Congressman Tom Perriello issued this response to news that A.I.G. paid "retention payments" to those who essentially drove the company into the proverbial toilet.
Washington, DC—In response to the news that AIG plans to pay out more than $165 million in executive bonuses, Congressman Tom Perriello released the following statement:
“This decision by AIG is offensive to the American taxpayer and at odds with the free-market principles they claim to support. I opposed the bailout for these banks as bad policy and I oppose these bonuses as bad morality. I am outraged that middle-class taxpayers who have worked hard and played by the rules are watching their retirement savings and home values shrink, while those who caused our economic pain continue to prosper."
“AIG hides behind claims of contractual obligations, but the car companies who received bailout funds found a way to cut wages to line workers. Why is it okay for companies to force cuts on workers but not scale back million dollar bonuses for the executives who knowingly caused us this mess?”
Perriello signed on to a letter to Secretary Timothy F. Geithner with his colleagues to demand that President Obama block the AIG bonuses.
Preliminary reports say there is probably little the Treasury Department can do to block the payments, but they do have plenty of leverage where more funding is concerned.