There is the issue of executive pay. And then there is the issue of companies taking government money, and then giving employees, executives, and shareholders excessive compensation. I have no problem with successful, thriving companies paying executives as much as they want. I have no problem with companies paying employees salary, bonuses, and other compensation. But if a company is taking charity from Uncle Sam, if they are only in business because of a government bailout, they have given up the right to manage their company.
We have bailed out companies because in the best judgement of our leaders, they are vital to the nation and the nation’s economy. And if not for the government, the company would close. O. K. fine. We need the company. So we bail it out. But it is a slap in the face to the taxpayer when that company then pays its employees, shareholders, and executives large bonuses, dividends, salaries, or other compensation.
The focus of the outrage has been on the executives. Good, but it is not enough. This new paymaster, or whatever his title is, should not be looking at the compensation of the top executives. He should look at the expenses of the entire company. He should look at cutting any unnecessary spending. And there should be no incentive to go get a big government bailout. On the contrary, there should be a penalty.