RUSH: In case you’re just joining us, we JIPped President Obama during the summit on small businesses when he had some scathing comments about the bonuses at AIG. Now, this was roughly, what, a half hour ago? Yeah, 40 minutes. No, a half hour ago. ABC News at the top of the hour, by the way, is reporting AIG… (laughing) It’s 1984. It’s Orwellian. AIG has three hours to turn over a list of names of people who got bonuses to the New York attorney general. That’s Andrew Cuomo. Now, this is not Geithner doing it. This is Andrew Cuomo out there acting as a lone gunslinger, Andrew Cuomo as Eliot Spitzer, Jr. (minus the call girls). AIG has three hours to turn over a list of names of people who got bonuses to the New York attorney general! (laughing) Gee whiz. There are contracts. There’s nothing anybody can do about it. If they succeed in this, do you realize the precedent? They have a beeline, they have an open line to any of your income that they think is ill-gotten that you shouldn’t have. They don’t need a law to raise your taxes. They can just grab money that they think you shouldn’t have. Here is Obama at the small business summit.
OBAMA: In the last six months, AIG has received substantial sums from the US Treasury, and I’ve asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole.
RUSH: Right on, right on, right on, right on!
OBAMA: I want to be clear that Secretary Geithner has been on the case. He’s working to resolve this matter with the new CEO, Edward Liddy.
OBAMA: Who, by the way, uh, everybody needs to understand came on board after the contracts that led to these bonuses were agreed to last year.
RUSH: All right. All riiiiiiight.
OBAMA: But I think Mr. Liddy, uh, and certainly everybody involved needs to understand, this is not just a matter of dollars and cents. It’s about our fundamental values.
RUSH: BS. It isn’t about dollars and cents. Fundamental values? Whose fundamental values? The fundamental values being talked about here are government’s fundamental values to go get money from people they don’t like. There were no strings attached to this money, folks. This is the one thing nobody’s got the guts to point out. The TARP money, the Treasury secretary was given sole authority. Here it is once again. Section 2, Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: ‘provides authority to the Treasury secretary to restore liquidity and stability to the US financial system that will ensure the economic well-being of Americans.’ There is nothing in the bill about how the money is to be used. Nobody can say a word about it. There was no accountability.
‘Our fundamental values’ are that we honor our contracts. That’s a fundamental value that Andrew Cuomo is apparently about to throw overboard. Now, maybe the problem with AIG is that they got a bailout. Maybe that was the mistake. Maybe when he says, ‘This isn’t just a matter of dollars and cents, it’s about our fundamental values. … All across the country people who work hard and meet their responsibilities every single day without the benefit of government bailouts or multimillion-dollar bonuses…’ Well, fundamental values are you let failures fail. The people who work hard and play by the rules should be rewarded with tax cuts! The people who are working hard paying taxes, and playing by the rules ought to be thanked.
They ought to be wined and dined, but they don’t, and they aren’t. Obama bails out dysfunctional companies and complains that they’re dysfunctional while giving the current CEO a pardon. Obama’s teleprompter told him to pardon the current AIG CEO, Edward Liddy. He had nothing to do with this. The current CEO just got a pardon. Now, again, I realize that we have millions of new people listening to this program, thanks to the Obama administration, and I want to take some time here to explain to those of you what the audience, the regular audience of this program already knows, because they’ve been listening for such a long time. There is a foundational theme undergirding my comments today. As a conservative, the theme is that the real problem here is government.
If the government had not gotten involved in trying to tell these outfits who to lend money to in the first place and how to run their businesses in the first place — be it automobiles, be it banks, be it mortgage lending institutions, whoever, whatever — we wouldn’t be in this mess to the degree that we are. Now, one of the things that troubles me greatly, to those of you who are new to the program, is that the government and anybody in it gets to portray themselves as an innocent bystander — a white knight — if you will, riding to the rescue after once again a bunch of greedy SOBs on Wall Street abuse not their money, but yours. So here comes the white knight on the big horse, the federal government’s going to go in there along with Andrew Cuomo and they’re going to get your money back.
