While we wait to see if Congress and the Bush Administration can agree on how to clean up Wall Street’s self-inflicted mess, I’ve been wondering about the poor CEOs.
They must be losing sleep now that years of unchecked greed and double-dealing have finally caught up with them. They must be worried sick their next paycheck will come from American taxpayers – minus a bunch of zeros.
Capping outrageous compensation for executives who need this bailout was a no-brainer that Democrats immediately proposed. They rightly ask, why should the architects of this disaster that’s wiping out millions of people’s savings and investments walk away with fat taxpayer-provided bonuses?
But Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, representing the Bush Administration, thinks the sky should continue to be the limit for CEO pay because he doesn’t want to “discourage” them from letting the government save their bacon.
As Republicans know so well, avarice always trumps common sense. One man’s golden parachute is always more valuable than a whole bank.
Besides, this issue for them is a slippery slope. If you start punishing individuals for their staggering incompetence and bad decisions, which result in untold employment casualties, widespread financial bloodshed, and a loss of respect in the world, where will it stop? Who’s next?
But I think Democrats aren’t going far enough. Screw caps. Cut executive pay. No one can name any suit on Wall Street today who’s 10,000 times wiser than the company janitor, so why pay them like they are?
Even better, fire them all so they can start to…
· Eat more spaghetti and less lobster because food’s more expensive every week.
· Notice their empty wallet after they buy a tank of gas.
· Rely on drugstore remedies for every ailment because they have no health insurance.
· Owe more on their home than they could ever sell it for.
Making them live like the Americans they’ve swindled is the only way these guys will ever learn.