As the budget stalemate in Washington continues, Democrats are ratcheting up their class-warfare caterwauling. Time to bring out your earplugs and hypocrisy meters.
Liberal political strategist Donna Brazile took to Twitter to assail fiscal conservatives for "taking medicine from seniors" and cutting taxes for "the rich and their corporate donors."
Do-nothing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attacked Republicans for paving a "path to poverty for America's seniors and children and a road to riches for big oil."
The left-wing activist group Campaign for America's Future bemoaned GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's "corrupt" budget plan for catering to "the wealthiest Americans that finance campaigns, the powerful corporate lobbies that have deep pockets for politicians in and out of office."
But as I've said many times, people who live in fat cat-infested houses shouldn't throw stones. The left's overheated rhetoric about pandering to overpaid executives comes just as an independent inspector general has exposed the lavish, out-of-control compensation packages for politically connected Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage finance bureaucrats.
According to government watchdogs at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the chief executives of Fannie and Freddie raked in a combined $17 million in 2009-2010 -- the period when the government-sponsored entities were handed over completely to federal conservators. The top six executives at the two institutions pulled in a combined $35 million over the past two years.
In a little-noticed report released late last week, FHFA Inspector General Steve Linick wrote: "F.H.F.A. has a responsibility to Congress and taxpayers to efficiently, consistently and reliably ensure that the compensation paid to Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's senior executives is reasonable. This is especially true when you realize that the U.S. Treasury has invested close to $154 billion to stabilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."
The "U.S. Treasury" equals taxpayers, of course. And the "investment" has been a futile bailout that may reach nearly $400 billion if the plug isn't pulled. Linick found an appalling "lack of standardized evaluation criteria, documentation of management procedures and internal controls" over the Fannie/Freddie fat cats' salaries.
In other words: crony government business as usual.