanism in the law dealing with lavish pay for top executives.

He's given us government by the CEOs, of the CEOs, and for the CEOs. Even in dealing with the worst economic crisis in sixty years he's managed to reward his friends with our money and screw the American people.

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