Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK):
Should we be mad at the executives who are involved in this and who ran a once-great company into the ground? Yes. But that’s not where the blame game ends. That’s not where the buck stops. I know that I will upset some of my colleagues when I remind them, and the American people, that much of the blame should be directed right here, to the members of this body, the U.S. Senate, to the other side of the Capitol in the U.S. House for voting for the original $700 billion bailout.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL):
The more we proceed with policies whereby the government owns 80% of the stock of a private insurance company — having poured $170 billion of our wealth into it — the more we are inevitably compelled to direct how the company operates, to the point of deciding who their executives should be, what the company’s salary scale should be, or what aircraft it can or cannot have or where or what kind of corporate retreat they may have, and whether or not it can pay bonuses.
The Heritage Foundation previewed some of these problems in a paper last year titled “Time to End the TARP Bailout Program” and argued that it is a bad idea to allow the Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner from “using TARP funds in ways not intended by Congress.” Conservatives in Congress should use the debate over AIG bonuses to abolish the bailouts to protect American capitalism.