by John Hawkins | March 31, 2009 11:17 am
The government is already deciding which companies survive and which ones fail. They’re choosing which resorts and planes companies can and cannot use. They’re picking CEOs for companies. They’re deciding who gets bonuses and who doesn’t. And now, they’re taking the next logical step — they’re attempting to take total control of salaries,
But now, in a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the “Pay for Performance Act of 2009,” would impose government controls on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.
The purpose of the legislation is to “prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards,” according to the bill’s language. That includes regular pay, bonuses — everything — paid to employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.
In addition, the bill gives Geithner the authority to decide what pay is “unreasonable” or “excessive.” And it directs the Treasury Department to come up with a method to evaluate “the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment relates.”
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee last week, 38 to 22, on a nearly party-line vote. (All Democrats voted for it, and all Republicans, with the exception of Reps. Ed Royce of California and Walter Jones of North Carolina, voted against it.)
These people are out-and-out socialists in the true sense of the word. They hate capitalism, they hate successful people, and they have an insatiable desire to control the lives of their fellow citizens.
And keep in mind, it never ends with these far left-wing Democrats. Know what will happen if Barney Frank, Barack Obama and Company start setting salaries? They’ll screw it up hopelessly and when it starts to ruin companies, their solution won’t be to admit that they made a mistake and let the market decide, it’ll be to start trying to control salaries at other firms so that the corporations they have a hand in can remain competitive.
This is not capitalism, this is not freedom, and this is not the American way. Instead of trying to further micromanage these companies, Congress needs to set a date to get out of all of them. The sooner, the better.
Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for the story.
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