House to Vote on Taxing AIG Bonus Bonanza


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A couple of questions comes to mind. First it is easy to direct our anger at AGI and those that got the big bonuses. I am ticked off my self at the arrogance and disregard at how our tax money was used. I think however that where the real blame lies is with congress and the white house. The citizens contacted the crooks in congress and a majority said not to pass the tax payer bail out bill but as is typical any more congress did not give a rats A_ _ what we said. Second if congress can slap a 90% tax on the money they got then what can keep them from doing that to the rest of us?

House to Vote on Taxing AIG Bonus Bonanza
Lawmakers are preparing to slap heavy taxes on employee bonuses at insurance giant AIG and at other companies that have received large bailout packages from the government.


WASHINGTON -- Venting their outrage, lawmakers are preparing to slap heavy taxes on employee bonuses at insurance giant AIG and at other companies that have received large bailout packages from the government.

The House was scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money.

"We figured that the local and state governments would take care of the other 10 percent," said Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel said the bill would apply to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among others, while excluding community banks and other smaller companies that have received less bailout money.

House Democratic leaders unveiled the bill as the head of embattled American International Group Inc., which has received $182 billion in bailout money, testified about $165 million in bonuses paid out in the past week to about 400 employees in its Financial Products unit.

Edward Liddy, who was brought in last year by the government to run AIG, told a House subcommittee Wednesday that the company was contractually obligated to pay the bonuses but that some of the recipients have begun returning all or part of them.

Liddy said that on Tuesday, he had "asked those who have received retention payments in excess of $100,000 or more to return at least half of those payments." Some have "already stepped forward and returned 100 percent," he added.

Lawmakers rushed to the microphones after word of the bonuses was leaked out by the government over the weekend. Bills were quickly drawn up in both the House and Senate to impose heavy new taxes on them.

The top two members of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday announced a bill that would impose a 35 percent excise tax on the companies paying the bonuses and a 35 percent excise tax on the employees receiving them. The taxes would apply to all companies receiving government bailout money, but they are clearly geared toward AIG.

President Barack Obama, who took office just under two months ago, told reporters Wednesday that his administration was not responsible for a lack of federal supervision of AIG that preceded the company's demise.

But Obama added, "The buck stops with me."

Obama said his administration was consulting with Congress on creating a new "resolution authority" to seize giant institutions like AIG -- including all their toxic assets -- whose collapse in normal bankruptcy could cause calamity in the financial markets.

Republicans have pointed their criticism at Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, questioning how much he know about the bonuses in advance and efforts by the administration to stop them. And they complained anew about being locked out of discussions earlier this year when Democrats decided to jettison a provision in the economic stimulus bill that would have revoked the payments.

"The fact is that the bill the president signed, which protected the AIG bonuses and others, was written behind closed doors by Democratic leaders of the House and Senate. There was no transparency," said Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.


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OpenSecrets | Before the Fall, AIG Payouts Went to Washington - Capital Eye

Click on this - American International Group: All Recipients | OpenSecrets

Then read this:

Before the Fall, AIG Payouts Went to Washington
Published by Massie Ritsch on March 16, 2009 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

As long as everyone's talking today about AIG's payouts to its executives and foreign banks, let's remember the payouts AIG has made over the years to politicians. In the last 20 years American International Group (AIG) has contributed more than $9 million to federal candidates and parties through PAC and individual contributions. That's enough to rank AIG on's Heavy Hitters list, which profiles the top 100 contributors of all time.
Over time, AIG hasn't shown an especially partisan streak, splitting evenly the $9.3 million it has contributed since 1989. In the last election cycle, though, 68 percent of contributions associated with the company went to Democrats. Two senators who chair committees charged with overseeing AIG and the insurance industry, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), are among the top recipients of AIG contributions. Baucus chairs the Senate Finance Committee and has collected more money from AIG in his congressional career than from any other company--$91,000. And with more than $280,000, AIG has been the fourth largest contributor to Dodd, who chairs the Senate's banking committee. President Obama and his rival in last year's election, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), are also high on the list of top recipients.
AIG has been a personal investment for lawmakers, too. Twenty-eight current members of Congress reported owning stock in AIG in 2007, worth between $2.5 million and $3.3 million. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), one of the richest members of Congress, was by far the biggest investor in AIG, with stock valued around $2 million.
Last year AIG and its subsidiaries spent about $9.7 million on federal lobbying, or about $53,000 for every day Congress was in session in 2008. The company's spending on advocacy last year was down from an all-time high of $11.4 million spent on lobbying in 2007.
Heavy Hitters,
Personal Finances,
Securities & investment
Barack Obama,
Chris Dodd,
John Kerry,
John McCain,
Max Baucus
March 18, 2009 11:50 AM | wordsmith53 said:
Thank you, Capital Eye and Open Secrets, for doing the research I was just about to undertake. This was a no-brainer. Politicians who have expressed so much "outrage" were obviously recipients of grand campaign contributions from the very people and interests who have supposedly "outraged" them. Be serious. Washington, D.C., has become an Ethics-Free Zone because of campaign financing that none of our elected legislators truly want to reform, despite all the verbalized commitments to do so for decades. Loopholes still abound, and Democrats and Republicans share the blame equally. The two-party stranglehold on our country has yielded a wasteland of greed and corruption that only some kind of revolution -- in voting booths or in the streets (probably the latter) -- will be able to effectively address.
March 17, 2009 5:07 PM | thefoff said:
I posted my video comment on YouTube here: YouTube - Thank God for Bernie Madoff

March 17, 2009 5:05 PM | thefoff said:
I posted my video response to this article on youtube (see url).
March 17, 2009 7:56 AM | Mike said:
All of the anger displayed in Washington is FAKE on AIG, the real problem is they are afraid the public might wake-up and take notice of all the hands in the cookie jar.


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Not Constitutional

The 90% tax is not Constitutional and will be over turned in the courts.

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