Since U.S. taxpayer money is being used for the bonuses, a certain amount of disclosure should be necessary [Make the AIG Bonus Babies Sue for Their Bonuses, usnews.com]. The names addresses and phone numbers (even unlisted ones) of those who receive bonuses should be required to be widely published as a condition of their receiving the bonuses. Of course, they could have the option of refusing their bonuses, in which case, their names, addresses, and phone numbers would continue to be private information.
Comment by Michael P. Smith of PA
Robert Schlesinger is right on! Make them sue for their bonuses—tie them up in court until the economy gets better. Make them hire attorneys to help stimulate the economy. That will do more to inspire public confidence than paying the rascals their big fat unearned and unjustified bonuses. They should know there's no such thing as an iron clad contract and parts of every contract may be challenged and the court could judge them to be unenforceable.
Comment by Tony Lee of CA
Bonuses are determined by various indicators that have always been based upon performance of the individual, the company as a whole, or any combination of the two from what I know. I would like to see the "contracts" published showing the terminology that waives those conditions and that forgoes performance. AIG has not preformed, and these "individuals" have failed miserably. We the silent taxpayers have a vested right to know how the hell these executives deserve anything less than a pink slip. It is time for a taxpayers' revolt!
Comment by Sam Ross Fuller of PA
This is a criminal act on behalf of AIG. It does not matter what the contract said; break them. Companies hired people promising pension funds and now have liquidated them. Can we sue them? Heck no. Why is it different for these big wigs? Anyone with decency would refuse the payment. I am not sure it is fair to blame the president. The first bail out money was given in the fall and no one thought it through. If the government had known, there should be a way to stop it. There is no contract that cannot be broken. Let them sue the company; it is worth zilch anyway.
Comment by Indu Rajan of PA
A Penny Saved?
I've thought for some years the United States should remove pennies from circulation and change the dollar to a coin ["Obama Could Abolish the Penny With an Executive Order," usnews.com]. The savings to taxpayers annually would be considerable. The advantage for businesses would be in the one-time opportunity to adjust prices upward by a few cents. I believe this is referred to as a "win-win." The arguments I've read against these proposals are emotional, strange and disproportionate. Most of the other nations of the world have paved the way for this. We are one of the very few countries with a paper unit. Several nations have switched to a polymer bill. Cheap to manufacture and lasts much longer. I think Australia was first. Why can't economic 'cents' return to the American lexicon?
Comment by David Byers of OR
This is actually a really brilliant idea. Americans do not appreciate pennies as well as they should. People lose hundreds of dollars in their lifetime through being too lazy to pick up the penny they dropped or just throwing them away. Pennies add up! It is completely possible to round down pennies. The currency is not going to change simply because of the lack of a penny. And even if it did, what would it matter?! Changing the currency wouldn't change the value whatsoever. Most of the issues people are having with this are absurd. Americans will just as easily continue their lives as they do without the Mill (1/1000 of a dollar).
Comment by Sophia Hebert of TX
It's all about economics. If the one cent coin takes more than one cent to make (and it does) and there is no way to reduce the cost enough (and there isn't), then it is time to retire it. That is the situation we are in and the only solution is to stop minting. Stopping minting does not mean they would no longer be legal tender.
It has nothing to do with good or bad leadership and nothing to do with the unfounded fear that people will always round up and somehow pocket several cents a transaction. It is simply time for the one cent coin to retire, just like the half-cent coin was retired many, many years ago. The five cent coin takes just under ten cents to mint. They are working on changing the metal composition of the five cent coin so they can continue to mint. We also need to stop printing the dollar bill to save a great deal of printing cost with a small investment in additional dollar coins. If a person does the research, the best course of action becomes obvious. Coins and currency just aren't that complicated.
Comment by John Blocher of IA
How can we abolish the penny and still teach our children the value of money? We need 100 real "cents" to make one dollar and this idea makes no sense. Children need to be able to count, starting with one and so do adults! And do away with honest Abe? That sounds pretty dishonest to me, and I even voted for Obama! No way Jose! We must not let this happen. This would collapse our whole monetary system. Every moment of earning begins with one cent. Sorry if counting pennies seems a nuisance to you poor retailers—you should be grateful for each one!
Comment by Christy of GA