Wednesday, April 1, 2009

H.R. 1664... (or, "All Your Salaries Are Belong to Us")

Just in case you weren't clear on this:

- Dictating to private or publicly-held companies that previously, legally-executed bonus contracts are null-and-void is not enough.

- Moving to pass Tax Law that is punitive, retroactive and aimed at a specific group of people - all in direct opposition to Article I of the U.S. Constitution - is not enough.

Congress and the Obama Administration are now voting themselves into the position of "Central Planning" over the salaries of each and every employee of every Financial Institution that has any amount of money from the "spend-our-way-out" government.

Enter H.R. 1664 - The Grayson-Himes Pay For Performance Act of 2009
(note: the title links to the updated/amended version of the Bill, as of 30MARCH2009)

(1) PROHIBITION- No financial institution that has received or receives a direct capital investment under the Troubled Assets Relief Program under this title, or with respect to the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or a Federal home loan bank, under the amendments made by section 1117 of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, may, while that capital investment remains outstanding, make a compensation payment, other than a longevity bonus or a payment in the form of restricted stock, to any executive or employee under any existing compensation arrangement, or enter into a new compensation payment arrangement, if such compensation payment or compensation payment arrangement--

`(A) provides for compensation that is unreasonable or excessive, as defined in standards established by the Secretary, in consultation with the Chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel established under section 125, in accordance with paragraph (2); or

`(B) includes any bonus or other supplemental payment that is not directly based on performance-based measures set forth in standards established by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (2).

Okay - taken as 'read' that the amendment changes the Bill's statement of intent from "Executive Compensation" to "Certain Compensation" (because not everyone who draws a paycheck is an 'Executive' after all) - let's look at that first part.

The focus-points, in regard to Financial Institutions having received TARP funds:

No financial institution... may,

... make a compensation payment... any executive or employee under any existing compensation arrangement, or enter into a new compensation payment arrangement

Now, make no mistake - "Compensation Payment" is defined @ the end of the Bill, and it means not only "Salary", but also "Retirement Contribution" and "Health Benefits" - so this Bill says that the companies involved grant any compensation, in any form that is "unreasonable or excessive".

What constitutes "Unreasonable or Excessive", the Bill goes on to tell us, would be determined solely by the Secretary of the Treasury...
(look closely now, it says "in consultation with" - not "requiring the approval of") accordance with "Paragraph 2" of the amendment.

Well then, let's slide down to Paragraph 2, and get a look at these guidelines that Secretary Geithner will be applying as he determines whose salaries are "Unreasonable or Excessive":

`(2) STANDARDS- Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary, with the approval of the agencies that are members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, and in consultation with the Chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel established under section 125, shall establish the following:

`(A) UNREASONABLE AND EXCESSIVE COMPENSATION STANDARDS- Standards that define `unreasonable or excessive' for purposes of subparagraph (1)(A).

`(B) PERFORMANCE-BASED STANDARDS- Standards for performance-based measures that a financial institution must apply when determining whether it may provide a bonus or retention payment under paragraph (1)(B). Such performance measures shall include--

`(i) the stability of the financial institution and its ability to repay or begin repaying the United States for any capital investment received under this title;
`(ii) the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment relates;
`(iii) adherence by executives and employees to appropriate risk management requirements; and
`(iv) other standards which provide greater accountability to shareholders and taxpayers.

So, wait... 

This Bill - soon to be voted into Law - will give the Secretary of the Treasury the power to determine the "fairness" of the salaries of invididual employees of publicly-traded companies...

...based on criteria that he will be left to determine - at some point after the Law is passed, and requiring only the approval of agencies that largely report to Treasury in the first place?

How can anyone not see... oh, but wait - there's more!

Because how could such a class-warfare, pandering-to-the-mob piece of legislation be complete without a:


`(A) IN
GENERAL- Any financial institution that is subject to the requirements of paragraph (1) shall, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this subsection and annually on March 31 each year thereafter, transmit to the Secretary, who shall make a report which states how many persons (officers, directors, and employees) received or will receive total compensation in that fiscal year in each of the following amounts:

`(i) over $500,000;
`(ii) over $1,000,000;
`(iii) over $2,000,000;
`(iv) over $3,000,000; and
`(v) over $5,000,000.

So, in the future, we can be "kept up-to-date" on the exact percentages of 'Evil' still existing in those companies.

Don't worry - I'm sure no one in Congress would dream of trotting that bit out whenever they need to throw something shiny to the shrieking mob.

When did 'We The People' allow our government to reach the position to make such naked power-grabs, with seeming impunity?

...and what are we going to do about it?

- MuscleDaddy


  1. And again, the secondary reason I was trying to convince anyone I could that electing Obama (or any Democrat as President) was a bad idea, was precisely because a Democrat-controlled Congress would have a complicit conspirator in attacking the foundations of the country.

  2. "...and what are we going to do about it?"

    And there's the rub, mate...

    As so many of us become busy or busier finding jobs and trying to help our families "get by," the Obameisters just keep loading on more, and more, until too many just want to "withdraw."

    It seems that every day brings another outrage, just as bad as, if not worse than, the last, and they continue to pile it on.

    As budget negotiations loom, wait for "Cap and Trade," "Nationalized Health Care," and "Clean Energy," to name only three more on the way.

    The Founders must be spinning at incredible rates.


We reserve the right to delete comments, but the failure to delete any particular comment should not be interpreted as an endorsement thereof.

In general, we expect comments to be relevant to the story, or to a prior comment that is relevant; and we expect some minimal level of civility. Defining that line is inherently subjective, so try to stay clear of insulting remarks. If you respond to a comment that is later deleted, we may take your response with it. Deleting your comment isn't a personal knock on you, so don't take it as such.

We allow a variety of ways for commenters to identify themselves; those who choose not to do so should take extra care. Absent any prior context in which they may be understood, ironic comments may be misinterpreted. Once you've earned a reputation for contributing to a conversation, we are likely to be more tolerant in those gray areas, as we'll understand where you're coming from.