Dick Cheney claims that the hundreds of thousands of dollars of compensation he has received from Halliburton since taking office-- ~doesn't count~ because he has an insurance policy guaranteeing that he still gets paid, even if Halliburton goes out of business.
Apparently any politician taking a bribe could use Cheney's logic-- and disavow the bribe by simply taking out an insurance policy guaranteeing it.
This piece of fancy financial footwork stinks of "derivatives", which are a form of Wishful Thinking that has time & again backfired in very costly ways. (Enron, Arthur Anderson, S&L scandal, the bankruptcy of Orange County)
The nutty idea behind derivatives, is that risk can be shuffled-around so much that it disappears. That the buck gets passed right out of existence.
Cheney's accounting has many hallmarks of recent corporate scandals:
1. Anything Goes Accounting: where he simply asserts things to be true-- without giving enough details that the claims can be scrutinized.
2. Lurking in Loopholes: which means taking refuge from prudent principles inside dubious exceptions.
3. Hiding From Regulators: disclosure rules are well established, concerning public officials accepting compensation. But insurance-deals aren't as well policed. That's why it was very realistic that a shady insurance deal was central to the plot of the corrupt-politician movie "Bulworth".
4. Mumbo Jumbo: Enron used over the counter derivatives to hide what it was really doing with money. Just like Cheney's doing.
5. Overconfident Predictions: derivatives hustlers pretend that they've got all the bases covered. Then something unforseen occurs, and their model falls apart. Cheney claims that he isn't involved in govt business that involves Halliburton. But if something happened to Bush, and Cheney became Prez...
6. Using Hypotheticals to Deny Reality:
FACT-- Halliburton paid Cheney.
He pretends that it matters what would happen "if" they stopped paying him. But that doesn't matter. They DID pay him. The only reason anybody gave him the insurance policy, is that Halliburton is paying Cheney. Without A, there would be no B. No payment contract with Halliburton, and the insurance deal would never have gotten off the ground.
These are hardly the only 6 ways Cheney is a creature of the corrupt corporate culture that has bilked America for Billions.