As the news this week unfolded over the retention bonuses being paid to AIG executives I found myself becoming increasingly outraged. My outrage however, has not been directed over the bonuses being paid. This post is not about the merits of paying the bonuses.
No, rather my outrage is over:
- The government has known about these bonuses all along
- This week, they have lied through their teeth about not knowing
- That Congress would seek an unconstitutional measure to correct their incompetence
The Bonuses Were Known
There is no way I believe the powers that be did not know about these retention bonuses before hand. These were pre-existing contracts. It is not uncommon for business to utilize end of year bonuses. Government agents are now on the board of AIG. For Congress and the Administration to feign this outrage as if they did not know is disingenuous. Let me say it again, these were pre-existing employment contracts! If they did not know, are we to think them incompetent? If they did know, are they playing us for fools? Maybe, I should temper my thoughts. After all, Congress passed a stimulus package they never read. Could it be they did not know?
Lying Through Their Teeth
Everyone is ducking for cover now that the payments of the retention bonuses have been completed. Geithner, says he did not know about the bonuses until March 10th. BS! Is this possibly parsing of words and this really means that on March 10th he learned the checks were being distributed? Please don’t lie to my face!
The worst, however, is Sen. Christopher Dodd. He has the gall to stand before us and tell us he did not know the language was inserted about exempting restrictions on bonuses if contracted before February 11, 2009. Senator Dodd is it too much to ask, if you are not going to read the entire bill you might at least read the amendment that has your name on it?
Fast forward! Then Dodd backtracks and admits he had conversations with the administration about inserting the language. A plea to the people of Connecticut PLEASE HELP THIS MAN FIND OTHER EMPLOYMENT!
Now to continue the fakery of Congress’s outrage there are two bills being considered to tax the bonuses. One has already passed the house that will tax the bonuses at 90%. This is a bill of attainder and is unconstitutional! Article I, Section 9; No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. You can not single out a group for punishment.
While I am disgusted that our elected officials think us such idiots to believe they did not know in advance of this situation or that they would so blatantly lie to us this is not my biggest concern. My biggest concern is the move to tax the bonuses at a rate of 90%.
The figure of $250,000 has come up a number times during the Presidential campaign and since. This has now become the definition of rich. “Everyone making less than $250,000 will receive a tax cut” “Those making more than $250,000 will have their taxes increased”
Let me state for the record I have never made $250,000 or more a year, but I do not begrudge those that do. What I see as the end result of this unconstitutional attempt on AIG bonuses is the passage of exorbitantly high taxes on those making more than $250,000 per year. The only question is will this just be for certain groups or will it be for everyone in those income brackets and above?
Do we really want to choke off the entrepreneurial spirit? Do we really want to strip out the talent needed to run our corporations? Do we really want to see talented people leave the country? Do we really want to see corporations move off shore more than they already are? If you do, let Congress continue down this path.
Outraged? With out a doubt!