So you think. When in fact nobody’s talking about the outrage that is government excess, government expenditures that are way out of line, that can’t be backed up, that are wasteful, that are inflationary. It is outrageous what the government gets away with, and these poor schlubs at this companies that accepted the bailout money, they’re now finding out what it’s like. But again, a large number of these people are Democrats anyway. The dirty little secret here is that this is just a closed little clique of wealthy Ivy League people, mostly Democrats, certainly all liberal, probably some Republicans in there in name only. But this is a little clique that’s bailing out itself, and the money is just traveling a circuitous route from Washington and campaign coffers back to these companies, and then these employees and the CEOs and back and back and forth.
It’s just a circle, and it’s reprehensible what is happening here. But undergirding my comments and all this is that the one player in this which is largely guilty, far guiltier than anybody else, is exempted. And they, after passing all these laws — with no strings! There were no strings! Folks, there were no strings. There was no accountability, none whatsoever on the TARP money. AIG could use the money however they want. Have you forgotten already that the original purpose here was to restore liquidity so that these institutions could start lending? And that didn’t happen. And so Barney Frank and the boys raised holy hell toward the end of last year, sputtering, muttering about, ‘Where’s the new credit? How come it’s not getting into the marketplace?’ and we found out the banks hoarded the money to buy other banks or to shore up their own investments or what have you, ’cause there weren’t any strings attached.
It was done in a crisis atmosphere at record speed, all for the purposes of giving people confidence that we’re dealing with this so-called crisis. But the elements of the crisis were not dealt with, and they still haven’t been, and we’re still talking about how dangerous the precipice that we face is. It’s just infuriating to me. If you really want to solve a lot of these institutional systemic problems, you cannot exempt the government from any responsibility for it, and they are allowing that to happen. We’re allowing it to-to-happen. They set themselves up as innocent. It burns me. They’re innocent bystanders? They hand out all this money to AIG and then a smidgen, a small percentage of it gets used for bonuses, and they act shocked — shocked and outraged — and, ‘How dare AIG do this? How dare they subvert our values!’ Our values are subverted when we bail out companies that are failing and ought to just be allowed to do so.
RUSH: when I tell you this next, don’t doubt me. Barack Obama not only is not shocked about these AIG bonuses, he’s not outraged. Despite what he said today, he’s not mad about it. He’s ecstatic. As a community organizer liberal, Barack Obama has a chip on his shoulder about Wall Street wealth. Now, he’s going to protect Democrat Wall Street titans. He’s going to do what he can to keep them wealthy because they are the underwriters; they are the essence of the Democrat Party today. That’s why he pardoned the CEO of AIG while ripping the actions at that company with the CEO as the head honcho. So this controversy over the bonus payments at AIG gives him more ammo to demonize corporations and capitalism. So while people are allowing themselves to be outraged over this red herring of AIG bonus money, the real outrage is the government sinking its tentacles into private businesses and telling them how to run their business, escaping their own accountability for their own culpability in creating these problems, the government gets to act as an innocent bystander, Obama is not outraged by these bonuses at all.
I’m probably a lone wolf on this, but even Bill Kristol said today capitalists have a problem because when there’s excesses, when capitalists do excessive things like award themselves all these kind of bonuses, well, we got a problem, we’ve gotta speak up against it, and I know what Bill Kristol means. Every system has its bad actors, and every system has its excesses. Obama is going to play right off this. This is the stereotype. Except, don’t forget, he pardoned the CEO. The teleprompter told him to pardon Edward Liddy, who is the CEO of AIG. Now, normally when something like this happens, isn’t the guy at the top the target? Not now. Now, Andrew Cuomo, the attorney general of New York, says AIG’s got three hours to produce the names of the people who got the bonuses, not the names of the people who paid them, not the executives who wrote the contracts awarding these merit bonus. No, no, no, no, no. The government of New York is going after the people who received the bonuses. AIG has until sundown, three hours to come up with a list of names.