Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Ghost of Gordon Gekko

As Steve Benen notes, the GOP apparently still thinks greed is good.

Who's going to stick up for exorbitant salaries for executives of failing companies that are already on the public dole? A few Republican lawmakers are willing to give it a shot.

"Because of [the executives'] excesses, very bad things begin to happen, like the United States government telling a company what it can pay its employees. That's not a good thing in America," Kyl told the Huffington Post.

"What executives have done is troubling, but it's equally troubling to have government telling shareholders how much they can pay the executives," said Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL).

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said that he is "one of the chief defenders of Obama on the Republican side," but "as I was listening to him make those statements [about executive pay], I thought, is this still America? Do we really tell people how to run [a business], and who to pay and how much to pay?"

Just to clarify, we're talking about companies that wouldn't exist were it not for federal intervention. We're talking about $500,000 salaries for CEOs whose companies are on the verge of collapse. They're taking our money, so we're applying some strings.

This, in Inhofe's mind, is un-American?

That's right, folks. The same mindset that thinks the President of the United States falls into the same category as the spoiled fat cat CEO of Citigroup or General Motors has stated point-blank that imposing constraints on any company that is one step away from nationalisation or bankruptcy is an imposition on free enterprise.

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