Friday, February 5, 2010

A Move Against Banksters

I’m pleased to see a beginning of activity to recover the people’s money from the banksters\, but skeptical.

FatCat2 Democratic Senators Jim Webb and Barbara unveil another proposal aimed at allowing taxpayers to recoup bailout funds from recipients of exorbitant bonuses at firms that received more than $5 billion in TARP funds:

WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Two Democratic senators on Thursday proposed legislation that would impose a one-time tax on bonuses paid to executives of companies bailed out with taxpayer money.

Senators Barbara Boxer and Jim Webb proposed a 50 percent tax on 2009 bonuses above $400,000 at any firm that has received more than $5 billion in government assistance.

The next question is whether or not this is just another press release or if it actually has a chance of becoming a law.

The senators said they had not yet gathered broad support for the proposal, and neither sits on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, which would likely have to take up the bill. A 35 percent tax on bonuses at bailed-out companies was proposed last year by the leaders of the Finance Committee, Democrat Max Baucus and Republican Charles Grassley, but it has not been acted on.

So you can add this to a list of ideas floating out there to make taxpayers whole after the bailout spree, but the question still remains: will Democrats in Congress actually do anything to make any of those ideas become reality?…

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Cousin FatCat thinks this is a terrible idea.  He thinks taxpayers exist for the sole purpose of providing him the finest caviar.

I think it’s a good idea, but think that, if it does actually get through the US $enate, it will be challenged.  It’s close enough to being a Bill of Attainder that a reasonable court might overturn it, let alone the fascist five Justices of the Extreme Court.


otis said...

Because this is so targeted, I think that this is a Bill of Attainer.

Sorry. I still say that we need to get over the damn bonuses. Once again we are worrying about billions when the government still has TRILLIONS backing the banks.

My vote is, screw the tax, if a bank paid bonuses, the Fed MUST remove any backing that is on or off the Fed balance sheet. How quickly do you think that banks would be re-negotiating contracts?

Second, leverage tax. Less money to 'suck up pennies', smaller bonus pool. Done.

Oso said...

I think you're absolutely right. And regarding the bonuses, it seems like people better understand smaller amounts and specific "villains".

If you lay out a convincing case against excesses by Halliburton and tie it in with administration corruption people will fall asleep.

If you say Halliburton security guards were getting free lattes and leather coats at taxpayer expense people will be outraged.

TomCat said...

Otis and Oso, I agree completely, but here's the problem. The US is unique among developed nations in the extent of voter apathy and voter ignorance. Unfortunate as it is, elections here are decided on the basis of emotion, not intellect. That's hard for the three of us to fathom, because we analyze issues carefully. This is also true of the Democratic leadership in general, and a large part of our difficulties as a party. Time and time again, Republicans have won elections based on fear, even though all the facts were on our side. A perfect example is that Americans overwhelmingly support individual pieces of HCR, but oppose it in general. We need to appeal not only to brains, but to guts as well.