President Obama finally got some bipartisanship behind him on the AIG bonus bill. Now will he have the courage to veto the legislation? Or will the Harvard Law School graduate-in-chief allow populist rage to rule — exactly what the founding fathers intended to thwart?
This could be the defining moment of the still young Obama administration, a moment the Wall Street Journal compares to President Hoover’s accession to the Smoot-Hawley tariff law:
When does a single policy blunder herald much larger economic damage? Sometimes it’s hard to know ahead of time. Few in Congress thought the Smoot-Hawley tariff was a disaster in 1930, but it led to retaliation and a collapse of world trade. The question amid Washington’s AIG bonus panic is whether Congress’s war on private contracts and the financial system is a similarly destructive moment.