On Sunday, Lawrence Summers, the director of the White House National Economic Council, described the bonuses as outrageous, but he said the bonuses are part of a contract:--
Lawrence Summers: “We are a country of law. There are contracts. The government cannot just abrogate contracts. Every legal step possible to limit those bonuses is being taken by Secretary Geithner and by the Federal Reserve system.”Eli Stephens writes, Funny how that objection to abrogating contracts and the "very, very destabilizing consequences" doesn't come up when the contracts being abrogated are those with GM and Ford workers, or San Francisco Chronicle workers, or anyplace else where it's the workers who are suffering. Au contraire, it's precisely those cases where members of Congress actively call for the abrogation of contracts.
Just like "freedom of speech" belongs to those who own the presses and the airwaves, the "law" belongs to those who own the country. For the rest of us, it's a thin layer of ice which can be shattered at any moment.
On the car radio, I've listened to some of these call-in programs (c.f. "On Point"), and surely people are outraged, but the discussion doesn't go beyond that.
Richard Estes, telling it like it really is and what we might expect, Allow me to translate this for you: everything is going according to plan, right down to the faux outrage expressed by Geithner and Summers. Summers' reliance upon pre-existing contracts to justify inaction is particularly mendacious.
We are entering the early stages of this process, with capital retaining as many privileges as possible, despite the catastrophic failure of those who managed it, while the workers who have already been victimized, are called upon to sacrifice, even those with the contractual protections commonly utilized by bankers and investors. Will we eventually rebel? There is no sign of it. But if we do, how will Obama respond? Well, the Pentagon is already anticipating the deployment of troops to deal with domestic unrest.