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Payback on Payday

March 22, 2009

So congressional Democrats spit out that monstrosity of a spending bill (aka ‘American Europeanisation and Indebtedness Recovery and Reinvestment Act’). They force a vote on it before anyone had the time to read, let alone think through, the final version and blame Republicans who oppose the bill of partisan politics. Included in the bill is the explicit provision that TARP companies will pay already contracted bonuses to their employees. The President – who has basically predicted Armageddon if this fantastic porkfest doesn’t get approved – signs it into law.

A few weeks later TARP money receiving AIG actually fulfills its contracts with its employees and – in full accordance with the provision in the so-called stimulus bill – pays out the bonuses that had been agreed upon even before the company was in the tender-loving care of the government. As a result Congress and the President go bonkers – and, yes, that’s still the same Congress and President that have produced the ‘stimulus’ bill. They call the fulfillment of those contracts an outrage and claim that they had nothing to do with the enactment of the TARP provision. First, they want to shame, and then threaten, the recipients of the money into returning it. They want to publish their names, presumably hoping that justice will be done by other angry mobs, and, finally, they get the brilliant idea of writing a law that specifically targets this group of people in order to tax the money back.

Unless you think some poltergeist has written the ‘stimulus’ bill into law, as some Democrats would want you to believe, the only conclusion you can draw from this behaviour is that the Democrats in Congress and the President are schizophrenic. Oh well, not quite. You may also conclude that they just don’t know what they’re doing and, after they created a mess, want to save their political skins through denying all responsibility.

But, t’en fais pas, the President and his crew have found a solution to the problem:

The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.

Ahh, here again shows the sheer genius of this man and his outstanding selection of the best and brightest! To prevent any company in the future from lawfully paying bonuses to its employees only to have Congress later invest their time writing unconstitutional bills of attainder to tax them away, the President simply prevents “shameful” remuneration to happen in the first place. After all, it is much easier to keep money from going to the greedy fat cats than to tax it away ex post facto. If this isn’t delivering on the promise on making government more efficient, I don’t know what is.

Remains to be decided who will get taxed once the obscene-profit Wall Streeters have been whipped into reasonable middle-class modesty. Who will pay for food safety regulation, overseas abortion and the council on women and girls? Will Hollywood celebrities? Will the Kennedys? Probably not. They are all Democrats and, as we have learned from Obama’s troubles to fill his cabinet, Democrats don’t pay their taxes. But the French Cowboy is certain that Obama will find a few more trillions of “savings” by applying the same method he used for his budget proposal, ie going “line by line” through all the wars America won’t fight.

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