The House of Representatives has never acted so quickly as they did in passing a special punitive tax bill aimed at taking $160 million of bonus pay back from those evildoers at AIG. Don't be fooled.Our politicians gave a $170 billion loan to AIG. At the time the loan was made, our government could have put any conditions they chose on the money. They put none. Just like all the banks, AIG was given the bail out money without restrictions on how it would be used.Despite the ridiculous pronouncements emanating from Congress, the taxpayers don't own AIG. We don't have seats on the AIG board. We intentionally decided not to own AIG in order to avoid nationalization of the banks and insurance companies. What we do have is the power to subpoena executives to a media circus being run by politically ambitious prosecutors and politically petrified Congressmen. The result is a de facto nationalization of the financial industry by self-interested petit politicians and local demagogues. The sum of $160 million may sound immense to you, but it is only 1/10th of 1% of the money we loaned to AIG. Imagine a bank lending you $17,000 to make home repairs, and then threatening you with criminal prosecution, fomenting public opinion against you, and threatening to call in your loan, all because you reached into your pocket and gave a total of $16 in tips to the workmen. The $160 million of bonuses is in exactly the same ratio to the $170 billion loan to AIG. The cumulative expense to the taxpayers of the prosecutorial investigations, the Congressional hearings, the drafting of the House and Senate versions of the new punitive tax bill, the legislative conferences to settle differences in those versions, the reprinting of the 2008 Income Tax forms and Instructions, the reprogramming of the IRS computers to accommodate the law change, the tax software changes to enable further electronic filing, the mass media advertising to get out word about the late change, and the inevitable litigation contesting the new law will far exceed the $160 million everyone is so outraged about.
By the way , the new law will not just affect AIG employees. Congress cannot legally pass a law taxing specific individuals. The new law will confiscate the bonuses of anyone whose individual or joint income exceeds $250,000. Imagine having to give your bonus to the IRS because your wife made a lot of money last year from a big sale or two at her real estate job. Cancel the new car Clyde; the government wants your bonus. That'll help the economy.
There are only 23 days left until April 15. The probability is that we will have paid all the expenses of passing the bonus tax, but the government will fail to complete the project in time to collect the tax. To put the $160 million in further perspective, according to the National Debt Clock , the United States is borrowing approximately $5.5 Million every minute. That's $160 Million every half hour -- an incredible $7.9 billion every day. That $7.9 billion is not the amount we are spending; it's the amount we are charging on the credit card each day AFTER we've spent everything in our pocket. Still, we don't have universal health care like every other western democracy, and we don't have free higher education like France, and we don't have unemployment benefits that pay 100% of salary like Holland. In the U.S., if you become unemployed, and lose your medical benefits as a result, and you, your wife, or your child becomes seriously ill or is seriously hurt in an accident, and you don't have the $12,000 per day it costs on average for hospital care, don't despair; your $7.9 billion per day of debt will get you a free government cremation if your unemployment benefits ran out and you can't afford a burial plot.
Despite $11 trillion of total national debt, we lack many of the social benefits and protections that other Western democracies take for granted. Now there's a reason for public outrage. Don't let the politicians misdirect your anger It's time we all demanded a few bonuses for ourselves. Thanks to all the political propaganda, Wall Street bankers may not be popular at the moment; but no one denies that they know how to make money for themselves. Everything they touch puts money in their pockets. Investment bankers make huge bets in the markets everyday, but their bets don't stop with financial markets. Some have formed a race and sports betting syndicate that hires the best sports handicappers and pays for the best information. [ Ya gotta love this seque.] I refer to them as the "Wall Street Bankers" or the "Wall Street Syndicate." It's illegal to get inside information about their financial investments, but it's not illegal to get inside information about their sports bets. I've been getting that information for 17 years.
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