Friday, March 20, 2009

Jeff Burton sorts out the AIG bonus mess

Since President Obama is having difficulties filling government posts I’d like to nominate Jeff Burton for a high position. Let’s say Secretary of Commerce or the Treasury. In Bristol on Friday Burton made sense out of the nonsense.

For the past week we’ve seen politicians and insurance industry leaders wringing their hands over the $160 million, in retention bonuses, doled out to a handful of company executives.

Burton, driver for Richard Childress Racing, has the answer; some people need to admit they made a mistake and, even if the bonuses were legal contracts, the recipients need to return that money voluntarily.

In a pre-practice interview he said “well I think that Congress screwed up. And it sure would be nice to have somebody stand up and say you know what, ‘I screwed up. I supported sending tax dollars to a company to bail them out and didn’t put any stipulations in there’.

It sure would be nice if somebody would stand up and say that. And the people at AIG ought to have enough sense not to take the bonus. But the people that gave the money to them should have enough sense not to do that.

Congress is ripping all the lenders for screwing the country up. Guess what they are? They’re a lender that screwed that up. So how are they any different? It sure would be nice to have one of them stand up and say, ‘You know what, we should have done something differently,’ rather than just point the finger at each another. There. I feel better now (laughter).”

Now I feel a lot better – Burton makes sense. He's simplified it all.

Okay, now what about the company paying us taxpayers back the $180 billion we’ve paid them?

That’s an eye-popping number that we really need to address.