Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is outraged that the IRS reportedly paid out $2.8 million in bonuses over a two-year period to employees who had been disciplined by the agency.
That’s perfectly understandable, but Issa opened up a can of worms when he told CBS News, “In the private sector, you don’t get bonuses, pay increases and promotions right after you’ve done something wrong, and that’s what’s really wrong with the culture there… At a minimum, people should have a time-out from bonuses and promotions after being found doing something wrong. That should be inherently part of the punishment.”
As The Huffington Post’s Adriana Usero pointed out, that actually happens in the private sector all the time. And in the past, when Wall Street’s wrongdoings plunged the global economy into the worst downturn in 80 years, Darrell Issa didn’t muster the same sense of indignation. Watch this video of Issa, as HuffPo described it, “flip-flopping on bonuses so hard that it hurts.”
Left unmentioned is the $10.5 million bonus JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon pocketed in 2012, the year that his bank lost at least $2 billion — and as much as $9 billion — in the “London Whale” trades, which Dimon himself described as an “egregious and self-inflicted” error resulting from “poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored” strategies.
This isn’t the first time that Issa has been… less than consistent when it comes to bonuses. In 2011, Politico reported that Issa viewed it as “a contradiction for Obama to have chastised Wall Street bankers for bonuses while not seeking to curb compensation at Fannie and Freddie.” But two years earlier, Issa voted against an amendment to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, better known as TARP, that would have limited bonuses for bailed-out institutions, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.