AIG: Why Tea Partiers Should Love Elizabeth Warren (UPDATE)
**UPDATE: The board of AIG decided Wednesday not to join a shareholder lawsuit against taxpayers which challenges the terms of the bailout that saved the insurer from bankruptcy in 2008, CNN reports. The board did not detail the reasons for the decision, saying it will make that clear in court filings in the coming weeks. But when reports surfaced Tuesday that it was even considering joining the suit, it sparked widespread outrage against the company.
You paid your hard earned money into the coffers of a recklessly mismanaged company called AIG in 2008. You saved them from bankruptcy, from corporate extinction. You and your paycheck are the reason they’re still in business today. After helping themselves to your money, they’ve now come up with an innovative way to say “thank you.”
AIG wants to sue us, the taxpayers, for a cool $25 billion. Their former CEO, one Maurice R. Greenberg, doesn’t feel like he’s gotten a sufficiently sweet deal from us. Only in corporate America is the sense of entitled arrogance so cosmically vast that receiving $182 billion of other people’s money, to bail one out of an existential jam of one’s own creation, counts as harsh treatment.
But wait, it gets better. At the very time the corporate patient we’ve resuscitated is taking us to court, it is also carpetbombing the airwaves with—we kid you not—a slick, expensive Thank You America TV campaign that softpedals the image of our corporate betters. Selflessly helping the distraught, they really should be up for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Newly elected Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–MA) had not been in office a week before engaging Wall Street greed and malfeasance in her first, pitched battle on our behalves.
“Taxpayers across this country saved AIG from ruin, and it would be outrageous for this company to turn around and sue the federal government because they think the deal wasn’t generous enough,” Warren said in a press release. “Even today, the government provides an ongoing, stealth bailout, propping up AIG with special tax breaks—tax breaks that Congress should stop. AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help, not bite the hand that fed them for helping them out in a crisis.”
Of course it’s outrageous, but the beauty of social media is that it’s numbers—not corporate ad budgets—that count. To let the corporate brass know how you feel, tweet at their official address:
Use the hash tag #AIGvsUSA
I also plan to send Sen. Warren my thanks (@elizabethforma). Ms. Maddow also just gave her some well deserved props.