Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Read Before Voting - UPDATE

No matter what you think about the greediness of AIG's executives, remember Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 of our Constitution. Yes, the United States Constitution, the one that was written by a group of brilliant men who are now rolling over in their graves.

It may be too much to ask for our populace to be familiar with the Constitution, but can't we at least force our elected representatives to take a primer course, or at least watch a couple of segments of Schoolhouse Rock? And, heaven forbid, someone we elect actually thumb through a copy of the Federalist Papers.

Article I, Section 9 reads, in part, "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed."

Here's what James Madison has to say in Federalist Paper Number 44:

Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. ... The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less-informed part of the community.

I'm not a fan of rewarding incompetence and it angers me that some folks getting the bonuses are the very people that put the company in jeopardy. In fact, I don't like the thought of any sort of bailout for bad behavior. However, the AIG bonuses were part of a contract that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid signed off on. Perhaps, in the future, they should give these stimulus and bailouts plans a quick read before voting.

ADDED UPDATE: As I should have made note: there are many AIG executives getting these bonuses (or not getting them) that had nothing to do with the credit default swaps. They are being lumped into the same category as the incompetents. Read this.

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