WE ALL MUST SACRIFICE  10:16 am February 11, 2009

But How Will Our Nation’s Downtrodden Plutocrats Fare Under New Stimulus Bill?

by Sara K. Smith

What if we claw back your BALLS, old man?Aaargh NUMBERS ARE CONFUSING. This morning we have two (2) bits of information regarding what will happen to America’s fabulously wealthy Wall Street executives if and when the stimulus bill becomes a law. But it is sort of complicated, and who knows, these provisions seem to change by the hour, so do not be shocked if the stimulus bill comes out of committee with a brand-new stipulation that bank CEOs get a $15,000 tax credit for their first dozen concubines as long as those concubines are returned in original condition by December 31. Otherwise, everyone gets executed by Dick Cheney.

(You know what? Just give up. Just go look at this wonderful YouTube of an Australian fireman giving a koala some water instead. It will make your heart melt and it will spontaneously impregnate you with a brood of koala/pirate hybrids, tax-free.)

So here are two provisions that work to seemingly opposite ends:

  1. A bonus clawback that would require companies that already received bailout funds and who paid their executives more than $100,000 each in bonuses to either return the amounts in excess of $100,000 or pay a 35% excise tax on those amounts. Eat the rich!
  2. A rumored removal of executive pay caps from the stimulus bill. Stay with us here: the idea is that, if executives don’t make tens of millions of dollars a year, the Treasury will be deprived of a projected $10.8 billion in tax revenues over the next decade. We have to give them more money so that we can get more out of them. So far Harry Reid and Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate finance committee, haven’t come out and vehemently denied that pay caps might be done away with, so we can just conclude that this is a done deal. Feed the rich!

In sum, it sounds like all those poor bastards who can’t get by on $500,000 a year won’t have to. All they will have to do is restructure their compensation packages so that they get all their old bonus money rolled into regular salaries, and settle for a wee $99,999 of walking around money at the end of the year.

Stimulus bill seeks to recover Wall Street bonuses [AP via Ben Smith]
Sherman: Dems Could Remove Executive Pay Caps From Final Version of Stimulus [TPMDC]


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actor212 February 11, 2009 at 10:20 am

Can you post that koala video? My brain hurts.

TGY February 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

How about executives can make whatever they can get, but the IRS DOES THEIR TAXES. MOO HA HA!


freakishlystrong February 11, 2009 at 10:22 am

I believe I can eloquently speak for all of us here…Fuck the Downtrodden Plutocrats

Serolf Divad February 11, 2009 at 10:23 am

if executives don’t make tens of millions of dollars a year, the Treasury will be deprived of a projected $10.8 billion in tax revenues over the next decade

I’ve said it before. With Republicans it goes like this:

When talking of school funding: it must be slashed to the bone and educators have to learn to do more with less.

When talking of executive pay: it must be allowed to rise unchecked, because for a company to grow strong it has to be able to hire the best people and pay them what they’re worth.

ManchuCandidate February 11, 2009 at 10:24 am

I’m still in favor of the “beating them to an inch of their lives with a sack full of padlocks” plan.

Mr Blifil February 11, 2009 at 10:25 am

So since Koalas are in the outback and have claws, are they the inspiration for the many varieties of “clawback” we keep hearing about?

cal February 11, 2009 at 10:25 am

This is great news… for John McCain!

(Isn’t that him in the cartoon?)

Canmon (the Inadequate) February 11, 2009 at 10:27 am

If we have learned anything from the three weeks of the Obama presidency it is that rich people don’t pay their taxes.

freakishlystrong February 11, 2009 at 10:28 am

The Plutocrats have billions, we, the lucky Wonketteers have brilliant alt text tags. WOTD; “Clawback”.

evolutionista February 11, 2009 at 10:29 am

okay, so take my tax money and let the ceos use it for big salaries so they can pay more taxes? that seems logical.

