Daily Archives: February 4, 2009

>Obama Calls for ‘Common Sense’ on Executive Pay

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From the NY Times, just moments ago.

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced on Wednesday a salary cap of $500,000 for top executives at companies that receive the largest amounts of money under the $700 billion federal bailout, calling the step an expression not only of fairness but of “basic common sense.”

“We all need to take responsibility,” the president said, in discussing the compensation restrictions, which include an exception for restricted stock. He also used the occasion to prompt Congress once again to act on his separate economic stimulus program, whose cost could approach $1 trillion.

Mr. Obama repeated his comments that some Wall Street executives had shown “the height of irresponsibility” when millions of nonwealthy Americans were bearing the burden of Wall Street’s failures.

The people are sick and tired, Mr. Obama said, of seeing Wall Street executives come to the government “hat in hand when they were in trouble, even as they paid themselves customary lavish bonuses.”

“This is America, we don’t disparage wealth,” the president said. “We don’t begrudge anybody for achieving success. And we certainly believe that success should be rewarded.”

But Americans definitely begrudge “executives being rewarded for failure,” especially if their earning are subsidized by taxpayers, “many of whom are having a tough time themselves,” he said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, appeared with the president to announce the restrictions, which do not require Congressional approval. “The economic crisis was caused in part by a loss of confidence in our financial institutions, and it was made worse by a loss of faith in the quality of judgments made by some executives and some boards of directors,” Mr. Geithner said.

There is a general feeling among not-so-rich Americans, he said, that they are bearing a greater burden because of the financial crisis than those who helped to create it. Mr. Geithner said he would devote “every ounce of energy” to restore public trust in financial institutions — the bedrock of the country’s credit system.

The $500,000 salary cap will be stricter for those companies getting “exceptional assistance” from the Treasury Department. “Exceptional assistance” companies wanting to pay executives more than $500,000 will have to do so by using stock that cannot be sold or liquidated until the government money is paid back.

Read more >>> Here

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Filed under Commen Sense, executive pay, NY Times, President Obama, Timothy Geithner, Treasury Department, Wall Street

Obama Calls for ‘Common Sense’ on Executive Pay

From the NY Times, just moments ago.

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced on Wednesday a salary cap of $500,000 for top executives at companies that receive the largest amounts of money under the $700 billion federal bailout, calling the step an expression not only of fairness but of “basic common sense.”

“We all need to take responsibility,” the president said, in discussing the compensation restrictions, which include an exception for restricted stock. He also used the occasion to prompt Congress once again to act on his separate economic stimulus program, whose cost could approach $1 trillion.

Mr. Obama repeated his comments that some Wall Street executives had shown “the height of irresponsibility” when millions of nonwealthy Americans were bearing the burden of Wall Street’s failures.

The people are sick and tired, Mr. Obama said, of seeing Wall Street executives come to the government “hat in hand when they were in trouble, even as they paid themselves customary lavish bonuses.”

“This is America, we don’t disparage wealth,” the president said. “We don’t begrudge anybody for achieving success. And we certainly believe that success should be rewarded.”

But Americans definitely begrudge “executives being rewarded for failure,” especially if their earning are subsidized by taxpayers, “many of whom are having a tough time themselves,” he said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, appeared with the president to announce the restrictions, which do not require Congressional approval. “The economic crisis was caused in part by a loss of confidence in our financial institutions, and it was made worse by a loss of faith in the quality of judgments made by some executives and some boards of directors,” Mr. Geithner said.

There is a general feeling among not-so-rich Americans, he said, that they are bearing a greater burden because of the financial crisis than those who helped to create it. Mr. Geithner said he would devote “every ounce of energy” to restore public trust in financial institutions — the bedrock of the country’s credit system.

The $500,000 salary cap will be stricter for those companies getting “exceptional assistance” from the Treasury Department. “Exceptional assistance” companies wanting to pay executives more than $500,000 will have to do so by using stock that cannot be sold or liquidated until the government money is paid back.

Read more >>> Here

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Filed under Commen Sense, executive pay, NY Times, President Obama, Timothy Geithner, Treasury Department, Wall Street

>Opening Salvo In Middletown Budget Battle Misses Mark

>

In an obvious attempt at one-upmanship Monday night February 2nd at the monthly workshop meeting, the Middletown Republicans fired the opening salvo in this years “Battle of the Budget”.

Towards the end of a long and tedious meeting, which ended at 11:30 pm, the newest member of the Township Committee, Republican Tony “the Fibber” Fiore, introduced his 8 point plan for controlling spending. Unfortunately for the residents of Middletown, the Fibber’s plan contains nothing new or bold. Democrats Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes have proposed seven out of the eight points outlined by Fiore before in one form or another.

