Kia Franklin

House approves bill to tax AIG bonuses and others

From AP:

Acting swiftly, the Democratic-led House approved a bill Thursday to slap punishing taxes on big employee bonuses at firms bailed out by taxpayers. The bill would impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses given to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at American International Group and other companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money.

"We want our money back now for the taxpayers," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

DMI's, known for its instant analysis of legislation and how it affects the middle class, had this to say about the new bill:

H.R.1586 should be unnecessary. Congress had ample opportunity to ensure that inappropriate bonus payments were not paid to employees of firms supported by taxpayer dollars. Indeed, in practice the legislation only recaptures taxpayer money, which itself expends additional IRS resources and occupies time better spent by Congress addressing the housing crisis, health care reform, and climate change. The type of ad hoc, retroactive legislation characterized not only by H.R.1586, but by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, calls into question Congress’s commitment to smart, long-term, sustainable investment and to real accountability with consequences for inappropriate behavior. The economic crisis demands flexibility and creative solutions to unexpected challenges. However, payment of bonuses was not only foreseeable, but legislation to prevent it was proposed. Congress must redouble its efforts to provide the accountability H.R.1586 offers before the middle-class taxpayer is put at risk.

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Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 19, 2009 in Business Culture | Corporate Abuse | Governmental Transparency | In the News | Legislation
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I am not a lawyer but did take and oath "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States" and keep a copy of it in my shoulder pocket. Can one of you attorney types explain to me how H.R. 1586 does not violate the Constitution? Seems to me that it flies right infront of it.

Posted by: throckmorton | March 19, 2009 11:19 PM

Dr. T is absolutely correct. He likely remembered Twelfth Grade US History.

This law violates Article I, section 9, clause 3, prohibiting writs of attainder, that is, laws directed at specific people, finding them guilty of a crime or corruption without a trial.

The biased, left wing lawyer dirtbag knows less than the average high school student about the Constitution. The biased left wing lawyer dirtbag is in out of control insurrection against the Constitution.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | March 19, 2009 11:56 PM


1. How does the bill find declare anyone guilty of a crime or corruption?

2. There are ways to circumvent the proscription against special legislation (e.g., taxing not John Doe but rather an employee of a TARP beneficiary that received a bonus in excess of X dollars)? States do this all the time by, for example, enacting laws that apply only to cities with a population in excess of X when it could only be one city they are targeting. I'm not saying Congress did that with thIs bill, but certainly they could and may have.

Posted by: Tate | March 21, 2009 11:48 PM

If you believe the intent of Congress should be considered,they said it openly. The law is in retaliation, prior contracts and earned performance bonuses be damned. The circumvention tactics are pretextual, a form of lawyer bad faith. Such false use of the law should be sanctioned.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | March 22, 2009 6:39 PM