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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Know someone getting a bailout bonus? I do. (They aren't rich)

Politics, President Obama, Slipping fast!, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20528.html  (Ryan)   GOP lawmaker flips on AIG bonus tax  ...House Republicans split almost evenly last week over the Democrats' bill to impose a 90 percent retroactive tax increase on bonuses for employees at AIG and the other biggest recipients of federal bailout funds in a political bid to recoup the government's money. Conservatives rejected the bill as a punitive tax, but more than 80 Republicans voted for it, fearing the populist backlash over the AIG bonuses.   ME: those recipients included Wells Fargo, which as Sensenbrenner put it, were not allowed to leave the room until signing onto receiving tarp funds. They were cooerced into signing so as to not label the ones who did take funds with a scarlet letter. Now those employees, even those who make less than $50,000 a year might get their bonus taxed at 90%. How would you like that to be you?

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking "those rich fat cats don't deserve a bonus" when it comes to bailout money. But remember, many of the workers for these financial institutions are just middle class workers, just like you. Some, through no fault of their own now find themselves in the position of being taxed at 90% on their bonus money because our government leaders (President Obama, Secretary of Treasury Geithner cannot make up their minds and wish to fuel the class warfare fires.Call your Senators and tell them to vote no.

http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=115400

Washington, Mar 20 -

For this one, the Democrats can’t immediately resort to their favorite default statement of “it’s President Bush’s fault.” 

 

I voted against the AIG bonus tax legislation on Thursday, because while it may feel good, look good, and offer political cover to those who voted for the stimulus bill, the legislation will not work.  It is only a matter of time before a court declares it unconstitutional based on the Fifth Amendment and the bill of attainder clause, which in short, states that you cannot confiscate an individual’s property without a trial.  To put it candidly, this means the bonus money won’t be collected, the taxpayer money won’t be returned, and to add insult to injury, taxpayers may even end up paying more money because of the likely litigation expenses that will result from this legislation.    

 

The Democrats rushed the $410 billion stimulus package through Congress – all in the name of “economic recovery” – while it was filled with many of the big government wish list items they’ve been salivating to implement for years. 

 

The Democratic leaders shunned the Republicans proposed alternative stimulus bill, then launched their propaganda “Party of No” campaign despite our proposed alternative, and then went behind closed doors to write their own stimulus bill, leaving us in the cold.

 

The Democrats called for a vote on the bill in under 24 hours, giving no one an opportunity to read the 1000+ page spending bill before they voted.

 

Democrats Nancy Pelosi and President Obama both broke their promise of ensuring sunlight, transparency and a review of the legislation by having a five-day waiting period before signing any bill.

 

And now, Democrats are “outraged” to find the language they themselves wrote into the stimulus bill approving the AIG bonuses – IN the stimulus bill.  Clearly, the language was placed there on purpose, and we’re learning that it was done so at the request of the Administration.  I suspect in the days and weeks to come, we’ll hear more about how this came to be.  Americans will demand it.  This Administration promised accountability and the American people are not receiving it.   

 

It was only earlier this month when the Obama Administration said that they were “confident” in how the stimulus money was being spent.  President Obama proclaimed that any mayors who were wasting the stimulus money and not creating jobs should be careful because he would “call them out.”   Yet, it’s his own name and the names of those around him, such as Treasury Secretary Geithner, who he should be “calling out.” 

 

We all know the economy is suffering and that steps must be taken to make America prosperous again.  However, in the interest of doing this – whether through tax cuts or preferred massive government spending – we absolutely cannot be making rash judgments or be hasty. 

 

Haste makes waste, and there are no better examples of this than the contract language being included in the stimulus legislation AND this legislation that imposes an additional tax on the AIG bonuses. 

 

The smarter and more effective way to recoup this bonus money would be for Secretary Geithner to petition the court to put AIG into receivership, which permits the court to void contracts that date back up to one year.  I call upon Secretary Geithner to do this immediately, and hope the American people will call on him to do the same. 

 

I have long upheld that the government bailout of failed institutions will only result in poorer decision making by those being bailed out.  There are no quick fixes.  Haste really does make waste, and in this case, let’s hope we didn’t waste $165 million of hard-earned taxpayer money.  

STATEMENT BY SENATOR KOHL ON AIG BONUSES

 

“Once again we see that Wall Street doesn’t understand the anger and frustration of the American people and is continuing to do business as usual. It is stunning that after driving their business into financial ruin and taking taxpayer money that executives should be rewarded for their performance. I hope the Administration does everything in its power to retrieve these misspent bonuses.”

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