[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: <i>Et Tu</i>, Lincoln, Ileana and Mario?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Et Tu, Lincoln, Ileana and Mario?

Our three esteemed Republican Cuban-American congressmen and woman were among 10 Republicans to vote in favor of imposing government limits on compensation and bonuses to bailed-out bank employees. The measures, according to the proposed bill, would cover non-performance based compensation.

That last sentence is important. Non-performance based compensation. Can anyone explain exactly what constitutes non-performance based compensation? OK, I guess it could be giving someone a bonus because, heck, he's a real nice guy despite the fact he's totally incompetent. Doesn't sound too bad on the surface, does it? However, this section from the linked article is quite revealing:

"The Pay for Performance Act is based on two simple concepts. One, no one has the right to get rich off taxpayer money, and two, no one should get rich off abject failure," said one of the bill's authors, Representative Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat who co-authored the measure. "We should not pay an arsonist to put out his own fire, and we should not be paying an executive to ruin his own bank."

The measure is largely expected to sideline a bill previously passed by the House of Representatives that aimed to impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses for certain executives at companies that receive taxpayer bailouts. That measure appeared to be losing momentum in the Senate.

The new and less aggressive approach would authorize the Treasury to provide the guidance on what is unreasonable or excessive, and what constitutes performance-based pay. Firms that pay back their government funds or set up a repayment schedule with the Treasury will no longer have to comply with the limits.

I'm a career federal government employee, and I have seen poor performance rewarded. That's your taxpayer dollars going to someone who barely meets minimum performance standards on a good day. Let me stress, this is NOT the norm in my organization, nor is it agreeable to the vast majority of the employees or management, but it's happened enough that it should disturb anyone. I'm positive my particular organization isn't the only one that's been guilty of this. It's a well-earned reputation our government has when it comes to treating its own employees at the expense of poor service. I wonder what Mr. Grayson would have to say about that? I'm sure - based on his key quote above - that he would be equally outraged and begin to take steps to impose the same standards on federal employees.

Uh. Huh. Dream on.

You see, the government, and many of our politicians in particular, have no firm ground to stand on telling private companies what is good performance, what isn't and what should and shouldn't be compensated. Not because it's our money on the line, but because they've proven many times that they have no clue nor any real concern for how they constantly misspend our money. Mr. Grayson and his colleagues can sound righteous all they want, but this American isn't buying it. Or maybe I have no choice with regards to that last sentence.

Michelle Malkin pretty much nails it here:
Yes, I believe that taxpayer money should come with strings attached. Go ahead: Force them to disclose how they spend the money. But dictating compensation for the sake of mollifying the mob? Is that fiscally conservative? What do “excessive” and “unreasonable” mean? Who defines it?

If you don’t want companies spending our money on “excessive” bonuses, do not give them the money in the first place. Period.

The descent down the slippery slope continues...

(Cross-posted at Babalu)


Blogger Jonathan said...

"Et tu"? Yes. Unprincipled pols exist in all parties. These three are not exactly paragons of limited government.

1:22 AM, April 03, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Very true, Jonathan.

8:28 AM, April 03, 2009  

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