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So, the TARP (bailout) bill was changed at the last minute, by the Bush administration, to allow the bailed out banks to give bonuses (which in the recent past have been from 1 to 50 million dollars) to their executives. Yes, that's right--US tax dollars giving bonuses to people who ran thier businesses into the ground. They should be rewarded, right?!?!?!

Anyway, THANK GOD I live in Vermont, where we have sensible, Democratic US House member, Peter Welch. Peter is leading the fight to get the bill changed so the Bushco language is stripped out.

As an aside, this is just one example of why it actually pays to work hard for local and state political candidates, as well as keeping tabs on them. Peter heard a LOUD AND CLEAR message from people all over the state that they hated the bailout process, and that greedy bankers shouldn't be rewarded. He knew that if didn't go along with it, his feet were going to helo to the fire, as they say. Imagine who this country could change if EVERYONE would demand accountability from their political representation.

Go Peter!

Welch fights bank bonuses
By Dan McLean, Free Press Staff Writer • December 23, 2008

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., has assembled a coalition of congressional leaders who are calling on bailed-out banking executives to forfeit annual bonuses, despite an apparent loophole crafted by the Bush administration.

Provisions in the legislation that authorized a $700 billion bailout of the financial sector are not as tight as many in Congress had thought.

The Bush administration made a “one-sentence change” that created the loophole, The Washington Post reported last week. “Lawmakers and legal experts say the change has effectively repealed the only enforcement mechanism in the law dealing with lavish pay for top executives,” the Post reported.

Welch said he would sponsor legislation to eliminate the loophole in addition to calling for a review of executive compensation which, he said, was a “major cause” of the country’s recent financial meltdown.

To ensure bonuses are withheld, Welch said, “we would have to delete that one-line loophole that was put in by Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bush.”

“The spirit of the law was to say, ‘No bonuses to banks that got bailout money,’” the congressman said, adding, “These Wall Street bankers have no shame.”

Citing The Washington Post report, Welch enlisted the support of 22 House colleagues and fired off letters to the top executives of eight banks and investment houses Monday. The banks that received letters were each bailed out with $2.5 billion to $25 billion, Welch said.

“We were shocked to learn that companies currently participating in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) are able to skirt executive compensation limits ... using a loophole inserted in the legislation by the Bush administration,” the members of Congress wrote...
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