conference will direct you to someone who covered it very well.
Asked why he should have new authority to regulate financial institutions in light of the furor over the AIG bonuses, the President replied that “it is precisely because of the lack of this authority that the AIG situation has gotten worse.” One wonders why he thinks that is the case. The bonuses were expressly allowed by the stimulus package that Congress passed; indeed, the President’s own Treasury Secretary had Senator Chris Dodd place language in the stimulus package allowing for bailout recipients to get bonuses. One may potentially conclude, thanks to this Keystone Kops method of governance, that the best course of action would be to give the President and his Administration less power, not more, but of course, the Obama Administration is in no mood for logic.
That does not mean, however, that there should be any slackening in the effort to remind people that it was because of the Treasury Secretary’s insistence that bailout recipients get bonuses, the malleability of Senator Chris Dodd concerning the issue, and the failure of stimulus package proponents to even so much as read the bill they asked Congress to approve, that the AIG bonus tempest even became an issue. Having the President try to tell us that the AIG bonus tempest came about because the President lacked power is more than a little rich.
Asked by ABC’s Jake Tapper whether he would allow Congressional Democrats to strip the budget of both a middle-class tax cut and cap-and-trade, the President bobbed and weaved and did just about everything that he could not to answer the question. I think that cap-and-trade is lousy policy and prefer a particular carbon tax proposal above all, but it is quite newsworthy that the President appears to be forced to back away from his cap-and-trade proposal and his middle-class tax cut. Many people predicted that the President would find a way to ditch the latter–which served as a campaign promise last year–so the White House deserves some opprobrium over its potential failure to deliver on a key Obama campaign promise. The fact that the Administration is pledged to overturn the Bush tax cuts in 2011–despite the likelihood that economic growth won’t be nearly as robust as the Obama Administration claims it will be when the tax cuts are overturned–makes the rhetorical brickbats even more justified. The Obama Administration is clearly not all that invested in fighting for any kind of tax cuts, the parlous economic situation notwithstanding. Despite its claims to be against only “tax cuts for the rich,” the Administration appears to be allergic to tax cuts for anyone.