Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tax Me Like You Really Mean It!

From the Washington Times:

As he empathized with recession-weary Americans, President Obama arranged in the days just before he took office to secure a $500,000 advance for a children's book project, a disclosure report shows.

One blogger suggests we do unto our politicians as they have done unto Wall Street:

Since threats of confiscatory government taxes on "unmerited" or "windfall" income seem to be all the rage these days, I am simply proposing that all elected government officials who write books should be taxed at 100% on any royalty advances that they receive while in office  while they are employed by us as our public servants. That's only "fair" ... isn't it?

Obamaphiles don't like the idea:

  • The limit on banker's bonuses is because the gov't gave BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to the banks. The gov't dollars should NOT be used to pad the already wealthy banking executives pay when their companies have performed so poorly.  I don't see Obama getting BILLIONS in gov't money for screwing up the financial system, like the bankers did.
  • The growing discrepancy between extreme wealthy [sic] and the average American is what leads to political instability. And that only adds to market turbulence. It seems obvious what needs to be done, and yet boneheads are out there rambling in complete ignorance of the situation.

But Bush foes are interested in applying the AIG precedent to George Bush:

See, Dubya just signed a big ol' book deal. Crown publishers is paying him a $7 million advance to writing a book called Decision Points, all about what a decider he was. Now the general wisdom is that Bush screwed things up. Seriously, ask Pelosi, Rangel, Reed or Obama and they'll give you a whole litany of things he did wrong to get us in this mess.

If you can tax AIG bonuses at a punitive rate, is there any reason not to tax Bush? Is there some special exemption for ex-Presidents that protect them against vindictive tax policy from current politicians? Not as far as we know.

I can't take it anymore! Democrats whine about the "excessive" earnings of the high achievers in this country, but when the very same Democrats are elected to high office, they use the office as a stepping stone on their quest to take home seven figure mountains of cash.

Liberals say the key to a more just society is to get more money into the U.S. Treasury.  I say "put your money where your mouth is." There's hardly a liberal in this country who couldn't afford to send a FEW extra dollars to the U.S. Treasury on a voluntary basis.   Go ahead Mr. Liberal, give until it hurts.   Or try a more cautious approach.  Are you supposed to be getting a tax refund? Let Uncle Sam keep it.  The Federal Government doesn't owe you any money, you say?  Just send ten extra dollars to Uncle Sam. Then you'd actually have a little credibility. But you won't do that will you? 

You won't admit it, but your actions speak louder than words  you know that an extra dollar in the hands of Government, even with your democrat buddies in charge, is a bad investment!

And don't give me the this faux outrage about Bush's $7 million figure deal. Republicans aren't the ones preaching against productivity and wealth.


Bonfire of the Trivialities
Now, in the scheme of things, $165 million is a rounding error. It amounts to less than 1/18,500 of the $3.1 trillion federal budget. It's less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the bailout money given to AIG alone. If Bill Gates were to pay these AIG bonuses every year for the next 100 years, he'd still be left with more than half his personal fortune.  

Grandstanding, parochialism...and a rush to mindless populism. Over what?  ...Bonus money that comes to what the Yankees are paying for CC Sabathia's left arm.

Is that AIG tax constitutional?
Concluding his written statement, Gregg said that the Senate bill would undermine the credibility of the U.S. tax system and "create an atmosphere where any group that offends the sensibilities of the majority may be at risk for punitive tax treatment."


robert verdi said...

taxing as punishment, disgusting.

Clay Bowler said...

It's getting to the poing where I just hate libs. You clearly show how they have no principles. It's all emotion based on who and what they like and who they don't. I know most of us conservative bloggers will commend a democrat when they do something right. In fact, on my blog, I applauded something dear leader said. I agreed with him. Whether it gets done or not is a separate issue, but when we saw eye to eye on something I pointed out. You will never get that honesty from a liberal. I know this, because one of my best frieds is a liberal who is acutally alot further to the right than he wants to beleive. When he talks about Bush, his dishonsty shows based on these further to the right conversations we have had in the past. Bottom line is, that is intellectually dishonest.

RightKlik said...

RV: I suppose taxation for the purposes of punishment has always been with us, but never so blatant as least in my lifetime.

CB: The liberal base of the hard left wants America (as we know it) to fail. That's why they are so dishonest. Their views are too repugnant to openly discuss.

suek said...

The rule of law as applied in America is unique. It is supposed to apply to _all_ - and that is the sense in which we are all _equal_ under the law. The law is supposed to be blind to station and wealth - and political position. With those rules of equality, we flourish. We know what we can and cannot do, and what will be punished if we violate the laws. It's _fair_.

If you look around at the world, the countries that have higher individual wealth are close to this ideal. In those countries where the law is arbitrary - applied by political powers as it suits them - there is little in the way of individual wealth. If a person of no political importance somehow strikes it rich, those with power simply confiscate it - one way or another. They apply the law as it suits them. It's better to not have anything that others desire.

If this stands, we have just taken a step towards that condition, which truly makes us only a few steps from a banana country dictatorship. Even if the dictatorship has multiple leaders...they will only share leadership until they can consolidate their own power.

RightKlik said...

suek: I strongly agree. The House of Representatives has violated principles that have been cherished since the time of the Magna Carta. The rule of law is in serious jeopardy and the unprecedented prosperity we take for granted will surely evaporate soon.

Anonymous said...

Also, isn't this a case of retroactive law?

Jessica said...

Anon: yes, it's an ex post facto law, and from that standpoint alone, it's totally unconstitutional. Somehow Congress still thinks it will pass muster.

suek said...

>>Somehow Congress still thinks it will pass muster.>>

Maybe. There's always the possibility that the House knew it would be rejected by the Senate, and just wanted to express their displeasure.

Of course, that doesn't make it any less irresponsible, but theoretically the Senate is _supposed_ to "temper" the passion of the House.

RightKlik said...

Suek: It would be nice if the House at least had the self restraint to avoid writing bills that are unconstitutional.

The senate might do a little better job tempering the passions of the House if it were not for the 17th Amendment.