90 Percent Tax on AIG Bonuses: Has America GONE MAD!?! See Our Poll!
March 22, 2009 11 Comments
ATLANTA— Outrageous! The House overwhelmingly approved a 90 percent tax on bonuses at American International Group Inc. and other companies receiving bailout funds last Friday. The House bill would affect employees earning more than $250,000 who received bonuses from companies that received more than $5 billion in aid from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (from Bloomberg.com). I am floored by the massive taxes that have been passed by the House of Representatives to resolve the AIG Bonus scandal.
I agree with the basic argument that the AIG bonuses are troubling in that they are funded with tax-payer dollars and give away tens of millions to individuals who were involved in creating the mess that led to AIG’s collapse. But the House of Representatives’ response is to me even more outrageous. This is the type of reactionary populism we are accustomed to viewing in Venezuela and other, left-leaning Latin American countries. Not the good old U.S. of A.
I think these AIG bonuses need to be addressed, but confiscating them through taxes is beyond ridiculous. A more reasonable approach would have been for the government first to have read the employment contracts back in September of 2008 when they bought a chunk of the company and then to have worked with the employees to whom they related to renegotiate the contracts by delaying or reducing the amounts owed.
At any rate, respond to our poll above and let us know your thoughts. Are these taxes outrageous? Or is this just what the doctor ordered? If you disagree with me or my perspective, definitely post below because I would love to hear your reasoning.
I, for one, hope Barack Obama does not sign this into law. If he does (as I fear he will), I hope these taxes do not hold up in court. From what I read, the legislation violates the constitutional ban on bills of attainder, which restricts lawmakers’ ability to punish individual Americans.
If we continue to trump our constitution to satiate populist fury, then we are headed down a very short road to ruin in this country.