Time to Take Back the Economy
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Not only did AIG take $170 billion in bailout funds, but it gave $165 million in executive bonuses to its Financial Products subsidiary that was responsible for the firm’s collapse. The details of the bonuses are pretty appalling: 73 employees took home at least $1 million, while one person got a whopping $6.4 million. What’s more, NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo proved AIG’s excuse about needing these “retention” bonuses to keep employees at Financial Products was (believe it or not) complete and utter bullshit, since 11 of these bonus recipients have since left the company.
Now, Congress can try to rectify this situation by putting a 100% surtax on these bonuses. They can impose stricter limitations on the subsequent $30 billion bailout for AIG–if you can believe this firm is even getting another bailout! Still, this news is too infuriating to just sit back and wait for Congress to check Wall Street’s ridiculous hubris.
This Thursday, March 19, SEIU and a slew of other organizations will be holding demonstrations at bailed-out banks and corporations in over 100 cities across the country, demanding fiscal repsonsibility. Sign up at TakeBacktheEconomy.org and join a demonstration in your community for a national day of protest. No more sitting around yelling at the TV screen when Obama’s Press Secretary pretends like we should have any sort of confidence whatsoever in Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Enough is enough, it’s time to take back the economy!
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.