This afternoon on CNN, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pretended as though he had favored capping the salaries of bankers whose firms accepted TARP funds, claiming that his position has been that bailed-out companies “are going to have to operate in a different sort of way.” When host Wolf Blitzer asked whether Congress should have passed salary caps on bailout recipients, McConnell acts as though he had been in favor of such a proposal:
BLITZER: Should the Congress — and you are the leader of the Republicans in the Senate — have passed salary caps on these bailed out companies?
McCONNELL: We certainly had a chance with the amendment by Senator Snowe to prevent this kind of bonuses from being paid. But look, the day-to-day responsibility of oversight of TARP funds is at the Treasury Department.
McConnell is certainly right: Congress did have a chance to pass salary caps. However, he opposed such a move at the time, telling ABC News, “I really don’t want the government to take over these businesses and start telling them everything about what they can do. … We have to resist the temptation to basically dictate to these businesses how to run every aspect of their operation.” On CNN today, McConnell accused AIG of “trying to have it both ways.” Pot, meet kettle.