Monsieur Grumpe February 11, 2009 at 10:31 am

A little bit of math tells me that a person who “earns” $10,000,000 a year is getting paid just about $5,000 per hour and this is a low number for some of these parasites. Can someone please tell me what special talent someone has that makes them worth $5,000 per hour?

MGBYG February 11, 2009 at 10:33 am

So, it sounds like we can’t give them a Salary Cap because otherwise they will just go to a Back Alley Salary Cap provider and we all know how dangerous that’ll be…

choinski February 11, 2009 at 10:34 am

Krikey! Cut Kahwahlah, aye? Soon aftah we left, it stahved to death.

MGBYG February 11, 2009 at 10:34 am

[re=240967]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]:

depends on the diamond rating…

ManchuCandidate February 11, 2009 at 10:38 am

[re=240967]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]:
Hey 5K an hour makes them 5 Diamond Whores. The special skill they have is that they fuck us over for that money.

shanemacgowan February 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

[re=240967]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: Ask Client 9.

Zulu_Big_Shot February 11, 2009 at 10:46 am

I would like to invite everyone associated with that NYT article to visit me in N.O. in July, so that we can all cram into the one room of the house that I can afford to air condition and I will feed them big bags of moldy, sweaty, old-man dicks.

freakishlystrong February 11, 2009 at 10:48 am

[re=240967]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: I think it’s a pretty special talent to destroy an entire economy, and walk away with the spoils, and still whine for more, and by special I mean shitty.

WIDTAP February 11, 2009 at 10:48 am

[re=240965]evolutionista[/re]: It was logical to a fellow named Ponsi, too. Also.

Cape Clod February 11, 2009 at 10:48 am

[re=240967]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: I was going to say just give the corporate CEOs a salary comparable to what your average, left-handed middle reliever makes but then I realized that they are just another class of hideously overpaid failures.

When is Obama going to put a salary cap on them?

Delicious February 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

Bend over, America!

Mr Blifil February 11, 2009 at 10:51 am

[re=240967]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: Look it’s like working at an ice cream store, in some quiet little hamlet in New Hampshire say. There’s all that ice cream. Trucks bring it in on a regular basis. You are the dude with the scoop. Stands to reason you’re going to eventually start believing that you have a special entitlement to eat that ice cream, whenever you so choose.

Investment bankers are like that only except for “ice cream,” substitute “everybody else’s money.”

Servo February 11, 2009 at 10:52 am

They have to be the big, meaty, industrial-strength type padlocks. Also.

Mr Blifil February 11, 2009 at 10:59 am

[re=240973]ManchuCandidate[/re]: It’s really an existential conundrum. Do they make all that money because they’re so badass, or are they so badass because they make all that money?

norbizness February 11, 2009 at 11:02 am

I like my simplified, four-word plan better: ROCKET TO THE SUN

BadKitty February 11, 2009 at 11:03 am

[re=240955]ManchuCandidate[/re]: [re=240985]Servo[/re]: I’m in. Do I have to buy my own padlocks or will they be provided? I have plenty of pillowcases if anyone else needs one.

Servo February 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

I’ve heard that Japanese laws dictate that an executive’s pay may not exceed a set percentage of the company’s lowest paid employee. Sounds like a model to me.

AnnieGetYourFun February 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

Math is hard! Let’s go shopping!

Mr Blifil February 11, 2009 at 11:06 am

[re=240992]Servo[/re]: Take that communist claptrap elsewhere, my red friend.

Norbert February 11, 2009 at 11:10 am

I call fake. A real koala would’ve ripped his face off. however, if it is real, this guy is a true American hero. Cpt. Sully / Fireman 2012!

hockeymom February 11, 2009 at 11:16 am

In our new economy, Koala=Dinner.

SayItWithWookies February 11, 2009 at 11:16 am

Anyone who can’t live on half a mil a year gets to switch jobs with the loopy dude in Florida who asked President Obama that almost-a-question yesterday. For four-and-a-half years. Loopy dude couldn’t do worse than ruining the economy, and I don’t go to McDonald’s, so no harm to me — which is the standard they seem to employ.

