January 30, 2009

Sen. Claire McCaskill Calls for Executive Salary Caps

I like Claire McCaskill (D-MO). She was an early endorser of Obama's presidential candidacy. My admiration for her grew today when she gave voice to many angry villagers with her speech on the Senate floor today in which she said an average of $2.6 million dollars had been paid in bonuses to executives from the first 116 banks that got money from the TARP rescue plan.

"I am mad," she said. "We have bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer. ... They don't get it!"

Her office said the $400,000 compensation cap she was proposing would include salary, bonuses and stock options.

"We should have done it in the first place," McCaskill said of the proposed salary cap, "but I don't think any of us thought these guys were this stupid."

I like the idea of this proposed legislation. How about you?


Jamie said...

When it comes to greedy human beings who care nothing for others, if you don't get it in writing it isn't going to happen.

Even if you do get it in writing, put a watchdog on them... Something that has been totally missing for the past several years.

Iya said...

It's for sure that something needs to be done and a cap sounds like a good idea. I agree with an idea I think i head today on TV. There are those who have created an idea or a product (the operative word is created)and should not be in the same category. It was their idea or product and they ought to be able to profit however from that.

But those who manage or supervise an existing corporation or other entity. IHMO, should not make these humoungous salaries. In the straits we are in now limiting salaries, bonuses, etc. should not exceed that earned by the President of the United States.

And while I am at it, I never cease to be appalled at the salaries paid professional athletes
in football and basketball, for example.

My two cents

SjP said...

She's got my vote on this! You would think that a cap should go without saying given the present state of affairs. This galls me as much as states being governed by Republicans salivating a the prospects of receiving TARP funds because they don't want to raise taxes in their states. But, they are more than willing to take my hard earned federal tax dollar to bail them out without looking at home first.

This is all coming to a head - but, these fat cats just don't seem to give a crap.

SjP said...

oh yeah! Hope Your Birthday was GRAND!!

http://geoffreyphilp.blogspot.com/ said...

Villager, not only do I support Claire McCaskill's bill, but I think it should have a CLAWBACK provision in the law.


Shawn Williams said...

I think this is a terrible idea. Any time you put caps on available dollars in the public sector you stifle innovation.

Case in point. There is no money for companies to make in antibiotics. Because they can't make money, companies are no longer developing antibiotics to fight increasingly resistant strains of bacteria.

So when you see people with long illnesses die, they generally die due to complications from pneumonia. That doesn't even include MRSA.

Anyway, I say all of that to say that innovation and achievement in this country are rewarded by dollars. What we have now are salary structures that are out of whack. Some of the pressure needs to be put on Boards of Directors of these companies, no doubt. And we need to make sure these bonuses are more in line with what wage workers and managers are making.

But if you want to talk about (gulp) socialism, take this $400,000 executive cap idea and the Fairness Doctrine and you're well on your way.

Villager said...

Jamie - The power of money. If taxpayers are going to pay to keep these financial institutions alive ... taxpayers can call the tune on executive compensation. Let's see if McCaskill's idea makes it way into a bill for the President to sign.

Iya - Most of these financial big-wigs seemed to only create schemes to get bonues and stock options at the expense of their businesses and the American consumer. I would like to see the actual legislation. I haven't been able to find a copy yet, but, I'll keep looking.

Sojourner - Yes, it appears that McCaskill struck a nerve. Your response is what I've seen from others as well.

Shawn - Companies that are innovative, profitable and not begging at the trough of the American taxpayers are free to pay out 18.4 billion dollars in executive bonuses while their companies are going bankrupt.

However, if those same companies go to the government to request some of the $350 billion in remaining TARP funds ... there should be a cost ... and that cost should be borned by the executives that led the company into the ditch ... not the tens of thousands that are being laid off.

McCaskill's bill doesn't set salary cap for every executive. Only those that are begging from the taxpayers via TARP funds.

Geoffrey - I'd like to see the actual verbiage in the legislation. I don't think it has any 'clawback' action in it.

Anonymous said...

If being an "idiot" means being able to siphon off billions of other people's money and putting it in my pocket, I'd never want to be one of the 'smart' ones.

Perhaps our dear Senator has it wrong when she says "they" don't get it. Methinks the "they" that don't get it are the folks in Congress enabling these Wall Streeters.

- Andre

Villager said...

Andre - Your point is well taken. I think that Sen. McCaskill beleives the adage, "fool me once, shame on you ... fool me twice, shame on me!"