2009-04-03 / Columnists

It's My Turn

Politicians Just Don't Get It
Commentary By Joan Mettler

Politicians just don't get it. They throw around millions as though they were "twenties" and billions (that the average person still can't fathom) are giving way to trillions. What's next, the kabillions we joked about in our childhood? Speaking of childhood, did you have house rules in your childhood that kept you on the straight and narrow? We called them rules. Government calls them regulations. Select either and your household ran without multiple major incidents. Congress, so busy lining their own pockets and campaigning to assure them a continued privileged lifestyle, selected neither.

One fact is certain. That is, AIG is the new way of spelling pig. Our government lends AIG billions (there goes that amount again) of dollars of our money from which AIGers first must subtract their bonuses. Since I have never gotten a bonus, I can only guess that one is given a bonus for doing exceptional work. I imagine the adjective, exceptional, here could either mean exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. The overseers, here, CEO's and our government must be exceptionally stupid or conspiratorial.

Politicians who, of course, after taking multiple classes in acting, are turning in academy award performances emoting disgust, embarrassment, outrage and whatever at the scandal du jour. These politicians, matter it not if they are Dems or Repubs, are the same gang who pork and earmark (steal) our tax dollars for their districts.

The more senior they are, the more they can grab. Seldom does anyone stop them. One envisions our senators in togas around a huge dining table divvying up the pig, filling their bellies with pork, all the while laughing at us. Once we vote, we are helpless and they know it. Have I, personally, seen money spent on a federal earmark in Rockaway?

Not really! Have you?

The "outraged" politicians (Please put more of a look of disbelief on your faces along with the tanning make-up, you're on television.), are the same honored electees who voted to take their war chests (their bonuses) with them when they leave public office. Why we have been "bailing politicians out" for years without knowing it! With that in mind, do you suppose they would do anything to prevent people in bailed out businesses from getting salary increases and bonuses on our dime? Until it was brought to their attention, these political pigs didn't see anything wrong with AIG's bonus system. What we have here is public financial rape by private business winked at by politicians until they are flushed out.

The question that remains is how many synonyms for financial cheating are there? Is it a bail out? Is it a bonus? Is it a perk? Is it an earmark? Is it pork? However you slice it, it's still baloney (see pig remnants).

For those of us who have led a respectable life with regard to our finances, it truly hurts to witness the collapse of the country's financial system and consequent debt morass. When Bush, the first, left office, he left us holding the bag for the Keating Five. What shame that brought on his friends and family and horror on behalf of decent law abiding Americans! Notice how quickly we forgot this when Bush number two ran for the White House. However, when Bush two departed at the conclusion of his second term, he left us thinking The Keating Five was in the millions, small potatoes.

Personally, witnessing greed taken to the ultimate degree, has destroyed the little faith I had in the economic "village" turning me more toward family and friends for truth and support. Financial institutions (like Citi) and those that insured them (like AIG) who continue to screw us must be laughing at us all the way to the bank primarily because they also received bonuses for all the years leading up to this one. AIG is the current target of our wrath. Rest assured there will be more to come.

Yes. AIG is the new way of spelling pig. The problem is not in the spelling. It is in the fact that every time I try to pronounce it as a word, AIG, it gets stuck in my throat.

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