Thursday, March 19, 2009

Here’s the Real Outrage

You would think that after all the thundering high dudgeon we’ve been hearing from Congressional Republicans about the multi-million-dollar bonus payments to corporate executives at A.I.G. all the while taking billions in bail-out money to save their companies, the Republicans would be first in line to come up with a way to get the money back.

Ah, but you would be wrong. When it comes to actually voting to pass a bill that would tax the bonuses right back to the Treasury, the GOP leadership refuses to say whether they’ll actually vote for such a bill, or even come up with a plan to do it.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he wanted to see the bonus money come back, but had no idea what to say about how to do this. Would he vote to tax the relevant AIG employees? Cantor wouldn’t say. Does he have any ideas about how, exactly, to get back the funds? Cantor wouldn’t say.

It’s not just Cantor. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he will vote “no” on efforts to recoup the AIG money. Several leading conservative lawmakers in both chambers have said the same thing. And just for real fun, Grover Norquist told the 172 representatives and 35 senators who signed an anti-tax pledge that if they support getting back the AIG bonuses, they’ll be violating their written promise to the conservative movement.

It’s one thing to go off and hog all the airwaves with your outrage — and blame the Democrats in the process. But it all falls flat when you do absolutely nothing about it.