Only the first of the Fibber’s proposals (listed below) is worth discussion, even though the impact to the budget of suspending the salaries of the Township Committee would be minimal and purely symbolic:

(1) Suspend the entire Township Committee’s salaries;
(2) Freeze all non-essential hiring not required by law;
(3) Freeze all union and non-union salaries;
(4) Evaluate all non-essential, non-revenue generating programs for elimination;
(5) Seek out additional shared service arrangements;
(6) Sell surplus township property and assets;
(7) Eliminate all non-essential Township subscriptions and dues payments; and
(8) Eliminate all conference and travel expenses unless required by law for continuing education requirements.”

For a team that promised “New Ideas”, to put “ Tax Payers First” and to “Cut Wasteful Spending and Lower Our Property Taxes”, Mayor Brightbill and Tony “the Fibber” Fiore have taken the ideas of their Democratic counterparts for themselves in order to make it seem as if the Republican majority on the Township Committee truly care and understand the current economic hard times the Township of Middletown faces.

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Filed under Budget Battle, Democrats, Middletown Republicans, Middletown Township, Pamela Brightbill, Patrick Short, Sean F. Byrnes, Tony"the fibber"Fiore, Township Committee, workshop meeting

Opening Salvo In Middletown Budget Battle Misses Mark

In an obvious attempt at one-upmanship Monday night February 2nd at the monthly workshop meeting, the Middletown Republicans fired the opening salvo in this years “Battle of the Budget”.

Towards the end of a long and tedious meeting, which ended at 11:30 pm, the newest member of the Township Committee, Republican Tony “the Fibber” Fiore, introduced his 8 point plan for controlling spending. Unfortunately for the residents of Middletown, the Fibber’s plan contains nothing new or bold. Democrats Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes have proposed seven out of the eight points outlined by Fiore before in one form or another.

Only the first of the Fibber’s proposals (listed below) is worth discussion, even though the impact to the budget of suspending the salaries of the Township Committee would be minimal and purely symbolic:

(1) Suspend the entire Township Committee’s salaries;
(2) Freeze all non-essential hiring not required by law;
(3) Freeze all union and non-union salaries;
(4) Evaluate all non-essential, non-revenue generating programs for elimination;
(5) Seek out additional shared service arrangements;
(6) Sell surplus township property and assets;
(7) Eliminate all non-essential Township subscriptions and dues payments; and
(8) Eliminate all conference and travel expenses unless required by law for continuing education requirements.”

For a team that promised “New Ideas”, to put “ Tax Payers First” and to “Cut Wasteful Spending and Lower Our Property Taxes”, Mayor Brightbill and Tony “the Fibber” Fiore have taken the ideas of their Democratic counterparts for themselves in order to make it seem as if the Republican majority on the Township Committee truly care and understand the current economic hard times the Township of Middletown faces.

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Filed under Budget Battle, Democrats, Middletown Republicans, Middletown Township, Pamela Brightbill, Patrick Short, Sean F. Byrnes, Tony"the fibber"Fiore, Township Committee, workshop meeting

>ABC’s Gibson stated that "a lot of people" say spending in recovery bill isn’t "stimulus" — but CBO director says "most economists" disagree

>From Media Matters

Interviewing President Obama, ABC’s Charles Gibson repeated assertions that “not enough” of the economic recovery package before Congress “is really stimulative,” that the bill “really doesn’t stimulate,” and that “it’s a spending bill and not a stimulus.” But according to the director of the Congressional Budget Office, “most economists” believe “all of the increase in government spending” included in the bill “provides some stimulative effect.” The CBO director has further stated that the bill “would provide massive fiscal stimulus.”

During his February 3 interview with President Obama, ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson repeated assertions that “not enough” of the economic recovery package before Congress “is really stimulative,” that the bill “really doesn’t stimulate,” and that “it’s a spending bill and not a stimulus.” Gibson made no mention of the fact that these assertions — which he attributed variously to “some people,” “a lot of people in the public,” and “a lot of members of Congress” — have been challenged by economists, including Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf, who has stated in congressional testimony that the bill “would provide massive fiscal stimulus” and that the CBO, along with “most economists,” believes that all of the of the spending in the bill “provides some stimulative effect.”

During the ABC interview, Obama stated that the recovery package “balances the need for speed … and the need for us to make sure that some of this money is going to long-term investments that will make us more competitive.” Echoing Republican claims that that spending provisions in the bill do not constitute economic stimulus and that the bill itself is therefore not a stimulus bill, Gibson responded:

GIBSON: Which leads some people to say that you tried to do too much with this bill too soon, and not enough of it is really stimulative. And as you know, there’s a lot of people in the public, a lot of members of Congress who think this is pork-stuffed and that it really doesn’t stimulate. A lot of people have said it’s a spending bill and not a stimulus.

