Ed Driscoll

In Dodd, They Trusted

As David Freddoso writes, “So Many Democrats, So Much Phony Outrage”:

Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) read this statutory language to the subcommittee twice during the hearing’s early-afternoon session, just in case anyone was unaware. The executive compensation loophole was not merely a holdover from President Bush’s original bailout plan. It was laid out in clear statutory language that was enacted and signed by Democrats over vigorous Republican opposition. The provision was inserted in conference committee by Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), one of the biggest beneficiaries of political contributions from AIG employees.

As Royce noted, “Some Democrats were aware of the bonuses, and went out of their way to protect those bonuses.” President Obama was one of them, but you would not know it from his dramatic performance on Monday, when he addressed the issue of AIG bonuses. “I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” Obama asked. “This is not just a matter of dollars and cents. It’s about our fundamental values . . . excuse me, I’m choked up with anger here.”

Yet it was Obama who signed the very bill that made the rules for bonuses under TARP, and that bill clearly allowed these bonuses. Obama stumped for it all over the country — but did he actually read it? And are politicians such as Obama, Dodd, and all the others who supported the stimulus package entitled to feign outrage when their own legislation produces easily foreseeable and undesirable results?

Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.), one of the few members of the Financial Services Committee who both understands bailout legislation and has been unsparing in his criticism of it, put the question in the simplest terms: “What I really want to say to some of the loudest critics is, ‘What did you expect?’”

Meanwhile, Barney Frank, Dodd’s fellow New England-based partner in fiscal crimes, “won’t promise confidentiality to AIG, despite death threats”, Allahpundit writes.