March 31, 2009, - 12:48 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Think Barack Hussein Obama’s insistence that GM fire Rick Wagoner was bad?
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman and former gay brothel landlord Barney Frank and the Democrat leadership in Congress are pushing through a tough measure, which allows the government to set pay of any and all employees at any company receiving any money from the federal government. It echoes Soviet-style economic policy.
The bill is set to be voted on by the entire House, next week.
Yes, America, you’ve regressed a long way, baby.
In a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the “Pay for Performance Act of 2009,” would impose government controls on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.
The purpose of the legislation is to “prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards,” according to the bill’s language. That includes regular pay, bonuses — everything — paid to employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.
In addition, the bill gives Geithner the authority to decide what pay is “unreasonable” or “excessive.” And it directs the Treasury Department to come up with a method to evaluate “the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment relates.”
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee last week, 38 to 22, on a nearly party-line vote. (All Democrats voted for it, and all Republicans, with the exception of Reps. Ed Royce of California and Walter Jones of North Carolina, voted against it.)
The legislation is expected to come before the full House for a vote this week, and, just like the AIG bill, its scope and retroactivity trouble a number of Republicans.
What’s that I hear? The sound of Karl Marx’s ghost chuckling from his grave.
We’re from the government, and we’re here to screw, er . . . “help” you.
Exit Question: If Stephen Gobie was still operating his male “escort” service out of Barney Frank’s Capitol Hill apartment, would Timothy Geithner get to set the, um, “wages”?
After all, he was living there at Barney’s pleasure, so you could say there was the requisite “government” funding involved.