This Time I'm Taking Names!

Of course there are reasons why the House appeared to becaving yesterday with regard to capping executive pay, imposing penalties and ending bonuses for banks that have, like thieves, taken our money and run. There are reasons why the White House capping of executive pay isn't retroactive. There are political trade offs to consider, we're told.

But if this is how it's going to have to go down in order to get the stimulus bill passed, then I'm taking names and never putting a cent into those banks. And that's what all of us should do.

We're not a shame society, but rather a pass the blame society. So while these monsters of greed are soaking up the sun on distant beaches and drinking champagne on their yachts this summer, no amount of guilt-tripping them is likely to pay dividends.

The only thing we can do is be more vigilant about where we put any money we're left with by the time they're quite through tearing away or pillaging our homes. Unlike our senators and representatives in congress, we don't have to compromise on this issue. And we don't have to vote them back into office.

It truly galls me when I read that some bank big shot wants to pay off the TARP load quickly because banks don't want the government in their business. They don't mind taking our money, just our having a say in it.

And then there's the claim that it's somehow unfair - if you can believe it - unfair to retroactively impose limits on how banks spend the money we've loaned them, as they should have been advised of those limits when they took our money. These are the same guys who were ordering $50 million corporate jets and planning to take their buddies to the Bahamas. And they want to talk about fair!

This is insanity! Why don't we stimulate the economy by taking back the loans, taking back the bonuses, and building windmills along the east and west coasts, high in the Rockies and along the Great Lakes - and wherever else the wind blows? It beats giving it to selfish people who don't care about making fellow Americans homeless. Why don't we put people back in their homes by paying off parts of their loans or requiring that these greedy bankers do so instead? In fact, why don't we send Americans on shopping sprees to stimulate the economy? Why not? It doesn't seem as ludicrous as what we've been doing?

Why don't we feed hungry children? Now that's a down payment that would pay back double or triple.

I'm not going to forget this - no matter how things turn out. OK, let's have the stimulus bill pass. But let's be clear that it's on the back of cowards who would rather make Democrats look bad, or who themselves are Democrats and don't want to rock the boat.

No, I'm not going to forget this one.

Dr. Reardon also blogs at bardscove.