Write Congress!

and/or

Call Congress!

I really don’t know what to say about this, aside from string them all up. You read the headline correctly. AIG, the same company that received $84 billion in taxpayer money to bail the company out from terrible decisions they made freely in our “free market,” the same company that then decided last week that it was ok to spend $443,344 on an executive junket on the Pacific coast, the same company who has another lavish junket scheduled for next week, is getting another $38 billion from the taxpayers today. They have already withdrawn $61 billion of the first $84 billion bailout, so yes, your tax dollars most definitely paid for that junket.

AIG CEO Edward Liddy defended the junket today in a letter to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson:

While this sort of gathering has been standard practice in our industry for many years and was planned many months before the Federal Reserve’s loan to AIG, we understand that our company is now facing very different challenges…Edward M. Liddy
Chief Executive Officer, AIG

Liddy goes on to assure Paulson that, after having spent over 400 large for “independent life
insurance agents – not for AIG employees” to have a good time, they are “reevaluating the costs of all aspects of our operations in light of the new circumstances in which we are all operating.”

I think Mr. Liddy’s inability to “reevaluate” fast enough is clearly evident. I’m running out of clever ways to reference the French revolution without explicitly referencing it…err…see what I mean? At what point do we storm the Bastille, people? When are we going to get mad enough to actually take to the streets? If not now, when? Do they actually have to come into your home and steal your remote control to get the American public angry enough to protest?

They are stealing your future!

They are stealing my future!

They are stealing my future children’s future!

Won’t you join me in my outrage by writing to your representatives and to Congressman Henry Waxman, Chair of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. He is, as I write this, conducting hearings on this very matter. Please take a moment to let him know just how unacceptable it is that AIG continue to receive a single dime from any of our pockets. Let ’em rot, come what may!

Full text of Liddy’s letter to Paulson after the jump (PDF)

October 8, 2008

Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Secretary of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20220

Dear Secretary Paulson:

I am writing to clarify an issue that was discussed at a hearing held yesterday by the House
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. At the hearing, a recent business event held
by an AIG subsidiary was mischaracterized as an “Executive Retreat” held right after receiving
the $85 billion loan credit facility from the New York Fed.

The event in question was held by one of AIG’s insurance subsidiaries for independent life
insurance agents – not for AIG employees – who were top business producers for the company.
The vast majority of the attendees were independent business people and their guests, not AIG
employees. Indeed, of the more than 100 attendees, only 10 were employees of one of our
insurance subsidiaries who attended to represent their company. Not a single corporate executive
from AIG headquarters attended.

While this sort of gathering has been standard practice in our industry for many years and was
planned many months before the Federal Reserve’s loan to AIG, we understand that our company
is now facing very different challenges – and that we owe our employees and the American
public new standards and approaches. Let me assure you that we are reevaluating the costs of all
aspects of our operations in light of the new circumstances in which we are all operating.
Mr. Secretary, I want you to know that AIG is focused on doing what is necessary to address our
capital structure, repay the Fed credit facility and emerge as a healthy global insurer. In the
meantime, our insurance businesses continue to operate normally and satisfy the needs of our
policy holders.

Sincerely,

Edward M. Liddey