Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wall St. Bonus Tax: Where are the Civil Libertarians?

"No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed." Article I, Section 9, Para 3, U.S. Constitution

This afternoon the House of Representatives passed a bill imposing a 90% excise tax on income in excess of $250000 for employees of firms receiving in excess of $5 billion in TARP funds. First to note, I have no dogs in this hunt. What House just did was pass a Bill of Attainder (a law singling out an individual or group for punishment without trial) on an ex post facto basis. A twofer violation of the Constitution.

My question is: where are the civil libertarians? What if Congress passed a law taxing the excess incomes of college professors who work at an institution that received federal money? There would howls of protest from civil libertarians. Trust me, this a big deal civil liberties issue. Today the Wall Street bonus babies, tomorrow who knows. Our forebears fought and won a revolution over this issue!!

1 comment:

  1. What "excess income" of college professors. Surely you jest. Well, maybe law professors. But the slippery slope argument doesn't work here. There's no moral equivalency between the money managers at A.I.G., who are partly responsible for the economic collapse, and college profs or anybody else (except maybe the politicians and bureaucrats who enabled Wall St.).

    It's bad enough that the peddlers of CDO and credit default swaps took my money in their ponzi scheme. Now they want me to pay for their "bonuses." I want it back. So does 96% of the country it seems.

    My only problem with the 90% tax solution is that it will probably mollify the public. Too bad.