Just how far off the mark can we get?
By now we've all heard, seen and/or read reports about the weekend junket attended by AIG executives that ran up a tab of $442,000 after the recent federal bailout of the failing company to the tune of $85,000,000,000.
Here's how The New York Times reported the event:
One particular point of contention during the hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was a weeklong retreat that a life insurance subsidiary, AIG General, held for its top sales agents at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., only a week after the government extended its $85 billion loan last month.
The $442,000 in expenses for the week included $150,000 for food and $23,000 in spa charges, according to documents obtained by the committee.
Joe Norton, A.I.G.’s director of public relations, said in an interview that the event had been scheduled last year, though he did not know whether executives had considered canceling the retreat after the bailout.
Read the entire story here.
I'm sorry, but we've got a problem when. . .
. . .it's really okay to give incredibly rich people enormous amounts of money and luxury experiences, but it's not at all okay to give very, very poor people money or access to the assistance that they need simply to live.
. . .we are outraged by the urban myth of the "welfare Cadillac," but we find it easy to turn the other way when we consider the price tag for runaway, out-of-control greed at work in the center of our public square.
. . .mega-rich executives command exorbitant bonuses and severance packages in the millions of dollars, but children living in make-shift, substandard housing don't have enough to eat, proper clothing to wear or decent neighborhoods in which to grow up. [Yesterday, I toured a friend through a neighborhood in Dallas where the average annual household income is just above $10,000.]
. . .the ultra-rich and powerful so completely control the national political and policy agenda that over the course of three presidential and vice-presidential debates the subject of the national disgrace of poverty and what to do about its various manifestations has not come up even once in a question and neither party has addressed the subject in any meaningful manner at all.
Yes. We have a major problem as a people.
May God have mercy on us all.