McCaskill on capping pay of CEOs who take TARP money: "These people are idiots"

A stemwinder in support of her new bill, inspired by the news about lavish bonuses and multimillion-dollar corporate jets. Easy peasy: If you’ve run your bank well and don’t need a bailout, pay your chief exec whatever you like. If you haven’t and are now on your knees begging taxpayers for a lifeline, prepare to have your CEO capped at $400,000, the same salary The One gets as president. It won’t mean much in terms of savings but it does create an incentive to run a tight ship if you want another seven-figure payday in 2009. And of course it’s great politics, something the Democrats could use right now as the stimulus starts to fester. And don’t think that’s been lost on McCaskill:

I think that there have been some mistakes made. From my perspective there have been mistakes made on the stimulus bill. There has been such a starvation diet for some of these programs that the appropriators got a little over anxious in the House. They probably did some things they shouldn’t have…

We do need to look at the safety net side of the stimulus bill that can get into the economy quickly. But we can’t right every wrong in terms of programs we support in the stimulus bill. And the other thing is, whether it is the National Endowment of the Arts or some of the STD funding or contraceptive funding, all we did was just tee up ammunition for the other side to tear this thing down. And I would like to think we are smarter than that. I’m hopeful on the Senate side we will be smarter than that.

Two clips, one from the Senate floor and the other hammering the point home in populist terms (“common sense”) on MSNBC.