Obama’s most recent pitchfork threat, however, was not just for his private audience of CEOs. He had a much wider audience in mind: the Democrats in Congress and the American people.
While the president continues to inflame the outrage surrounding the executives’ bonuses by threatening bank CEOs with angry mobs wielding pitchforks, he’s quietly working behind the scenes to help these same CEOs avoid the limits Democrats in Congress are trying to place on the salaries of the executives that receive bailout funds. In fact, the president himself has called for these limits. That means we can add another descriptor to Obama’s list: duplicitous. The Washington Post gives us the details:
The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials.
Administration officials have concluded that this approach is vital for persuading firms to participate in programs funded by the $700 billion financial rescue package.
The administration believes it can sidestep the rules because, in many cases, it has decided not to provide federal aid directly to financial companies, the sources said. Instead, the government has set up special entities that act as middlemen, channeling the bailout funds to the firms and, via this two-step process, stripping away the requirement that the restrictions be imposed, according to officials.
It seems the president is trying to play both sides of this issue. On the one hand, he wants to continue to stoke the populist outrage set ablaze by the lavish bonuses; on the other hand, he is trying to help the CEOs keep those same lavish bonuses.
This epitomizes arrogance, dismissiveness, derision, and duplicity toward the American taxpayers and his own party. The president was elected with the grand expectation that he would transform the way Washington does business, but his new scheme of circumventing Congress is nothing more than the old policies of the Chicago political machine. If President Obama keeps it up, he may find the pitchforks with which he threatened the CEOs pointing at him.