The Price of Taking the King's Shilling - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Price of Taking the King’s Shilling

When Brits accepted money from His Majesty’s government for military service, they were said “to take the king’s shilling.”  That obligated them to serve, and afterwards they could ill complain about being shipped off to fight a dubious war in an equally dubious colony far from home.  In fact, all sorts of trickery was employed to get men “to take the king’s shilling,” thereby putting even the reluctant under arms.

No tricks were used to get American banks and other financial companies to take the king’s shilling (or billions of the president’s dollars).  And now they are paying the price, as the salary czar rules on company compensation.  Reports ABC News:

Who will get to keep his or her multimillion-dollar pay package and who will have to settle for less? It’s a question that will face Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg this week as he starts reviewing compensation plans for the 100 highest paid executives at AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, General Motors, GMAC, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial.

The seven firms, which have received the most in bailout funds from the government, must submit the plans to Feinberg by Thursday.

Feinberg, who will focus on the companies’ 25 highest paid executives first, will have the power to scale back pay packages except for those set in contracts dated before Feb. 12, which will be “grandfathered” out of the government’s compensation restrictions and Feinberg’s authority.

Nevertheless, some say, even if Feinberg can’t use the the law to force compensation down, he can still employ public pressure to convince firms to voluntarily renegotiate pay packages.

Making business benefits a matter of political discretion obviously is ridiculous.  But not as ridiculous as forcing taxpayers to bail out failing businesses.  Unfortunately, we all are paying a high price for the bail-out economy. 

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