In fact, in analyzing the House version of the bill, H.R. 1, and the proposed Senate version, the CBO stated that it expects both measures to “have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.” Additionally, as Media Matters for America documented, in his January 27 testimony before the House Budget Committee, Elmendorf said that H.R. 1 would “provide massive fiscal stimulus that includes a combination of government spending increases and revenue reductions.” Elmendorf further stated: “In CBO’s judgment, H.R. 1 would provide a substantial boost to economic activity over the next several years relative to what would occur without any legislation.”

http://mediamatters.org/static/flash/mmfaplayer.swf

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Filed under ABC World News Tonight, Charles Gibson, Congressional Budget Office, Economic Stimulus Package, Interview, President Obama

ABC’s Gibson stated that "a lot of people" say spending in recovery bill isn’t "stimulus" — but CBO director says "most economists" disagree

From Media Matters

Interviewing President Obama, ABC’s Charles Gibson repeated assertions that “not enough” of the economic recovery package before Congress “is really stimulative,” that the bill “really doesn’t stimulate,” and that “it’s a spending bill and not a stimulus.” But according to the director of the Congressional Budget Office, “most economists” believe “all of the increase in government spending” included in the bill “provides some stimulative effect.” The CBO director has further stated that the bill “would provide massive fiscal stimulus.”

During his February 3 interview with President Obama, ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson repeated assertions that “not enough” of the economic recovery package before Congress “is really stimulative,” that the bill “really doesn’t stimulate,” and that “it’s a spending bill and not a stimulus.” Gibson made no mention of the fact that these assertions — which he attributed variously to “some people,” “a lot of people in the public,” and “a lot of members of Congress” — have been challenged by economists, including Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf, who has stated in congressional testimony that the bill “would provide massive fiscal stimulus” and that the CBO, along with “most economists,” believes that all of the of the spending in the bill “provides some stimulative effect.”

During the ABC interview, Obama stated that the recovery package “balances the need for speed … and the need for us to make sure that some of this money is going to long-term investments that will make us more competitive.” Echoing Republican claims that that spending provisions in the bill do not constitute economic stimulus and that the bill itself is therefore not a stimulus bill, Gibson responded:

GIBSON: Which leads some people to say that you tried to do too much with this bill too soon, and not enough of it is really stimulative. And as you know, there’s a lot of people in the public, a lot of members of Congress who think this is pork-stuffed and that it really doesn’t stimulate. A lot of people have said it’s a spending bill and not a stimulus.

In fact, in analyzing the House version of the bill, H.R. 1, and the proposed Senate version, the CBO stated that it expects both measures to “have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.” Additionally, as Media Matters for America documented, in his January 27 testimony before the House Budget Committee, Elmendorf said that H.R. 1 would “provide massive fiscal stimulus that includes a combination of government spending increases and revenue reductions.” Elmendorf further stated: “In CBO’s judgment, H.R. 1 would provide a substantial boost to economic activity over the next several years relative to what would occur without any legislation.”

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Filed under ABC World News Tonight, Charles Gibson, Congressional Budget Office, Economic Stimulus Package, Interview, President Obama

>Hannity falsely claimed CBO "say[s]" economic recovery plan is "not a stimulus bill"

>From Media Matters

Discussing the economic recovery bill, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that the Congressional Budget Office “say[s] it’s not a stimulus bill.” However, in analyzing the House and Senate versions of the bill, the CBO stated it expects that either version “would have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.”

Discussing the economic recovery bill during the February 2 broadcast of his Fox News program, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “say[s] it’s not a stimulus bill.” However, in analyzing the House version of the bill, H.R. 1, and the proposed Senate version, the CBO stated that it expects the measures to “have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.” Additionally, as Media Matters for America documented, in his January 27 testimony before the House Budget Committee, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said that H.R. 1 would “provide massive fiscal stimulus that includes a combination of government spending increases and revenue reductions.” Elmendorf further stated: “In CBO’s judgment, H.R. 1 would provide a substantial boost to economic activity over the next several years.”

Hannity also suggested that the CBO, in addition to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, has stated that money spent “in 2010, 2011, 2012” would be ineffective as economic stimulus, asserting that “[w]hat they’re telling us” is “the infrastructure spending and real spending in this bill comes out in 2010, 2011, 2012. How does that — how do you label that a stimulus plan?

” But as Media Matters has noted, economists, including Elmendorf, have said that fiscal stimulus in 2010 or later would be effective in the current economic situation, in which economic output is projected to remain below its potential long after the technical beginning of the recovery. In his January 27 testimony, Elmendorf stated that, unlike in ordinary “periods of economic weakness” that “are fairly short-lived,” “CBO projects that economic output will remain significantly below its potential for several more years, so policies that provide stimulus for an extended period of time may be appropriate.”

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Filed under Congressional Budget Office, Economic Stimulus Package, leading economists, Media Matters, Sean Hannity