Saturday, March 21, 2009

All I Can Say Is "Wow"

Just as I was worried about the two things in congress in my previous post, here comes something crazier: the 90% bonus surtax.
I have to shout loud and clear: this is a red herring! The AIG bailout is something like $180 billion. The bonuses are $165 million. For the less numerate among us, this is $180,000,000,000 versus $165,000,000. Less than 0.1%. Why isn't the outrage about the substantially bigger number? Innumeracy, I would guess.
Now the bonus tax has some very chilling implications. One, it is retroactive, which I hope you understand, is very dangerous. The second big issue for me is that it sends the signal that if the gubmint does not like you for some reason or another...you're done. You can now see the oil windfall taxes...the coal taxes...the increases in personal taxes for the "rich"... you name it. So the US is slipping away into a banana republic state very quickly.

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