Mitchbailey February 11, 2009 at 11:23 am

Send them back to Pluto where they came from.

S.Luggo February 11, 2009 at 11:24 am

Look, if investment house/bank exec’ pay is reined in, this will be a disincentive for execs to do their best for their institutions …. AND for America. Okay. Jus’ playin’ wit you head.

In happier news:
Poll: Lieberman Would Lose 2012 Re-Election In Landslide

TGY February 11, 2009 at 11:26 am

Also, aren’t ‘plutocrats’ those who rule a ‘dwarf planet’? Or maybe that’s a ‘failed planet’. Never mind.

Paul Tardy February 11, 2009 at 11:30 am

Ok, the Mr. Moneybags graphic works with the theme of rich people, but Plutocrates? I thought Pluto was a dog. Maybe comics curmudgon could clear this up.

TGY February 11, 2009 at 11:30 am

[re=241012]Mitchbailey[/re]: Argh! Scamped at the gate! Or somesuch horse maneuver analogy.

WIDTAP February 11, 2009 at 11:33 am

[re=241018]TGY[/re]: Neil deGrasse Tyson is that you?

ManchuCandidate February 11, 2009 at 11:35 am

My padlocks come from foreclosed homes so they are encrusted with the tears and crushed dreams of homeowners (the speculators can go fuck themselves.)

Servo February 11, 2009 at 11:54 am

[re=240994]Mr Blifil[/re]:
Never. It will not end until we all have lifetime employment with Sukhoi, Mikoyan-Gurevich, the shipyards in Murmansk, or one of the many manufacturers and refineries in Volgograd. There will be a Chuck-E-Che in every town and every VFW/American Legion hall shall live in the shadow of a Mamayev Kurgan-like statue.

lenorecutie February 11, 2009 at 11:56 am

Wonkette should make it their new policy to show us an adorable animal whenever they’re going to post something that is going to make us want to slit our wrists. It helps with the pain.

[re=240953]Serolf Divad[/re]: Execs make more money then God, and they still ran their companies into the ground. Yep, that theory works.

Lascauxcaveman February 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm

[re=240990]norbizness[/re]: That reminds me of what I used to tell people when they asked if I was Democrat or Republican. I’d tell them I was a Plutocrat.

Plutocracy is a political system where the politician is allowed to serve one term, then is sent on a rocket to Pluto.

Toomush Infermashun February 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm

When not drinking, I’m self-employed,(like, really, most of the folks who have lost their jobs these days)….If (big if) I make money, I get to keep it until somebody, usually the government or my wife, figures out how to pry it out of my fingers… if I don’t make money, I get to keep most of my fingers, maybe….how did corporate executives figure out how to make money if they don’t make money….why can’t executive pay be related to whether the company makes any money. If not, fuck ‘em, they’re not that good…

Lemming Caution February 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm

[re=240996]Norbert[/re]: I think that’s why the fireman makes the comment that, the second the he’s rehydrated, the koala will probably bite (I think) the shit out of him.

sackmeister February 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm

I ain’t reading all those comments so forgive me if I’m repeating stuff, but couldn’t we just do an economic version of the PROTECT Act and make it illegal for people to send and hold huge amounts of money outside the country? I’ve looked over this Constitution thing and I’m pretty sure that’s not a violation of any actual right.

J05H February 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm


Rocket to the Sun is hugely expensive – 30km per second change in velocity.

Much cheaper is something Ronnie Reagan taught me: just throw them out a helicopter door at 10,000 feet over the ocean. That’s how the Contras did it. Doesn’t leave much of a mess – and there’s a lot of ocean southeast of Greenwich CT.

Hooray For Anything February 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I think the idea about capping high-level executive salaries is that if you did, nobody would want to work for them and then you’d have a bunch of idiot yahoos in charge of America’s financial institutions who would trash the economy due to their incompetance.

