Friday, March 20, 2009

Bread and Circuses

So the House has passed its 90% surtax bill and the "world's greatest deliberative body" will now take up its 70% surtax bill. No one seems too concerned about any consequences.

Like losing a constitutional challenge, or (hard as it may be to fathom) losing their last vestiges of seriousness and credibility, or actually undermining the original bailouts that they authorized.

From the WSJ (front page, not editorial page):

"In both the House and Senate bills, companies could escape the tax by repaying enough government aid. Some Wall Street firms have formally applied to repay the government ahead of schedule, and the new tax is spurring talk among others. But regulators have been leery of allowing firms to repay, in part because it could complicate efforts to promote stability in the financial system."

This post has further discussion of the counter-productivity of what is going on.

Congress had an opportunity to block pre-existing bonus payments when they passed the stimulus bill. Apparently the adminstration asked them not to and the conference committee (specifically Chis Dodd) took the language out.

Are they really going to now pass a crazy tax law like this? Wasn't the Senate created to stop legislation being enacted in response to the whims/passions of the people? And the best they can do is cut the rate to 70%? Oh, yeah and make weird pseudo death threats?

It seems like we have stopped walking and started jogging towards banana republic status.


Justin M Ross said...

I think they are intentionally doing this in a way that will make it be struck down by the supreme court. They'll get the populist credit, do less actual damage, and push the blame to "activist" judges.

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