Sadly, Charlie Rangel of the Congressional Black Caucus is defending AIG. Things that make you go hmmm…. From AmericaBlog:

It’s been really tough for AIG the past few months, what with getting an $85bn bailout from the US taxpayer, and now another $165 million in bonuses. Life is tough.

But fret not. Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY), who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, is coming to the rescue of the little-guy billionaires over at AIG. Rangel, whose committee oversees taxes, is going to make sure that we don’t “unfairly” use the tax law to stop AIG from wasting taxpayer money. (I’m sure Rangel’s sudden interest in defending the fat-cats at AIG has nothing to do with the fact that he’s a congressman from New York City, and gosh, where is Wall Street?)

Anyway, Rangel thinks it’s very very very unfair to use the US tax code to get those bonuses back:

“It’s difficult for me to think of the code as a political weapon,” said Rangel, who spoke to a handful of reporters outside his office.

“Is this an indictment or a bill?” asked Rangel. “Are they naming people? I mean, are they naming the taxpayers?”

Rangel said he sympathizes with the effort, but not the means it takes. “There’s no way that good thinking Americans should reward people when they’ve been complicit in wrong doing,” he said. “But as a former federal prosecutor, as I recall, it was the criminal code that you dealt with, not internal revenue.”

First off, a political weapon? I have no idea what the politics are of the folks at AIG. I do know that I just lent them $85bn of my money and I just caught them wasting it. So, what Rangel is saying is that it’s wrong to stop bailed out companies, now and in the future, from giving exorbitant bonuses. It’s “political.” It’s not moral, it’s not ethical, it’s not the right thing to do, it’s simply “political.” That’s a new one.

This is a gutsy move for a guy already trying to survive ethics probes. Charlie – stop hearting AIG and heart the rest of New York and the U.S. who are paying for AIG’s golden parachutes.

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