Krauthammer on the AIG bonuses, from last night's All Stars, as reported by NRO:
When you get politicians ahead of the mob running companies, you get madness and idiocy here. The contracts are legal contracts, and it wasn't as if these bonuses were unknown or sprung at the last minute. They were written into these agreements over a year ago, long before AIG was even nationalized or partially nationalized.
And the problem here is that by the Congress now trying to break the contracts by a ruse, essentially a 100 percent taxation or confiscation, they're going against a few hundred years of common law where you don't do retroactive confiscation or bills of attainder, which are laws aimed at particular individuals. It's just not done.
And to sacrifice all of those principles of democracy and business and contract over, as Rich indicated, a tenth of one percent of the bailout, is absurd, particularly in a Congress which just a week ago signed a bill with enough pork to fund these bailouts for about 20 years.
Which is exactly right. Sure, it's a butt bite that these highly paid people are doing well in a company that is eating taxpayer money like Rosie at the International House of Pancakes, but a contract is a contract. Is this a new America where contracts don't mean anything? (btw - these bonuses were an inducement for key people to stay with the company as it was going down the tubes -- those people may have missed out on opportunities that they won't get a second chance at)
A big brained friend who works in international development once described one of the biggest problems the FSU countries were having in coming up to speed with the rest of the world: It seems that a large percentage of the population didn't believe that contracts were binding. Even after all parties signed, and the contract was in place, they thought you could insist on changes. Which, duh, kind of makes contracts meaningless.