“Do as I command, not as I say or do.”

As usual, Kip has the correct take on a news item. In this case, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is interrogating three CEOs without any clear reason why a committee created to investigate the government is investigating private market individuals. But politicians are involved, so there you go. I recommend Kip’s entry in its entirety.

I’m frustrated by something within the hearings:

Lawmakers confronted corporate executives Friday about how they managed to take home hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation while their companies were taking a financial nosedive from the subprime mortgage crisis.

“It seems that CEOs hit the lottery when their companies collapse,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said at the opening of the hearing. “Any reasonable relation between their compensation and the interests of their shareholders appears to have broken down.”

Waxman noted that [Countrywide Financial Corp. CEO Angelo] Mozilo received more than $120 million in compensation and sales of Countrywide stock last year while that company recorded losses of $1.6 billion. Merrill Lynch lost $10 billion in 2007, but [CEO Stanley] O’Neal got a $161 million retirement package.

I’m sure there’s an explanation for this. Not being a shareholder of any of the companies involved, I do not care what they are. And neither should Congress. Perhaps this matters?

CBO estimates that the government recorded a deficit of $262 billion during the first five months of fiscal year 2008, compared with a shortfall of $162 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Why isn’t our CEO, President Bush, hauled before Congress to explain his failure to veto excess (and illegitimate) spending? It couldn’t have anything to do with Congress being the body that sends those spending bills to his desk, could it? I’m sure it’s also defensible to send free money to Americans, as long as Congress prints borrows sends a large chunk but divides it among many Americans rather than concentrating it in a few hands. It’s also defensible to pay it to people who didn’t “earn” a refund by actually paying any taxes. At least the CEOs performed a task, however (incorrectly) one wishes to judge the results.

This is another reason why I am not a political partisan. None of them are competent at anything other than struggling for power. I don’t admire that, and I’ll never follow it blindly.