I'm watching CSPAN right now and almost every republican is posturing about how Democrats secretly stripped out language from the stimulous bill that would have prevented these AIG bonuses, and they're bragging about how they voted against that bill. They make it sound as if they were voting against giving bonuses to bailed out executives. And that Democrats were voting for them. (Never mind it was a major stimulous package to rescue America on the table.)
But their posturing is much worse than that. When they imply that their votes would have prevented the bonuses it's a LIE. Let's expose it. (More below the fold.)
As everyone knows, Senators Wyden and Snowe had inserted language in the stimulous bill that would have taxed large bonuses for bailoutees, and this provision was stripped out in conference.
As a result, the stimulous bill that passed did nothing to prevent the appalling AIG bonuses that we're all so incensed about.
Republicans posturing on CSPAN voted against this bill and are implying that if the bill had failed, as they wanted it to, there would have been no big bonuses for AIG executives. They're implying that something in this bill specifically made it legal to give out the bonuses--as if it wouldn't have been otherwise!
At the moment they're saying it on the floor of Congress but they'll soon be repeating their talking points all over the media: "The Democrats stripped this language from the bill--and we republicans voted against that terrible bill."
Let's write to the various cable and network news shows to get them to ask the republican talkers:
"If the bill had failed, as you wanted, wouldn't these bonuses still have been legal? Wouldn't they still have been paid out?" (So you have nothing to brag about in your vote against the stimulous bill. You did nothing toward preventing the bonuses.)
"Would you have voted for the stimulous bill if the provision on bonuses was in the final version?" (No? So you would have been directly responsible for this bonus debacle. Yes? So now you support programs you've criticized as socialism.)
"Granted the stimulous bill did not stop excessive bonuses for bailout recipients. What have you done to stop them?" (Nothing. So drop the hypocritical posturing about voting against the stimulous.)
Anyway, I'm afraid that the repubs are going to score some PR points with their "Dems stripped it out of the bill and we voted against that bill" meme. Please join me in writing to key cable and network news shows to get them thinking about how nothing these republicans did would have prevented these bonuses.
They should not get any credit in regard to AIG for having voted against the stimulous bill!