It's been reported that AIG executives were treated to a posh retreat in California, at one of the most exclusive hotels and resorts in the US, to the tune of $440,000.00 of taxpayer's dollars.
That's right, your money. This retreat was implemented after the $85 billion dollar bailout of the insurance giant that almost tanked, helping to undermine the US's economy so much so that the US government had to step in, and take control, using tax payer's money to bail them out of trouble. From the CNN.com:
Days after it got a federal bailout, American International Group Inc. spent $440,000 on a posh California retreat for its executives, complete with spa treatments, banquets and golf outings, according to lawmakers investigating the company's meltdown.
The resort tab included $23,380 worth of spa treatments for AIG employees, according to invoices the resort turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Now, is there any wonder why our economy is in the tank? Is there any wonder why these massive companies, charged with fraudulent behaviors and corrupt practices are going under, to the great expense of the US economy, and all of the citizens in it?
This company took huge risks (with your insurance premiums, I might add) lost it all, gave their former CEO a raise bringing his enormous salary up to $13.7 million dollars per year, excluding perks and compensation of stocks while the company was going under, cooked the books AND THEN...
Had the government bail them out with $85 billion dollars of tax payer's money who then has the audacity to turn around and pamper the executives with a retreat that cost US - you and me - nearly a half of a million dollars?!
It is more than obvious that corporations cannot be trusted to do business ethically, or intelligently and those who stand to gain the most but risk the least who have such a major influence on the domestic and global economy should not be allowed to make decisions for themselves.
It's like letting a baby play with a samurai sword. It won't end well. And it hasn't.
Have we forgotten history?
In the meantime, you have McCain supporters crying that they don't want their tax dollars going towards a national health care system because "other people" will be able to get health care off 'their dime". And yet, "other people" namely CEO's executives, and massive corporations are getting spa treatments off their dime. Off of, actually millions of their dimes.
Where are they? Are they screaming from the rooftops about this yet? Or is anything corporate good - particularly the pampering of executives of corporations by way of tax payer dollars, yet helping individual citizens get proper health care through tax dollars "socialism"?
I don't even want to know how they justify this. From the article:
"I do agree there is some profligate spending there, but the concept of bringing all the major employees together ... to ensure that the $85 billion could be as greatly as possible paid back would have been not a crazy corporate decision," Dinallo told the House committee.
What, they couldn't have them gather at the headquarters for a meeting? They had to play golf, and get their nails done too?
This is no excuse. This is the poorest rationalization I've seen.
It's no wonder why we are in the mess we are in, corporate budgetary priorities are entirely backwards. They pay millions upon millions of dollars to the people who do the least work, and lay off the people who produce the product and services that make them millions of dollars. They could create thousands of jobs on their salaries, yet squander their money away on perks and overgrown children who apparently can't do business unless they are getting an avocado facial.
They take huge risks with your money, then ask for more of your money to bail them out, and then squander what they've borrowed on more perks.
And they complain about their "tax burden" Hello? Is anyone there?
This is ridiculous. Utterly. Ridiculous.
From the article:
"You have cost my constituents and the taxpayers of this country $85 billion and run into the ground one of the most respected insurance companies in the history of our country," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York. "You were just gambling billions, possibly trillions of dollars."
Damn straight. By the way, Presidential hopeful, Obama expressed the sentiment that the executives of AIG should be fired over this.
And I agree.