It’s only March of the new year, but I feel justified in naming this “The Year of the Bailout.” As we approach the new President’s third month in office, objective budget observers are able to rightly point out that he is spending roughly $1 billion per hour. The billion dollar an hour President, along with the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Chris Dodd, are responsible for the most recent Obama debacle--the American Insurance Group (AIG) bailout. The Obama Administration, led by the tax-avoiding Treasury Secretary Timothy Gheitner, recently allowed AIG, a company the US Government owns 80% of, to pay nearly $160 million in executive bonuses. My Republican colleagues and most of the American public cried foul, which then resulted in a constitutionally questionable bill that would tax a number of groups, after the fact, and does not address the underlying issue of gross mismanagement at President Obama’s Treasury Department. Members of the Majority Party in Congress have almost run out of talking points blaming the former President for everything from hurricanes to the housing market so their leader, Speaker Pelosi, has now turned on her own party and its leaders. Today, Speaker Pelosi took the incredible position that the AIG bonus payment is the fault of President Obama and the Senate, and the House has no responsibility. No responsibility? The language allowing this was slipped into the stimulus bill conference report “in the dead of night.” During the 2008 election cycle, the top two recipients of political contributions from AIG were Senator Chris Dodd, and then Senator Barack Obama. Between the two of them, AIG contributed over $200,000. I’m calling on the President and Senator Dodd to donate all of the money they have received from AIG to charity, investigate whether any of this money was taxpayer-funded bailout money and immediately remove Secretary Gheitner from office. According to news organizations such as Time and CNN, Secretary Gheitner and Senator Dodd worked together to ensure the federal government could not prohibit bonuses from being paid with bailout money. When pressed by reporters, Senator Dodd blamed “staff level people at Treasury” and earlier today, the House Financial Services Committee Chairman, Barney Frank, said he had no responsibility for this issue and “was not involved.” With the Speaker of the House blaming the President and the Senate, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee blaming “staff level people,” and the House Financial Service Committee Chairman absolving himself of any responsibility, I must ask- who is in charge right now? This is not the change the American people want, nor deserve. It is artificial change, delivered by a teleprompter, based on focus groups and polling. -------------------------- Good points, good questions: What will our representatives do about this?