This will go down as the weekend that America collectively screamed "AIGGGGG!!!!!" For a long time, outrage over the multi-multi-billion dollar black hole that was once a powerful insurance company AIG simmered rather than boiled because a) other bailout recipients like Citi and Bank of America are more visible and b) most average people have a hard time wrapping themselves around what AIG did (although blogger John Marshall has been quite good -- as always -- on this.
But news of large bonuses to AIG execs -- especially in the unit that lost all the dough -- has changed that. Now everyone is talking AIG, and it seems like the "free market" Republicans (and some of their corporatist Democrat allies) are flailing the most:
On ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday, Sen. Richard Shelby said Congress must do everything it can to make sure the government money going to AIG is handled appropriately.
"We ought to explore everything that we can through the government to make sure that this money is not wasted," the Alabama Republican said. "These people brought this on themselves. Now you're rewarding failure. A lot of these people should be fired, not awarded bonuses. This is horrible. It's outrageous."
Basically, the heads of people like Shelby are about to explode as they try to reconcile their supposed free-market-anything-goes-Wild-West-get-the-government-off-their-backs approach with the awfulness of the real life people they've turned over our free markets to. I don't think it's that complicated....
Fire all the morons at AIG, Citygroup, B of A, et cetera, who got us into this mess, or they don't get a dime of our tax dollars. It might make for a few awkward moments down at the Capitol Grille, but it simply needs to be done.