Bread and Circuses from Washington
By Josh Simons on Mar 19, 2009
Last time I checked none of greed, stupidity, or towering egotism were illegal in the United States. And yet I suspect that is the extent of the guilt of many of the AIG bonus recipients who are currently the target of national ire and political postering.
Yes, it is annoying that these people have received bonuses under the current circumstances. And, yes, they should all be investigated and prosecuted if criminal wrongdoing is uncovered. But absent proof of that, what possible legal argument could be made for abrogating their employment contracts or, even more absurd, passing special legislation to seize their bonuses through taxation?
Don't misunderstand me: Every single one of these fracking morons who did something illegal should go to jail. And for a long time. But let's remember: crime first and then punishment.
What the outraged politicians in Washington would like you not to notice is that much of this wrongdoing on Wall Street occurred at least in part due to very poor regulation and enforcement on the part of our own government agencies.
Juvenal was right -- and our leaders are savvy enough to know it. So, on with the show!