Which is working out just fine

J05H February 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm

a little followup – totes seriosu about the Ronnie Rayguns thing – it’s the other part of Trickle Down Economics.

PerhapsSo February 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm

First rumors of layoffs just went around my government workplace.

I think that I might go drink at lunch.

Portugal (The Man) February 11, 2009 at 1:13 pm


I can’t read you. Either you are very subtle or else you anger me greatly. I haven’t decided.

hobospacejungle February 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

How about we look at Obama’s top 20 campaign donors and then realize the financial industry will suffer no pain under his administration. Unless it is of the pitchforks and torches variety, an industry which did not make it into his top 20.

agitpropster February 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm


R-E-S-P-E-C-T – sellin’ my gold records an’ HDTV!

Forget the plutocrats. How do knuckleheads making millions and millions a year in mailbox money manage to get foreclosed on?

It seems that certain occupations/ethnic groups are more at risk than others.

godforbidowright February 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm

You were right, the koala bit deffinately IS a lot less mind numbing!

Biden Time February 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm

[re=240965]evolutionista[/re]: Yeah, by my second grade math calculations, we’re paying 100% of the bonuses in order to get about 40% back in taxes. That sounds like a net loss of…wait let me get my calculator…

DustBowlBlues February 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm

completely OT (well, partly OT) Chrissy is about to show an ad done by my kid’s union (she’s an organizer–chippette off the old blockette) and I believe it features Eric Cantor–AKA DIXIE JEW! Nasel whine combined with southern accent. He’s a one-man torture machine. Oh, fuck, I hate to listen to Dixie Jew, both for what he says and how he sounds when he says it.

DustBowlBlues February 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm

[re=240953]Serolf Divad[/re]: And don’t forget, merit pay fro teachers. For the plutos, it’s merit pay in reverse.

DustBowlBlues February 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm

It’s great! Watch Hardball. Cantor’s office responded to the AFSCME ad by sending out an email of an old ’70s sendup of an ASFCME short. Matthews points out he likes the send up–it’s very funny, if you’ve never seen it and very popular among the rank and file because, you know, it’s fucking AFSCME, the union that works for you. :-)

I’d watch in on utube. Half the words are bleeped.

Dean Booth February 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm

If $500K isn’t enough, they can always quit and go work for… for who?

smellyal8r February 11, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Well, as someone who actually has a pay package with some of it “at risk” let me address bonuses. My salary includes a weekly paycheck, and an annual bonus (part of which is in cash; part of it in restricted stock). Every year, based on my performance (I’m not in sales) I get “some sort of bonus” as my boss puts it. There’s not much objectivity to it. My VP (two steps up from me) takes the “bonus pool assigned to my group” and busts is up amongst all of us. I tend to get about 17 to 20 percent of my annual salary as a bonus (lump sum) plus about 500 shares of our company stock that I can’t sell for about five years and, if the economy is smiling, a salary increase of between 3.5 to 5 percent (I am a pretty high performer). My CEO makes about $450,000 a year and gets a bonus of about a million bucks and stock of a like amount (this year at my company everyone at the VP level and higher will NOT get bonuses of any sort, meaning they are in a FANTASTIC mood).

Now, some douchebags on Wall Street who don’t know anything, don’t make anything and work 120 hours per week might get $5 to $10 million in bonuses a year, but they are/were earning it based on the rules in effect and will probably quit working full time in about 10 years. I actually don’t begrudge them that (although they are douchebags and I know several).

Are you a school teacher in Des Moines? A bank teller in Midland? Well, your standard of living is considerably lower than NYC and you have probably made a choice to live outside a metro area, spend each evening with your family and not be on the road 200 days a year. Others have made different choices and are differently compensated. I agree that we need to spend more money on education, but if government is going to start setting private sector salaries…well, that’s what they do in China.

The system, while flawed, works. Markets should be regulated by the government. The people who work in them should be allowed to succeed.

rocktonsammy February 11, 2009 at 8:52 pm

I hate money.

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