03-20-2009, 11:09 AM
They are trying to circumvent the constitution every chance they can! Neal Boortz has some takes on this.
Yesterday's vote in the House was completely expected. Overwhelmingly, your representatives in Washington voted huge taxes on bonuses for AIG employees. Nancy Pelosi said, "We want our money back and we want our money back now for the taxpayers." Funny .. after recently passing a bill with more than 8,000 earmarks worth over $400 billion, the hollow-eyed hippy from Haight-Ashbury and her flying monkeys are suddenly worried about the taxpayers
You just cannot like what you're seeing here. These politicians are targeting specific individuals out there who have received some money that the politicians, for political purposes, just do not want them to have. So they pass a law allowing the government to seize that money. Can you imagine where this goes from here? How about Ann Coulter? She delights in writing books that just irritate the ever-luvin' puddin' out of Democrats and liberals. Let's say that one of Nancy Pelosi's flying monkeys reports to the Princess that Coulter made $1.5 million from her last book. This money was legally paid to Coulter pursuant to a contract. Sound familiar? But Pelosi feels that Coulter has made this money by promoting divisiveness in the population, so she decides that punishment is in order. She then has her minions pass a bill establishing a 90% tax on the royalties from all books and writings that promote political dissention and defame public servants in the Congress of the United States. Come on now, you tell me the big huge difference between a confiscatory tax on legally earned bonuses and one on legally received book royalties.
This is going nowhere folks. It will never make it through the Senate. If the members of the House had any appreciation at all for the Constitution it wouldn't have gone this far.
:Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.
I wondered why the rock was getting larger. Then it hit me.
03-20-2009, 10:50 PM
For those of you not on the CLUB FOR GROWTH mailing list -Dear XXXXXXXX,
Congress was entirely consumed this week with trying to punish the AIG executives who received $165 million in bonuses despite running the company into the ground. House Democrats decided a 90% tax (!!) would do the trick. This was a hotly contested proposal. People on both sides of the aisle rightly felt that those executives didn't deserve the money. But there were also strong concerns about the constitutionality of the tax hike. In the end, it was a bad bill that should have been defeated. Unfortunately, it passed 328-93. All but six Democrats voted for it, while the Republicans were evenly split 85-87. Afterwards, we found a statement written by Club favorite Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) that we thought was a great explanation for why voting "no" was the correct choice. Here it is:
by John Campbell
I firmly opposed and voted "no" on HR 1586. Let's first understand exactly what the bill does. It imposes a 90% federal income tax on any bonus paid to any employee of any company that has received over $5 Billion in federal rescue funds. Such companies include, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Chase Bank, JP Morgan, CitiBank, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Countrywide, Goldman Sachs, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac amongst others. The tax would only apply to people with total joint incomes over $250,000 or single individuals with income of over $125,000. When combined with California Income taxes which now top out at 10.55%, this can be a tax just short of 101% of the income.
Under this law, a bank teller at Wells Fargo could receive a bonus of $1,000 for doing a great job. If that bank teller was married to a physician who made $175,000 and they had some additional investment income, that bank teller would pay a tax of $1,055 on the bonus of $1,000 that they received for doing a good job. This is horrible!
This is not raising revenues, this is punishment. It is a terrible precedent to use the tax laws for punishment. If we go down this road, the government can impose a 100% tax on anyone they don't like, or anyone they believe is paid too much. Employees of other companies, doing the same thing for the same bonus, will not receive this tax. That probably makes it unconstitutional and I hope it does.
I understand the public outrage over these bonuses and I share much of it. But this is not the way to fix it. Sue them to get the money back. But don't do this.
You may or may not realize it, but embezzlement income is taxable today, but at normal rates. So if you steal money, you will not have a tax higher than normal. You may be forced to give the money back because you stole it, but it will not be taxed away from you. This bill makes a bonus from Bank of America a more egregious offense under the tax laws than bank robbery.
All of this was caused because we nationalized companies that are created to make a profit. Throughout time, governments have shown themselves to be particularly inept at such an enterprise. This is another example of why.
Have a great weekend!
