Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Congress as Dictator? A Tale of Two Charles

Chuckie Schumer says that he'll tax the AIG bonuses at 100 percent?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and fellow Democrats on Tuesday warned American International Group Inc that its employees should return bonuses or face a massive tax bill that would return most of the money to the federal government.

"We expect that you will report back to Congress on your efforts to recoup these payments in short order," Reid and nine other Senate Democrats wrote in a letter to AIG CEO Edward Liddy, who is to testify before Congress on Wednesday.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Democrat Charles Schumer, a signee of the letter, noted AIG lost nearly $100 billion last year and is now being propped up by U.S. taxpayer funds. He said providing performance bonuses to employees of the insurance giant "defines 'Alice in Wonderland' business practices ... it boggles the mind."

Schumer called on the AIG employees to return the bonuses.

"If they don't we plan to tax virtually all of it," he said.

Pardon my vague memory, but isn't there something in the Constitution that prohibits "ex post facto" laws?

I thought so.

And now let's turn our attention to another Charles; specifically, Republican Senator Charles Grassley:

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley suggested that AIG executives should accept responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves.

The Republican lawmaker's harsh comments came during an interview Monday with Cedar Rapids, Iowa, radio station WMT. They echo remarks he has made in the past about corporate executives and public apologies, but went further in suggesting suicide.

"I suggest, you know, obviously, maybe they ought to be removed," Grassley said. "But I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.
If incompetence and malfiesance are grounds for suicide, might I suggest that congressional members lead by example; starting first with the architects of this mess; specifically Chris Dodd (whose amendment in the bill actually made it possible for AIG to issue bonuses) & Barney Frank?

They have all gone off the deep end.

But so you don't weep, might I suggest a chuckle and take a gander at First Thoughts, where they compare the hysterics in Congress with Ron Burgundy and the gang ("My, that escalated fast!").