While stopping short of all out wage caps, the Obama administration is seeking to “rein in” the salary structures for executives of publicly traded companies. This includes the appointment of what Neil has dubbed a “pay czar” in his post a couple of days ago.

Predictably, Congressional Democrats don’t think he’s gone far enough:

“I do differ with the administration in that hope springs eternal and their position seems to be that if we strengthen the compensation committees we will do better,” said the committee chairman, Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat.

Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat, said that instead of giving shareholders a nonbinding voice on pay, their votes should be binding on boards of directors.

And the GOP is protesting government interference in business:

While the administration has approached the issue with caution, a top Republican said the plans amounted to “incessant government intervention.”

“The president cannot continue his heavy-handed meddling in the private sector and expect it to function, much less flourish,” said Rep. Tom Price, chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the committee, added: “We need to get government out of businesses.”

But while the never-ending dosado between the Democrats and Republicans on Capitol continues, a pro-business group has “dared” Obama to put the same wage restraints on union big-whigs:

The Workforce Fairness Institute, which has lobbied heavily for the defeat of the Employee Free Choice Act to ease organization rules for labor unions, points to a 2008 Hudson Institute study that suggests unions have short-changed benefits for their rank and file in favor or generous executive compensation packages and to pad the coffers of their political allies, who are mostly Democrats.

“On average, the 21 largest unions pension plans had less than 70 percent of the funds that they would need to cover their total obligations, and none were fully funded,” the study said. “Seven were less than 65 percent funded. Yet 23 officer and staff funds from the same unions had 88.2 percent of the funding they would need to pay promise pensions, including seven full funded plans and another 13 with at least 80 percent of the required funds.”

Business leaders who oppose plans to limit executive pay say if it is to be passed, labor unions should be included as well.

While this “Workforce Fairness Institute” appears a tad on the shady side (critics call it a front for companies like Wal-Mart to fight unions), they have a darned good point – if corporate executive pay is to be monitored, then so should union executive pay.

The unions will fight it, of course, because when would a union practice ethically questionable methods?