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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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60 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. [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?

  7. [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.”

  8. [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?

  9. [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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. [re=240991]BadKitty[/re]:
    My padlocks come from foreclosed homes so they are encrusted with the tears and crushed dreams of homeowners (the speculators can go fuck themselves.)

  14. [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.

  15. 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.

  16. [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.

  17. 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…

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. [re=240990]norbizness[/re]:

    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.

  21. 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

  22. [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…

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

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