16 March 2009

The Achilles Heel of Obama Might Just Be...AIG? Maybe Not.

Corporate Fat Cats Cramping Mr. Cool's Style

You might've thought Obama blowing off his promises to be an earmark reformer and not hire sleazy lobbyists in the administration would have been enough to piss off the American public in the first 100 days. But that news was met with more yawns than a Jane Fonda broadway performance, because Obama's approval is still relatively high. However, the Obama spin machine is freaking out about the latest news of teh ridiculous from government-subsidized AIG. From NYT:
Mr. Obama’s advisers argued that to at least some extent, this was a sentiment they could tap to push through his measures in Congress, including raising taxes on the wealthy. They pointed out that in his speech to Congress, Mr. Obama denounced corporations that “use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet.”

“The president has been very clear about this,” Mr. Axelrod said. “There is reason for anger, but we also have to solve the problem. We need a functioning credit system. That’s our responsibility, and he intends to meet it.”

Still, aides acknowledged the risks of a backlash as Mr. Obama tries to signal that he shares American anger but pushes for more bail-out money for banks and Wall Street.
Regarding AIG paying out $1B in bonuses for gross incompetence, the President would have had a better leg to stand on with the criticism if the feds hadn't just given them another $30B in loans two weeks ago. Obama likes to slam the fat cat culture, but why does he keep dumping more and more taxpayer dollars into their coffers? It should also be noted that AIG gave billions of bailout money to European banks, which has only recently been disclosed...I'm sure that'll stimulate job growth for Americans out of work! So while our newfound economic system based upon running up our debt to fund politically-connected zombie banks collapses around us, the Obama media strategy will be to distance himself from the inevitable fallout. At least he'll still be Mr. Cool in the public's eye.


Oz said...

Oh, I don't know. I think shaking the govt down for $138B in no-strings-attached cash is pretty worthy of a bonus.