Saturday, March 21, 2009

Democratic AIG bonus tax bill likely constitutional; John Boehner's... not so much.

Here's a good Bloomberg article that explains why the Congressional Democratic bill to tax the AIG bonus will most likely survive a legal challenge. In other words, all the Senate Republicans who are hiding behind constitutional arguments are just using it as a dodge to avoid justifying why they're against this highly popular tax.

Matt Hurley over at Weapon of Mass Destruction has lost all sense of sanity left trying to thread the needle of attacking the AIG bonuses while justifying John Boehner's unpopular (even among his fellow Congressional Republicans like Jean Schmidt) vote against recapturing the bonuses.

Matt can disrespect the office of the President and use his juvenile name-calling all he wants on his blog. All it does is reveal the immature mind.

While Matt has been busy slandering veterans like John Boccieri while praising corporate shills like John Boehner. He's revealed another troubling aspect of his defense. The Republic bill that John Boehner and Matt Hurley swear would have recouped the AIG bonuses within the year simply wouldn't. There's no reason to believe it. All the bill did was require the Secretary of Treasury to do whatever he could (and since the Secretary, prior to the Democratic tax bill, had no legal authority to recapture it) to get it back. It was essentially a mandate with no real power. In fact, if Geithner wasn't able to get the bonus money back, there was no consequence. It was completely toothless. And yet, John Boehner and Matt Hurley are trying to accuse the Democrats of being too soft on this issue while making claims about their bill that simply are untrue.

But, ironically, why the Republicans try to label the Democratic bill as unconstitutional, the amazing thing is those constitutional arguments fit the Republican alternative far better. The Republican bill targeted the AIG bonuses by identity. It was clearly designed to be punitive. It had none of the careful considerations that the Bloomberg article make clear. In other words, on constitutional grounds, the House Republican alternative was the offensive bill, not the Democratic bill that passed.

Matt Hurley and John Boehner can try to portray that this is why they opposed the stimulus bill all along. But that's all nonsense. The Republican alternative had nothing on such bonuses. Not once did a single Congressional Republican say at the time that they opposed the stimulus because of the bonus language. Not once.


Mark said...

Excuse me, Modern Esquire, but Matt didn't write it. I did.. Secondly, they opposed the bill because no one had a chance to read it, and this is evidenced now especially because apparently your lord god and savior Barry Obama didn't read the bill he signed into law, Barney Frank didn't read the bill he voted on, because the bonuses were in there, yet Geithner and co. acted all shocked and outraged when it was reported AIG was giving the bonuses out. That is the crux of the argument. Your clownish and idiotic sheep democrat congressmen bowed to their corporate wall street donors and inserted language and are trying to have it both ways when they are caught in being hyporcritical or epicly stupid for not even reading a bill that has to do with the people's money. You sir, are just a shameless shill for the dems who hides behind an alias rather than reveal who you really are. Why don't you just give your name and what you do in Butler County, you clown.

Modern Esquire said...

My apologies to Matt, who does normally show some intellect in his posting. You're right, Mark, I should have recognized the partisan foam-mouthing idotic ramblings as being your signature posting.

Thank you for not responding to any of the issues actually raised in this post. LIke how you pushing Boehner's complete B.S. justification for opposing doing the one thing that will actually work in getting these bonuses recoup.

Who I am and what I do for a living is known, but irrelevant.

Republicans, back when they were not only politically relevant, but in power, routinely voted on bills that didn't have a chance for them to read beforehand. That's how Ney made his money getting earmarks snuck in without much notice. I guarantee that John Boehner votes all the time without reading a bill.

But thanks for visiting!

Modern Esquire said...

They didn't opposing the bill because they didn't have a chance to read it; they opposed it because they didn't want to deny Obama a bipartisan victory. That's not a matter of opinion, it's admitted political strategy by the Congressional Republicans.

Drop the Freeper nonsense.

Jeff Lehner said...


No doubt some Republicans are playing games with the AIG bonus issue. Welcome to politics. It's a stupid, juvenile business full of hypocrites who make better talkers than "do"-ers.

But at the end of the day, Democrats wrote the bill and Obama signed it. Ultimately, the buck stops with them here. They asked for the burdens of leadership and they got it. So we should hold them accountable. No?

Anonymous said...

You seem to have lost your perspective.
Whether or not the Republicans behaved properly should not be what you're worried about. Whether or not the law would be constitutional is.
When something is simply wrong, "the other man isn't any better" isn't a mature, helpful, or acceptable response.

Modern Esquire said...

The title of the post is that Democrat's bill is likely constitutional, Republican bill likely wasn't. So right off the bat, I addressed the issue of constitutionality. I don't get what you're complaining about.

The second point of the post is that the Republicans are being disingenious in claiming that they opposed the bill over "constutional" concerns because there's absolutely nothing about the Republican alternative to justify a person saying it was constitutional, but the Democratic bill that passed was not.

This isn't a case of me saying "the other man isn't any better." This is a case of saying "The Republicans are falsely claiming that the Democratic bill is unconstitutional, when in reality it is constitutional while at the same time supporting a bill as an "alternative" that clearly would have been declared unconstitutional.

It's also important to point out that the Republicans' claim that their alternative would recapture that money sooner was patently untrue.

Perhaps you don't think these things are important. But others do.