Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s spokesman insists Grassley didn’t mean AIG executives should actually kill themselves when the Republican said officials of the troubled insurance giant should take responsibility for the company’s problems by taking a Japanese approach: resignation and/or suicide. That’s a hard sell given the words Grassley used.
AIG’s executives are catching major flak for doling out bonuses even though the company has received billions of dollars in taxpayer money to avoid total collapse. AIG’s CEO says the bonuses were contractually obligated and the company had no choice but to pay them. President Barack Obama and members of Congress disagree and have been venting plenty of spleen over the deal.
“Maybe they ought to be removed,” Grassley said in a radio interview this week. “But I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them (is) if they’d follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.”
Grassley won’t win any awards for political correctness, but he probably reflects the anger many Americans feel right now about AIG and other beneficiaries of their hard-earned tax dollars.