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Military Budget Changes, Same-sex Marriage Top Week’s News

Columnist Mark Shields and editor Rich Lowry analyze the week's political news, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates' military budget priorities and two more states allowing same-sex couples to marry.

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    And to the analysis of Shields and Lowry. That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and National Review editor Rich Lowry. David Brooks is off.

    Gentlemen, it's good to see you both.

  • RICH LOWRY, Editor, National Review:

    Good to see you, Judy.

  • MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:

    Good to see you.


    Mark, we just watched that report from Paul Solman. Is there a mood in Washington? Is there the will to do something about this extra money that these executives got?


    I think that the move by executives on Wall Street to address the compensation problem and to say, "Wait a minute, we were overpaid," is in anticipation — in hoping to head off congressional action.

    I think there's certainly a will in the country, there's a ferment in the country, anyway — whether that translates into a will — but about the outlandish salaries and the disproportionate wealth that was concentrated in the financial sector.


    Can the financial community head this off?


    Well, we'll see. I mean, one of the ironies here is actually the Obama administration is looking for ways around the compensation restrictions that were passed by Congress already that are supposed to go along with TARP funds.

    And there's just a tension here, because the government, on the one hand, it wants firms to take this money, because it thinks it's helpful to the broader economy.

    On the other hand, you don't want to be funding what is perceived as excess. And this is just another reason why TARP, I think justly, has become such an object of populist rage both on the right and on the left. It was sold under false pretenses, and almost immediately it just became a slush fund for the executive to use in whatever manner it desired.


    Let me ask you another…


    I agree. I agree with that. Yes, I mean, there's minimal public support for TARP.