The House New Bonus Tax. Political ignorance and Butt covering
Well, I hope everybody enjoyed the era of accountability. It was 60 fun filled days with memories I will always cherish. It's just that...well... as eras go, it was a little short.
The Bonus Tax Bill passed by the House is stupid and dangerous. I am not sure how Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Tim Geithner managed to make John Boehner, Rush Limbaugh, and John Kyl look responsible and rational but they did. (Ok, Kyl was his moronic self about Obama and the Jay Leno show, but what he said about the House Bill --- basically that it's horrible -- is on point.)
This circus has come about because Dodd, Frank, and the White House totally misread the politics of the AIG bonus clauses, which have been on the table for weeks and which have been reported on for months. So they all feign shock this past week when the public gets pizzed. They dodge responsibility, and target an undefined group of employees who signed contracts (yes, big contracts, but legal ones) in good faith. Apparently, at least some of these folks had NOTHING to do with AIG's failure.Others may have foregone salaries or other compensation for bonuses -- standard Wall Street stuff and not nearly the worst of it.
The point is, we don't know and are led by people who tout their ignorance of vital details as a badge of honor. If we are going to act out of impassioned ignorance, let's get Joe the Plumber into Congress -- at least he is GOOD at this.
Frank and Cuomo are screaming for names. Frank benefits because screaming for names is easier than reading economics regulations and taking responsibility for his committee's lack of oversight in the bailout arrangements. (The great clown moment came two days ago when Frank said, I believe in a single sentence, that the AIG people getting bonuses are incompetent AND we do not know their names. Usually, judging someone's job performance requires, minimally, that you know whom you are talking about.) Frank seems joyously indifferent to the stalking and threats the AIG employees are apparently getting -- and their families and their neighbors. Mr Human Rights.
Cuomo, our state's beloved attorney general, wants high profile investigations so he can run for governor, or senator, or Duane Johnson's role in the sequel to RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN.
Add to that Obama's main job is getting investment back into the system. Nothing encourages investment like retroactive, targeted, punitive taxes, "outrage"-driven subpoenas, and release of your private information to the public. Sign me up...I'll buy 1000 shares.
Side bet says Obama, while saluting the public outrage flag, works quietly with the Senate to...um..err not exactly hurry this knee jerk House bill into law. I am even willing to bet my next year's bonus on it.