The Washington Times - February 16, 2009, 03:18PM

The Obama administration wants to rewrite a provision in the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that limits the salaries and bonuses of executives at firms receiving federal bailout funds, Sean Lengell is reporting.

The administration’s proposal would apply only to banks that receive “exceptional assistance” from the government, capping executive salaries at $500,000. Bonuses could be claimed after the federal funds have been repaid.

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The bill approved by Congress would set limits on all banks that receive bailout money.

If receiving billions of taxpayer dollars doesn’t qualify as “exceptional assistance,” what does?  Nationalization?

The idea behind the administration’s plan is that banks need a little more breathing room in their salaries.  You can’t expect everybody to live on $500,000 a year.  In this economy?  That’s madness.

If the administration seems more lenient than Congress, it’s intentional.  Banking executives have been through so much since last year.  They deserve a break.

One of the chief concerns about the stimulus is whether banks will use the federal money to fund new loans or to enrich themselves.  Either way, somebody’s getting stimulated.