Congress Controlling Pay

If you thought plans to limit bonuses and cap salaries for top-tier employees working for companies receiving TARP funds were worrisome enough, now the House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow the government to control pay for all financial companies with assets greater than $1 billion. Two reports on the bill, aimed at preventing “perverse incentives in the compensation practices of financial institutions,” can be read here and here.

Politico summed up the bill this way:

Banks, financial advisers and other financial firms would have to disclose their bonus plans to federal regulators, who would have the power to ban compensation packages they believe would encourage “inappropriate risks” by firms or employees.

Naturally, private industry is concerned that this an overstep on the part of government:

“The legislation represents a giant step toward the U.S. government controlling private entities,” said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs for the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry trade association.

Dismissing concerns over such an obvious overreach by government into the private economy, one member of Congress clearly twisted the effect of this controversial legislation:

“This is not the government taking over the corporate sector,” Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C, said of the House action. “It is a statement by the American people that it is time for us to straighten up the ship.”

The last six-plus months of Obama and “progressives” controlling both the executive and legislative branches of our government, not to mention the last few months of the previous Bush administration, have led to perhaps one of the most rapid expansions of government power over the private sector in our country’s history. No matter what you call the various actions in the last months (“bailouts,” “overhauls,” “reforms,” etc.), they all represent an ever-steady encroachment on freedom.

The march toward change is in full swing — and in a hurry. Although it’s more like a stampede … a stampede that is trampling over our liberties.

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