You will never pay down this debt; your children will never pay down this debt; your grandchildren will never pay down this debt. Living under the crushing burden of this debt, your children and grandchildren can look forward to economic conditions created by high taxes, hyperinflation, and the exclusion of private sector borrowing from credit markets, since the Federal Debt will absorb that market.
And, no I am not outraged, or even interested, in the bonuses paid to AIG officers, except, perhaps, a clinical interest in seeing what happens when a once-great nation passes from a mere neurotic aversion to facts and truth, to full-bore psychotic break with reality.
It might be an interest course assignment for a law student to count the number of Constitutional provisions and Blackstonian legal principles of Anglo-American law a penal tax on specific individuals might offend, when the individual not only broke no law, but did only what their contractual oblations demanded.
That the stimulus package originally contained an (perhaps an unconstitutional, certainly tortous) provision to prevent the payment of bonuses, which language was removed before the bill was signed, merely add insult to folly. That neither the drafters of the bill nor the President who signed it read the bill before its passage adds comedy to insult to folly. The legal precident involved is that the majority in Congress, bound by nothing but their own corrupt will, shall henchforth have the power to take any property, real or personal, in confescation, of any persons of whom they disapprove, for any reason, or no reason.
Let me quote Mark Stein:
The investor class invests in jurisdictions where the rules are clear and stable. Right now, Washington is telling the planet: In our America, there are no rules. Got a legally binding contract? We'll tear it up. Refuse to surrender the dough? We'll pass a law targeted at you, yes, you, Mr. Beau Nuss, of 27 Plutocrat Gardens, Fatcatville. If you want a banana republic on steroids, this is great news. So cheer on thuggish grandstanding by incompetent legislators-for-life like Barney Frank if you wish. But, in any battle between the political class and the business class, you're only fooling yourself if you think it's in your interest for the latter to lose.
Let me quote John Hinderaker;
Wells Fargo didn't want any TARP money, but the government forced it to take more than $5 billion worth, so Wells Fargo employees who receive bonuses would be subject to Pelosi's proposed tax. Say you're a teller at Wells Fargo and you're married to a lawyer who makes $250,000 this year. You get a $10,000 bonus for your good work during 2008. The government steals it all (90 percent federal plus 8.5 percent state plus, unless it's included in the 90 percent, 3 percent Medicare). That is simply insane.
Since he wrote those words, the House passed the measure. I don't know if it has gone to the Senate yet.