Dave — As a matter of government interest, exhorbitant salaries should be off limits. But I see nothing wrong with jawboning these execs. A $400 million golden parachute, as with the Exxon exec, is obscene. In fact, there is plenty of merit in the complaint that American corporate execs get paid so much more than do, say, Japanese ones. The compensation structure is all screwed up. In fact, the DESIRE for wealth over and above a certain point, except to do good with it (charity, etc), is a character flaw and deserving of ostracism. There’s a difference between ambition and greed, and when execs get too greedy they open up a can of worms because it gives the libs a perfect target to get government involved in all kinds of mischief to correct the “imbalances” in compensation. OF course, government should NOT step in, but that doesn’t mean the greed is morally defensible.
That point aside, though, I agree with everything else in your post, except that the anti-price gouging thing may only merit point nine or ten on a ten-point list. :) Meanwhile, your last question is appropriate: What DOES Hastert have to show for himself?