It must be nice to be able to always blame someone else for your failures. I have pointed out mistakes and then told some innocent bystander, "It is your fault," and offer to tell them why it was their fault. Then in explanation I ask this question: "Did you do anything to prevent this situation?" When they say, "No," I tell them "that is why it is your fault." Some then will come up with something like "I didn't know" or "it is not my responsibility," or whatever, and I tell them "that is just an excuse, you didn't do anything to prevent the situation, did you?" There have been some that said I sound like a "lawyer" and we laugh because it is all joking with me.
Our "illustrious politicians" appear to be able to carry that same type of banter on, only they are serious. Case in point the AIG Bonus/Bailout/Insurance Scandal. The politicians involved with the "Government Banking Committees/Regulations and Schemes" have (in the public eyes) once again been able to slither out from under the crushing word "responsibility" and the other related words they need to dodge, "legal" and "law." They can spew a whole bunch of garbage that makes the public think these things caught them off guard and they knew nothing about it, when in fact, they were the primary cause of the problem and nothing was hidden from them.
This whole financial mess was created more by "Government Mandates and Regulations" than by "Banks" and/or "Insurance Companies." The government mandated the loaning of money to people that could not afford to repay (increased considerably in 1999 under pressure from the Clinton Administration), then the government assured the repayment of these loans, and even used the "Quasi-government Businesses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" to ensure the banks would not lose their money. The government took total control (conservatorship) of these two in September 2008. Prior to that they were considered "private" except the government appointed the executives. When the people could not repay their loans the insurance companies like primarily AIG were left holding an empty bag, no not empty "filled with worthless paper" that had been generated by the "government mandates." The government agreed to "bail out" AIG and it started a firestorm of "bailouts," which in some cases became "political paybacks."
Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd and even the new Treasury Secretary were more than aware that the AIG bonuses were considered part of outstanding "Accounts Payable" when the "AIG Bailout" was made. Now Sen. Charles Schumer is claiming they are going to do something that is not "legal," somewhat like Sen. Harry Reed's claim that was not legal when he said they would "never seat Burris in the Senate" letting his mouth run without checking the "law." In both cases they will always claim they did everything to fix the problem, but they were stopped probably by some "evil Republicans" that insisted they follow the pesky laws. By the way, Sen. Burris from Illinois filled Obama's Senate seat.
Now if Sen. Schumer or anyone else manages to get a new law that would affect the things that have already happened, that law would have to be retroactive. Now I know you can pass a law that is retroactive in regard to benefits that will be received for services performed in the past, etc. However, I do not believe it is legal, no I know it's not legal to establish a law that will punish someone, in any way, for something that was done prior to the establishing of the law, that addresses the particular issue. Example, you could not retroactively charge someone for speeding before there was a speed limit law. If they could do that they could go after the $90 million or so in bonuses to the former CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Sen.Schumer, Rep. Frank, Sen. Dodd, Speaker of the House Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed, President Obama, all the kings horses and all the kings men, cannot pull that one off without totally destroying the U.S. Constitution, which they, each and every one, swore an oath to uphold and defend.