March 19, 2009

The HOUSE just passed a new bill that will tax 90% of the AIG bonuses and others who receive bail out money.

The House passed a bill on Thursday that would impose punishing taxes on big employee bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers.Democrats pressed for the quick action. "The American people demand protection and that's what we're doing today," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.


A tax expert said there is plenty of precedent for levying punitive taxes on behavior that lawmakers find objectionable. Robert Willens, a corporate tax lawyer in New York, cited the steep excise taxes levied on money paid to firms to keep them from launching hostile takeover bids, known as "greenmail." "You can write very narrowly tailored laws," Willens said. "And they can do it for bonuses already paid."

Republicans as usual cried about the measure as was evident by Crying John Boehner who called it a political circus. I'm sure Limbaugh and Beck will tell their audiences that President Obama will be taxing right wing talk show hosts next.

And Chris Dodd was wrong in the way he handled the bonus issue. Everyone is blaming the economic team, but he should never have misled CNN and the public by declaring he had nothing to do with it. No matter what happened. He waffled his way through the questions Blitzer and Bash asked him about his flip flop. I'm sorry, that wasn't good. All he had to do was say he was looking into it when asked about it a few days ago. I like Chris Dodd a lot and I'm not blaming him personally for the problem, but he did not distinguish himself the last couple of days.

UPDATE: The golden boy, Eric Cantor voted for the bill while Crying Boehner didn't and it received a lot of Republican support. Almost 50% of House Republicans voted for the bill.

The bill passed on a 328-93 vote. In the end, 243 Democrats and 85 Republicans supported the bill, while six Democrats and 87 Republicans opposed it.

Here's the Roll Call vote results and you can see how many Republicans voted with the AIG's of the world. And how can we forget that virtually every single Republican-- including, of course, those currently screaming the loudest, have been harsh critics of every effort to limit executive compensation for companies taking TARP money.

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