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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 20, 2009 at 4:24 PM

The AIG bonuses

The result of 30 years of fiddling

While I hope for the same outcome to the AIG mess as Maureen Dowd [“Team Obama slow to boil,” syndicated column, March 19], I think planning to abrogate contracts sets an extremely dangerous precedent. Should we all be able to renege on a contract, simply because we don’t like how the terms play out?

If the president “needs to brush back the arrogant, greedy creeps who kneecapped capitalism,” then he’s going to have to go back 30 years and get everyone — taxpayers and legislators alike — who supported gutting the regulation of big business. They created AIG.

Right now, we are all looking for easy scapegoats. I feel fine if AIG is one of them. However, the past 30 years of deregulation and lax oversight is what “kneecapped” capitalism, not a few crooks at AIG.

It’s great if Congress wants to pass a tax that takes back every penny paid to those AIG employees. Unfortunately, Congress should have attached restrictions to every dollar of bailout money in the first place.

To try to cover their own failures by wiping out the legality of a signed contract is bad policy. Shutting the barn door after the cow is gone has recently proven to be unsuccessful at retrieving the cow.

— Toni Cross, Seattle

Comments | More in Federal bailouts

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