Over the weekend President Obama inched the country closer to socialism by forcing General Motors president G. Richard Wagoner to resign in exchange for additional federal funding to the troubled automaker. Regardless of what you think of the way Wagoner ran GM, it is up to the board of directors and the stockholders to decide who leads the company–not the president of the United States.
The story is the Obama administration did not like the business plan GM and Chrysler proposed as a condition to the initial round of funding. Fine, if the president and Congress did not like it then don’t hand out any more money. GM and Chrysler do not need any more taxpayer money, they need to file for bankruptcy and have an opportunity to restructure in order to meet the demands of the new economic era.
This move by President Obama seems to contradict his economic policy of the first couple of months. Wasn’t it the purpose of the trillion of dollars in additional federal funding to get businesses and consumers spending again? With the precedent set where the president can force the resignation of unsuccessful corporate CEOs who take government funding, will anyone be willing to take any bailout money?
Which brings me to the meaning of the title of this article. In today’s Washington Timesthere was an article on how the boss of AIG “requested” that the top management of the company make campaign contributions to Senator Dodd. The reason was he was about to become chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Day after day members of Congress and the administration go on television blaming all of the economic ills on the greed of Wall Street bigwigs. Yet as mentioned in previous articles on this blog (here, here, and here) much of the blame for the economic woes is the result of bad government policies–made by politicians who received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the very people they were supposed to watch over.
It was Senator Dodd and other members of Congress (both Republican and Democrats) who contributed to the economic problems we face today. If President Obama wants to really punish those responsible then he should not look exclusively to the private sector but to Congress as well. Asking Senator Dodd to at least step down as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee would be a start.