Not that I approve of the bonuses paid to AIG execs, but it takes amazing brass for someone like Barney Frank to say this in public:
"These people may have a right to their bonuses. They don’t have a right to their jobs forever," Frank said on NBC’s "Today" show.
"[I]t does appear to me we’re rewarding incompetence," he added. "Forget about the legal matter here for a second. These bonuses are going to people who screwed this thing up enormously, who made terrible decisions."
A disgusted Frank said that "some of these people, maybe they should choose between keeping their bonus and keeping their jobs. You can’t fire a man for having his legal rights, but I’m ready to look and say, this guy gets a bonus? This is a guy who cost us x billion dollars. Let him live off his bonus and no salary for the future."
Really. How upstanding of you, Congressman Frank. I’m sure, therefore, your next move will be to resign, since you were one of the incompetents who caused this problem in the first place!
The collapse of AIG and other financial institutions arose from investments in toxic securities made of bundled high-risk mortgages bought from banks and sold into the market by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a policy expanded and accelerated under the Democratic Clinton administration. Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, and a host of other liberal Democrats not only created the policies that lead to the financial crisis, they fought every attempt to bring the system under control, even crying "racism" when all else failed.
(For more on the Democrats’ role in this mess, go here and here.)
I’m not saying Wall Street execs don’t bear a share of the blame for what befell their companies, but for Frank to sit there and pretend he’s a defender of the public’s interest when he’s nothing more than a sanctimonious statist who happily encouraged the very policies that created this train wreck … well, to call it an "outrageous hypocrisy" would be the understatement of the year.
With apologies to Allahpundit, an exit question: if Barney Frank is so offended by the bonuses paid to AIG execs, does this mean he’ll go after the huge salaries paid to Fannie Mae execs, such as Franklin Raines? After all, they were in charge when all these toxic mortgages were sold into the market, and they were rewarded for it. It wouldn’t matter to Barney that these people were appointed by a Democratic administration, or that Raines is best-buddies with The One, would it?
Yeah, me neither.
(hat tip: Michelle Malkin)