Pat Toomey Andrew Roth
President VP for Government Affairs
Club for Growth
2001 L Street, NW, Ste 600
Washington, DC 20036
PH: 202-955-5500Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
#24 Krauthammer's Take On It...03-20-2009, 11:29 PM
Bonfire of the Trivialities
by Charles Krauthammer
WASHINGTON ----- A $14 trillion economy hangs by a thread composed of ...(a) a comically cynical, pitchfork-wielding Congress, (b) a hopelessly understaffed, stumbling Obama administration, and (c) $165 million.
That's $165 million in bonus money handed out to AIG debt manipulators who may be the only ones who know how to defuse the bomb they themselves built. Now, in the scheme of things, $165 million is a rounding error.
It amounts to less than 1/18,500 of the $3.1 trillion federal budget.
It's less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the bailout money given to AIG alone. If Bill Gates were to pay these AIG bonuses every year for the next 100 years, he'd still be left with more than half his personal fortune.
For this we are going to poison the well for any further financial rescues, face the prospect of letting AIG go under (which would make the Lehman Brothers collapse look trivial) and risk a run on the entire world financial system?
And there is such a thing as law.
The way to break a contract legally is Chapter 11. Short of that, a contract is a contract. The AIG bonuses were agreed to before the government takeover and are perfectly legal.
Is the rule now that when public anger is kindled, Congress summarily cancels contracts?
Even worse are the clever schemes now being cooked up in Congress to retrieve the money by means of some retroactive confiscatory tax.
The common law is pretty clear about the impermissibility of ex post facto legislation and bills of attainder. They also happen to be specifically prohibited by the Constitution.
We're going to overturn that for $165 million?
Nor has the president behaved much better. He too has been out there trying to lead the mob. But it's a losing game. His own congressional Democrats will out-demagogue him and heap the blame on the hapless Timothy Geithner.
Geithner has been particularly maladroit in handling this issue. But the reason he didn't give the bonuses much attention is because he's got far better things to do -- namely, work out a rescue plan for a dysfunctional credit system that is holding back any chance of recovery.
It is time for the president to state the obvious: This recession is not caused by excessive executive compensation in government-controlled companies.
The economy has been sinking because of a lack of credit, stemming from a general lack of confidence, stemming from the lack of a plan to detoxify the major lending institutions, mainly the banks, which, to paraphrase Willie Sutton, is where the money used to be.
Obama has been strangely passive about this single greatest threat to the country. In his address to Congress and his budget, he's been far more interested in his grand program for reshaping the American social contract in health care, energy and education.
Obama delegates to Geithner plans for a bailout -- and Geithner (thus far) delivers nothing.
Obama delegates to Nancy Pelosi and her congressional grandees the writing of all things fiscal -- and gets a $787 billion stimulus package that is a wish list of liberal social spending, followed by a $410 billion omnibus spending bill festooned with pork and political paybacks.
That bill, we now discover, contains, among other depth charges, a Teamster-supported provision inserted by Sen. Byron Dorgan that terminates a Bush-era demonstration project to allow some Mexican trucks onto American highways, as required under NAFTA.
If you thought the AIG hysteria was a display of populist cynicism directed at a relative triviality, consider this: There are more than 6.5 million trucks in the United States. The program Congress terminated allowed 97 Mexican trucks to roam among them. Ninety-seven! Shutting them out not only undermines NAFTA. It caused Mexico to retaliate with tariffs on 90 goods affecting $2.4 billion in U.S. trade coming out of 40 states.
The very last thing we need now is American protectionism. It is guaranteed to start a world trade war.
A deeply wounded world economy needs two things to recover: (1) vigorous U.S. government action to loosen credit by detoxifying the zombie banks and insolvent insurers, and (2) avoidance of a trade war.
Free trade is the one area where the world indisputably turns to Washington for leadership.
What does it see?
Grandstanding, parochialism, petty payoffs to truckers and a rush to mindless populism.
Over what? Over 97 Mexican trucks -- and bonus money that comes to what the Yankees are paying for CC Sabathia's left arm.
Ahh, yes. Charles never let's me down...Secular militants, not Christian conservatives, currently strive to transform America in a way our founders would neither recognize nor approve.
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