Now the socialists in the Obama administration are moving to actually micromanage what people can be paid,
Later this morning the White House and Treasury Department will announce new restrictions on executive compensation on financial institutions receiving government funds.
An Obama administration official tells ABC News that under the new rules, companies receiving exceptional assistance from the Department of the Treasury -- such as AIG, for example -- will face executive compensation limits of $500,000 a year.
This new limit comes with one exception: Additional compensation can be allocated in restricted stock that will not vest until taxpayers have been paid back -- the contractual dividends plus interest -- or after specified period according to conditions that consider the degree a company has satisfied its repayment obligations as well as lending and stability goals,among other factors.
Companies that receive more general TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds are permitted to waive the $500,000 plus restricted stock rule if they disclose executive compensation and if requested, allow a non-binding "say on pay" shareholder resolution, allowing investors a non-binding vote on compensation for top executives.
Banks receiving TARP funds will face tougher restrictions than exist now, the Obama official says, including restrictions on golden parachutes and "say on pay" shareholder policies.
It would be easy to point out that different professions received different levels of compensation and that $500,000 really isn't that much for someone who runs a major bank. If you think it is, how does it compare to what, let's say, a professional basketball player or actor makes in a year?
Moreover, while this may be viewed as a "punishment" on the banks, what it's really doing is guaranteeing that they won't be able to attract the top talent in the industry -- you know, exactly the sort of people who could turn those banks around in a hurry.
But, if we're going to play this game -- and say that it's acceptable for the government to set the salary limits for these bankers because they're taking government money, let's consider who else takes government money. How about Congress, the White House, and their staffs? So, here's what I propose: I think a $75,000 limit on what any member of the House, the Senate, the White House and their staffs can receive along with a permanent ban on lobbying activities for all these same people. Hey, if they wanted to make a bundle, they should have gone into the private sector. Certainly, if it's fair for the bankers, it should be fair for Congress and their staffs, right?