"Have you noticed how, whenever there is a serious effort to put an end to business-as-usual, we are warned by insiders like Paulson and Summers that the result will be the end of civilization?
"'This lack of transparency -- and the lack of accountability that results -- is one of the most significant threats to our democracy,' Wyden told me. 'This is not at all how the civics books tell us the system is suppose to work. What we have here is a prime example of Washington deny, defer, delay.'
"He's right. We deserve better. Let's make this D.C. mystery the cause celebre it deserves to be. Let's demand that the White House live up to its vows of transparency."
What has been lost in all this AIG outrage is the stark reality that this debacle is what should be expected when government moves into the Board Room. Congress passed the misguided $700-billion bailout in October; Congress approved the second tranche of $350 billion for the bailout in January; and Speaker Pelosi and President Obama pushed through a “stimulus” package that specifically permitted these AIG bonuses on the taxpayer dime. When Congress and the Administration took these actions they set in motion this necessity that they feign outrage over misuse of hard-working taxpayers’ money.
Congress must engage the same determination they used this week to enact an exit strategy for the American people from bailout-band-aid mania. The American people deserve our outrage about more than just these $165 million.