Bush keeps it real.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 @ 3:11 pm | Corporate shenanigans, Disappointing Dems

The champion of the CEO, all the way to the end.

The Bush Administration inserted an eleventh-hour provision into the $750 billion bailout bill to protect executive bonuses, a single sentence that will torpedo efforts to reduce bonuses even as companies slash tens of thousands of jobs and use taxpayer money to gobble up other companies at fire-sale prices.

Pressured by constituents who worried that companies would take government aid and continue to pay their executives eye-popping bonuses, Congress inserted a provision that would penalize companies who took taxpayer money and shelled out outsized bonuses.

But at the last minute, Bush officials insisted on a one-sentence provision that stopped the measure in its tracks, according to congressional aides who spoke to the Washington Post.

The change stipulated that the sanction would only apply to firms that sold mortgage backed securities to the government at auction, which the Bush Treasury Department said would be the method they’d use to infuse troubled companies with bailout cash.

“Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole, according to lawmakers and legal experts” who spoke to Post reporter Amit Paley. “In a reversal, the Bush administration has not used auctions for any of the $335 billion committed so far from the rescue package, nor does it plan to use them in the future. Lawmakers and legal experts say the change has effectively repealed the only enforcement mechanism in the law dealing with lavish pay for top executives.”

They insisted. George W. Bush is never short on courage when it comes to protecting the most powerful and rewarding the richest. While the nation vomits over the prospect of CEOs being paid double-digit millions to lead their companies to financial ruin, George comes swinging in to the rescue, making sure they can keep looting their own sinking ships and escorting them safely to lifeboats.

Keep an eye out for Republicans who say, “George Bush who?” while applauding this measure. Things like this are why they loved him, why they thought he would bring us untold prosperity. And even while he signs off on these multi-billion dollar bailouts of his friends, Republicans will take away the small assurance that even when times were tough, George W. Bush was there to not only preserve the wealth of the wealthiest, but to make sure they profited even further from failure.

A special shout-out to brave members of Congress for wilting again against a lame-duck president with sub-30 approval ratings!

-jb

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