Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee held a hearing to look into executive compensation “at bailed-out firms that is egregiously out of line with what the President committed to the American people,” as Chairman Jim Jordan said. Jordan recalled that the President had committed “that top executives at firms that receive extraordinary help from U.S. tax payers will have their compensation capped at half a million dollars.” That clearly wasn’t the truth. Yesterday, we heard that GM CEO Dan Akerson, for example, made $9 million in 2012 and wanted $11.1 this year. Jordan said that “Treasury’s failure to protect tax payers is part of a disturbing pattern in which this administration makes promises to the public but the does not live up to them.” That’s not the only pattern that is disturbing.
Fight government waste, advance to 8:45
Yesterday, media outlets, including TTAC, received a message from GM spokesman Alan Adler, complaining about “leaked documents” and that “reports that General Motors has requested an increase in Dan Akerson’s 2013 compensation are false. In fact, Dan specifically asked to keep his compensation at the same level for 2013 as it was in 2012 and 2011.”
With this statement, GM continued the pattern of alienating its last friends. The Detroit Free Press, which initially had published the documents, writes today that “GM called the report false, though the committee later released the same document showing a proposed total compensation package of $11.1 million for Akerson.” The Freep then put its finger on an even more embarrassing fact:
It turns out that Akerson already made $11.1 million in 2012, “because he was allowed to cash in stock awards he received in 2011,” the Freep says. So, $11.1 million in 2012 and $11.1 million in 2013 wouldn’t be a raise. At least not this year, sure. Splitting hairs may work in court, but not in the court of opinion. Trying to be too smart often looks very stupid.
We have linked to the full recording of the hearings. They are another example of Government waste, in this case of bytes and bandwidth. The first 8 minutes and 45 seconds are a recording of nothing. Your tax dollars at work.