#1 Pelosi Pushes 90% Tax on Bailed-Out Exec Bonuses
03-19-2009, 05:19 PM
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Central Florida
US lawmakers vote for bonus tax
From the BBC
US lawmakers in the House of Representatives have voted in favour of a bill to levy a 90% tax on big bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers.
The move follows outrage over the decision by AIG to award its employees $165m (£113m) in bonuses after taking $170bn in aid from the government.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "We want our money back and we want our money back now for the taxpayers."
Members of the house voted 328-93 in favour of the legislation.
Similar legislation is being considered by the US Senate, and if that too is passed, the two chambers will need to find a compromise version.
The bill targets companies that received $5bn in taxpayer aid, and would levy a 90% tax on bonuses paid to employees with incomes above $250,000.
The BBC's James Coomarasamy, in Washington, says the bill was opposed by some Republicans, who argued that the legislation diverted attention from the administration's handling of the affair.
Some Republicans have called for US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to step down, our correspondent adds.
In total, 243 Democrats and 85 Republicans voted in favour of the bill, which was passed with unusual speed. It was opposed by six Democrats and 87 Republicans.
"The whole idea that they should be rewarded millions of dollars is repugnant to everything that decent people believe in," said Charlie Rangel, the Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Mr Geithner has been under pressure since news of the bonuses became public.
He said that the government would deduct the bonuses from government funds due to be paid to the insurer.
President Barack Obama has also reiterated his anger at the bonus payments.
Edward Liddy, the boss of AIG, on Wednesday called the bonuses paid to executives "distasteful" and said he had asked some recipients to return at least half of what they had been paid.
"Mistakes were made at AIG on a scale that few could have imagined possible," he said.
But Mr Liddy, who took over AIG in September, told a Congressional committee that the Federal Reserve knew in November of the bonus payments to executives. He said he spoke regularly with the Fed, expecting them to pass on the details to Treasury officials.
An investigation into AIG bonus payments was launched earlier on Thursday.
Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general, told Congress he would look specifically at the Treasury's role.
Mr Barofsky said he would "act aggressively to recover the taxpayer's money" if there was any evidence that something wrong was done to approve the bonuses.
He said that information he had seen showed that the Treasury and AIG discussed the bonuses in October as part of aid negotiations.
Both the Treasury and Mr Liddy have said they had received advice that said they were legally bound to make the bonus payment
AIG was saved from bankruptcy with an $85bn lifeline last September.
The government has since pumped billions more into the troubled insurer, which reported a loss of $61.7bn for the last three months of 2008, the biggest quarterly loss in corporate history.
Reports suggest that AIG is considering selling its New York headquarters and a nearby office block.
Last edited by AHeneen; 03-19-2009 at 06:25 PM."Because we're a great nation, our challenges seem complex; it will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principals and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours." -Reagan
03-19-2009, 05:29 PM
This tax is bullshit. These bonuses were a contractual obligation - and even if they weren't - She's the stupid bitch who helped push through that bail out bill without a stitch of oversight. If anyone needs to pay - is her and the rest of those tools in congress. :mad:Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
03-19-2009, 05:41 PM
Nothing Pelousy has never done in her entire life I could agree with. She's wrong on this, just like she's wrong on everything else. You do not write an Amendment to legislation saying that bonuses can be paid and then come back later saying they can't. A contract is a worthless piece of paper if we allow these rubes to change the rules whenever the hell they feel like it. Am I pissed off that my tax dollars are going to give someone a temporary bonus? Sure. But I'm even MORE pissed off that the company was given 170 billion dollars in the first place."Don't vote. It only encourages the bastards." -PJ O'Roarke
03-19-2009, 05:43 PM
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
- NE Indiana
The House didn't seem to know (or possibly care) that this vote was unconstitutional as all-get-out.
I'm not a 'slippery-slope' sort of person, as a rule, but this one really scares me. With this vote as precedent, who's to say at some point Congress might decide to make confiscatory income taxes retroactive? I can just see that bitch Pelosi standing in the well of the House saying 'We need more money to pay for the bailouts, so we're making an extra 2% federal Tax retroactive on the entire country."
03-19-2009, 05:55 PM
- Join Date
- May 2008
Some have put forth some good reasoning why this would not be an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder. I still don't buy it. A court is not going to look favorably at Congress authorizing these bonuses then trying to skim around them when it's politically expedient.
03-19-2009, 06:02 PM
You have to pay attention, though. You guys are letting them fool you. It's not whether they should pay the bonuses or not-they can fight about that in court.
Congress had a measure in the Stimulus bill that would have restricted the bonuses, and whether contractual or not, if the government gives you tax payer money they have every right to put stipulations on it, but not after the fact. BUT THEY STRIPPED THE BONUS LIMITING MEASURE IN LATE-NIGHT CLOSED-DOOR DISCUSSION. And no mention was ever made of this publicly.
So now they give AIG the money knowing full well about the bonuses and the outcry that's going to follow, and they now get to look like they give a shit to the public by putting on this big circus acting like they are shocked, SHOCKED by the bonuses. Then the general public, who 70% doesn't pay a damn bit of attention and just goes about their lives being the sheeple they always were, think the government is looking out for them.
All they had to do was leave the restrictions in the stimulus bill, and we wouldn't even be having this discussion, and AIG would have to find their own way to come up with the bonuses other than with my money. They should have to pay it out of PROFIT, not with tax payer bailout money.
Last edited by stsinner; 03-19-2009 at 06:06 PM.Obama-if you're being run out of town, get out in front and pretend that it's a parade!!!
03-19-2009, 06:05 PM
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Central Florida
Whether it's constitutional or not, I didn't contemplate. I do, however, think that lavish bonuses at taxpayers' expense is absurd. This isn't attacking all bonuses, it is going after bonuses of those making >$250k FROM companies which have received >$5 billion. It is not just that we are having to pump $$$$ into these companies, only to have that money be given to these execs. I don't care whether it was contractual or not...if your company is going down the shitter, then you don't deserve a bonus. How can it be called a "bonus" if their contracts state they will be given to these people (sounds close to the definition of "salary" to me). Again, I didn't really think about constitutionality...but on principal, this tax is just fine in my book."Because we're a great nation, our challenges seem complex; it will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principals and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours." -Reagan
03-19-2009, 06:10 PMStand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
03-19-2009, 06:20 PM
I'm not against bonuses... I don't care if they pay billions in bonuses, as long as it's with company PROFIT and not tax payer money.. There was not a dime of company profit in that stimulus money.Obama-if you're being run out of town, get out in front and pretend that it's a parade!!!
03-19-2009, 06:26 PM
If we dig a little deeper here - we see that there is more to these bonuses that meets the eye.Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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