Given all the press the AIG bonuses have garnered, youâ€™d think our only economic problem was a few nearsighted/greedy execs at one insurance firm. Today, the House took AIG backlash to the next level by passing a bill which would levy heavy taxes on such bonuses. Specifically:
The bill would levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money.
Leaving aside whether or not his is an appropriate or necessary move, the whole situation has hit the farcical stage. Our Congress hands out billions of dollars with too few strings attached and then acts shocked — shocked! — when the money is misused. Their solution, of course, is to act punitively in a show of staged populism.
All this while many larger problems go unaddressed or ignored.
While Iâ€™d like to think this fiasco will once-and-for-all stop the kind of chicken-little attitude that allows poor bills to become law, I doubt thatâ€™s the lesson everyone will take away. In fact, I have a feeling many in Congress feel the bill passed today proves they are doing their job. Except, their job was getting the legislation right the first time.