Mar 20, 8:25 PM EDT
Senate Republicans brake rush to tax AIG bonuses
By LAURIE KELLMAN and STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
Associated Press Writers
Senate Republicans are drawing out a flap that has made the Obama administration squirm, applying the brakes to Democratic attempts to quickly tax away most of the bonuses at troubled insurance giant AIG and other bailed-out companies.
Sen. Jon Kyl, the Republicans' vote counter, blocked Democratic efforts Thursday evening to bring up the Senate version of the tax bill to recoup most of the $165 million paid out by AIG last weekend and other bonuses in 2009.
By rushing, Kyl said, Democrats were letting populist outrage trump informed decision-making in the Senate, which is supposed to be insulated from the pressures of public passion.
"I don't believe that Congress should rush to pass yet another piece of hastily crafted legislation in this very toxic atmosphere, at least without understanding the facts and the potential unintended consequences," Kyl said on the Senate floor. "Frankly, I think that's how we got into the current mess."
Once again, Pres. TPT has chosen another crisis in which to further his big-government agenda. He was hoping to use the people's anger over the bonuses to authorize the fiscal rape of a legally binding contractual obligation of a private enterprise. Once this kind of precedent is set, who's to say the government could not go after anyone's bonuses? Or commissions? Or, dare I say it, salary in the form of a 90% tax?
More importantly, why are we even in this position? Because we HAD to rush the stimulus package through without reading it thoroughly. There is no one to blame on this except the 59 Democrat Senators and 3 Republican Senators that passed this legislation, the House Democrats who pushed the Bill into the Senate, and the President who chose to sign the Bill.
That is where our anger should be directed.