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Isakson calls on AIG to immediately suspend perks
Says AIG trips show 'total lack of respect for American taxpayer'

Special to the Clayton News Daily and the Henry Daily Herald

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) has sent a letter to Edward Liddy, Chairman and CEO of American International Group, to convey his disgust at the behavior of AIG, and demand an immediate suspension of nonessential trips, perks and rewards until the American taxpayer is fully repaid.

It is the second letter Isakson has written in the past week condemning the actions of AIG. Last week, Isakson sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke asking them to enforce stronger accountability with AIG.

The text of the most recent letter to the AIG CEO is below:

Dear Mr. Liddy:

The recent reports of AIG employees and officers taking lavish, all-expenses-paid trips to resort spas in California and hunting plantations in England are appalling. The fact that these trips occurred after AIG received an $85 billion emergency loan from the United States Treasury and while negotiations were ongoing for a second, $37.8 billion loan illustrates a total lack of respect for the American taxpayer and the customers of AIG.

The United States government is working to stabilize the credit markets, the banking system and our economy during very difficult times for our citizens. Those who receive government help, such as AIG, must demonstrate through their actions a clear and responsible appreciation for the American taxpayer. Lavish trips and executive perks during difficult times are not responsible and indicate a total lack of appreciation for the American taxpayer.

Before I was elected to Congress, I was the CEO of a real estate company. I understood how important my leadership was during difficult times. During the recession of 1990-91, my officers and I made the financial sacrifices necessary to see the company through difficult times, with a great deal of help from our employees. The American taxpayer expects no less from AIG.

Out of respect for the American taxpayer, and in the exercise of responsible leadership, I would call on you and the management of AIG to immediately suspend non-essential trips, perks and rewards until the American taxpayer is fully repaid.

Sincerely,

Johnny Isakson