So, taxpayers, what would you do?

A  Citigroup  trader that made the company billions of dollars is pressing the financial giant to honor a
2009 pay package that could total $100 million, setting the stage for a
potential showdown between Citi and the government's new pay czar, according to the Wall Street Journal

Your initial reaction might be: "Outrageous!" Especially for a company that has received $45 billion in taxpayer bailout money. But think about this: Under the direction of the trader, Andrew J. Hall, the company has made billions of dollars over the past several years.

Your challenge, if you decide to accept it, is whether you and your fellow taxpayers who soon will own more than 34 percent of Citigroup, are willing to risk losing the guy who stands to make you this kind of money. Or, are you so angered by the payout that you would be willing to keep the company indebted to you the taxpayer for a longer time so that you can feel better.

I don't have the answer, but I'd be interested in reading yours.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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