April 7, 2009

Ryan favors paying executives excessive bonuses

I thought that headline would get your attention. But how else can you explain our congressman's vote on a bill to repeal earlier provisions exempting bonuses at companies receiving bailout funds from executive pay regulations? (Yes, the vote took place on April Fool's Day, but that was just a coincidence. I think.)

HR 1664, which came up for a vote last week, prohibits companies receiving money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program and other bailout programs from paying any executive or employee compensation that is "unreasonable or excessive," or any bonus not based on performance-based standards. The definition of how much is excessive, or what performance standards are reasonable, would come from the Treasury secretary.

HR 1664 passed 247 to 171. It is aimed, among other targets, at undoing the payment of such goodies as the "retention" bonuses -- first pegged at $165 million but later at $220+ million -- given to those AIG geniuses who later received $180 billion to keep their company (and presumably what's left of the economy) from going under.

Paul Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, who bills himself as a fiscal conservative, voted no in the roll call, which was mostly a party-line affair. In other words, he voted to retain the controversial provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that exempted bonuses promised in existing employment contracts. Leave those bonuses alone!

The House vote voids that provision, and also imposes a level of transparency, requiring companies receiving bailout funds to disclose the compensation of their highest paid executives, and require the Treasury to post the information online.

Reporter Mark Hofmann of businessinsurance.com quoted Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, saying: "Given the legislative process and the administration's desire to get this bill done before the recess to speed funds into the economy, Congress made a mistake. We have, fortunately, a process for correcting mistakes, which is subsequent legislation. We have now acted very promptly, and if this bill becomes law then the mistake will have had no effect." The measure now goes to the Senate for its approval.

We asked Ryan's office for an explanation of his vote on HR 1664 and received this reply: "Congressman Ryan introduced his alternative budget on April 1, and did not issue a public statement on HR 1664."


  1. Rees Roberts4/07/2009 4:31 PM

    Bottom line:

    No one....

    Absolutely no one....

    is worth 400 times in salary what the typical middle class earner does.

    I don't care what they do.

    And Paul seeks to represent us?

    I hope Paul continues his "Ivory Tower" point of view so when election day comes for him we have a rich list of things to remember. That is how G. "W" was removed.


    p.s. The number 400 came from a CNN report.

  2. It will be impossible for business to compete if they can't attract the very best and brightest to lead our companies.

    That said, if they don't like the terms of the loan then these companies should not have accepted the funds, and I would welcome them to promptly return said finances.

  3. Congressman Paul Ryan has a dual personality. Yes, it has been confirmed

    So it is ok in Congressman Ryan's mind to give out huge bonuses in these 'hard economic times'. However, knowing the entire Act would pass in a democratic party controlled house, he could have made an effort to minimize its impact. Perhaps this is the only part of the Act he liked?
    I am perplexed, I thought Paul Ryan was a fiscal conservative, ready to trim the fat as much as possible. Is it because he does not want to reach across the isle and try to work together with the majority? No, we know Ryan to be a friendly , even a warm kinda guy right?

    So Mr. Ryan is in favor of having large,undeserved bonuses for failing meganopolies in this Act. . It is ok with Mr. Ryan to get what you can from the federal government.
    Yet, ( this is where the dual personality thing comes in) in these 'hard economic times' he vocalizes against the Employee Free Choice Act?
    Apparently "in these hard economic times", it is ok to get your buddies on Wall street big chunks of dough. However, a living wage to keep your families head above water is not ok.

    I think either Mr. Ryan has a dual personality or he is in favor of a two class system.
    Class A: The very rich , like Mr. Ryan and his fat cat friends like corporate CEO's are in the higher class.
    Class B:The very poor, you and I who work our tails off, in the serfdom class.

    I would prefer to think that Mr. Ryan has a dual personality. At least with therapy and perhaps some drug intervention, he could be cured of this un-American vision of his. However, with the state of Mental Health Parity within the Insurance Industry these days, he might have to pay for most of that therapy out of his own pocket. Hummm, that might take so much money that he might actually slip into class B : the serfdom class. Seeing who his contributors are makes me think he would not enjoy being in the serfdom class with the rest of us especially in these 'hard economic times'.
    If I hear the republicans say this phrase one more time.......

  4. Paul Ryan has clearly lost his marbles. I guess that what happens when you are a powerhungry conservative climbing the GOP ladder. If he is the dazzling future of the GOP conservatives should pluck their eyes out.

  5. Ryan is in a tough spot. Do you give government more authority to step over legal contracts? Be careful as to how much power you give government they just might think that they can run the car companies, banks and newspapers. Oh, wait a minute wasn't it Geithner, Dodd and Obama that cut these deals with AIG? Our government should have never got into these bailouts. Big Government scares me more than these execs do.

    Is this greed by the execs at AIG? Of course but it's even scarier that BIG government can reach out an take it away with a special law. Believe it or not, the bonuses were legal and part of the contract they had with the government. Pretty soon your socialist government will set wage limits on the high end and watch all the capital leave the US for greener pastures. If you look at the stock market it already is leaving. It will also be fun to watch the best and the brightest leave the banks and the auto companies we now own. Why in their right minds would they want to work for the government? Like they really know what they are doing.

    The market is cleaning itself up because most people won't tolerate doing business with jerks like those "few" at AIG. The sad thing is that those same people uncle sam (us) needs to fix the problem and have the skills to clean it up the mess are the same ones that leaving the banks in droves.
    Who will be left to clean up the mess then? Government? Are you smoking something?

  6. Paul Ryan is "Big Government." His plans to save Medicare and Social Security actually involve creating new bureaucracies within government to redistribute payroll taxes away from SS into bonds and eventually leading to the wildly successful capital markets. He was also one of the authors to the modified TARP. Ryan is a corporate socialist through and through.

    It will also be fun to watch the best and the brightest leave the banks and the auto companies they drove into the ground. Why in their right minds would anyone want to retain these losers after they cost taxpayers over $160 billion. You really don't expect them to clean up the mess? Are you high?

  7. Rees Roberts4/08/2009 10:45 AM

    Here is a perfect example from the New York Times:


    I'm just shaking my head. The board of directors who authorized this compensation are simply nuts. You don't need to spend this kind of money to retain good people.


  8. Absolutely no one .... is worth 400 times in salary what the typical middle class earner does.

    Spoken like a true class warfare motivated Marxist. Who the hell are you to determine what anyone else should make or how much is "enough"? Go follow your power-hungry Messiah. Leave my money to me. Even more important since January 1 I have managed to move $6,700 of my income under the table so to speak so people like you cannot get your grubby hands on it. Nyah-nyah-nyah. There ain't Thing One you can do about it.

    John Galt, signing out.

  9. Rees Roberts4/10/2009 5:42 AM

    Oh my.... $6,700? WOW. So Huge. cough cough.

  10. Paul Ryan has opposed the stimulus dollars that will help our depressed economies; has supported social security privatization that would have been disastrous; opposes health care for poor children; opposes nationalized health care that will help all of us; and seeks to privatize medicare. I could continue, but it is about time that people wake up to the potentially disastrous positions that Paul Ryan takes.