Look Beyond the Bogus Bonus Smokescreen

"We will hunt you
thundered Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared
Polis during the AIG bonus demagogue-a-thon on the House
floor Thursday. "If they`re not going to give [the bonuses] back, we`re going to take
them back,"
growled Alabama Democratic Rep. Artur

who vowed to recover
the taxpayers`
from rogue corporate executives. House
Republicans pressed the Democrats on who knew what and
when regarding the AIG bonus protections included in
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd`s now infamous amendment to
the stimulus bill. Rep. Barney Frank shrieked about the
Bush administration`s culpability. House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi smugly patted Democrats on the back for

"protecting the national interest."

I ask you now to turn away from the
bogus bonus smokescreen over $165 million in
taxpayer-backed compensation packages for AIG employees.
It is a pittance compared to the gargantuan spending
spree happening right under our noses. The AIG bonus
price tag amounts to one tenth of 1 percent of the total
AIG giveaway ($85 billion in September, $37.8 billion in
October; $40 billion in November; $30 billion in early
March), which took place with the assent of a Republican
administration, a Democratic administration and the
congressional leadership of both parties.

Taxpayers might be less skeptical
of the born-again guardians of fiscal responsibility if
these evangelists were actually practicing what they
preached. While the Obama administration now issues
impassioned calls to stop rewarding failure, they moved
Thursday to dump another $5 billion into the failing
auto industry. That`s on top of Thursday`s announcement
by the Federal Reserve to print $1 trillion to buy
Treasury bonds and mortgage securities sold by the
government—which no one else wants to buy.

Financial blogger

Barry Ritholtz tallied up $8.5 trillion i
n bailout
costs by December 2008 between Federal Reserve, FDIC,
Treasury and Federal Housing Administration rescues (not
including the $5.2 trillion in Fannie and Freddie
portfolios that the U.S. taxpayer is now explicitly
responsible for). Then there`s the (at least) $50
billion proposed by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in
February to bail out home owners and lenders who made
bad home loan decisions, which would be just a small
sliver of the $2.5 trillion he wants to spend on the
next big banking bailout, which would draw on the second
$350 billion of the TARP package over which an
increasing number of Chicken Little lawmakers are having
buyer`s remorse.

Phew. We`re not done yet: As
AIG-bashing lawmakers inveighed against wasted taxpayer
funds and lamented the lack of accountability and rush
to judgment that led to passage of the porkulus bill
that mysteriously protected the bonuses, the Senate
quietly passed a $10 billion lands bill stuffed with
earmarks and immunized from amendments. GOP Sen. Tom
Coburn, fiscal conservative loner, pointed out that none
of the provisions for special-interest pork
projects—including $3.5 million in spending for a
birthday bash celebrating the city of St. Augustine,
Fla.—was subject to public hearings. That`s on top of
the pork-stuffed $410 billion spending bill passed two
weeks ago.

Oh, and did I mention that the
House passed a $6 billion volunteerism bill (the "GIVE Act")
on Wednesday to provide yet another pipeline to
left-wing advocacy groups under the guise of encouraging
national service?

Also coming down the pike: the
Obama administration`s
global warming
plan, which Hill staffers learned
this week could cost close to $2 trillion (nearly three
times the White House`s initial estimate) and the
administration`s universal health care scheme, which
health policy experts reported this week could cost
about $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

It is no wonder that when earlier
this week Vice President Joe Biden told local officials
in Washington that he was

"serious, absolutely serious"
about policing
wasteful spending in Washington, he was met with the
only rational response his audience could muster:



Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores

for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click

for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.