Moral outrage at corporate America has reached a fever pitch today as President Obama vows to use every means at his disposal to block the awarding of $160 million in bonuses to the top executives at AIG. Geithner and others are already worried that this may not be legally feasible, but given that this money would come from the $180 Billion they recieved in bailout fund, which came from US, it seems right that the government should be able to block them. After all, I thought one of the tenets of capitalism was the punishment of failure.

To anyone wailing about the degree of government intervention this requires: there’s a reason the government is the lender of last resort. They are not a silent partner. They are in fact the least silent partner imaginable, given that taxpayers don’t like having their money spent on ANYTHING, let alone propping up a company who’s earnings reports resemble the Soviet Union’s circa 1990. When you get money from the government, there’s an understanding that you’re going to pretty much have to lie back and do whatever they tell you until you pay them back. If you’re worried about them sinking your company, recent history suggests they can’t possibly do worse than you. So, sit down and shut up, because until you start turning a profit again, you quite literally belong to us.

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