Just A Guy

Just A Guy

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Unethical, maybe. Illegal? Nope

The response by Congress to AIG's payment with tax money of bonuses to employees is nothing more than poorly considered grandstanding. The imposition of a retroactive confiscatory tax on those particular people violates the Constitution in at least three ways: it singles out particular people who have not violated any law for civil punishment, and it takes the form of a bill of attainer and/or an ex post facto law, both of which are specifically prohibited under the Constitution.

Do I think it was wise for these people to take the bonuses to which they are entitled under contract law? No. Does it even rise to the level of immoral or unethical? Perhaps. But was it illegal? From all I've seen (and lawyers tend not to make judgments on stuff they haven't reviewed personally, so there's my caveat), two things make the Congress' action not just grandstanding but embarrassingly stupid: first, AIG was contractually obligated to make these payments; second, it was the Congress that approved billions of dollars in bailout money with not a single real limit on how it was to be spent. The arrogance, the hypocrisy, the plain old stupidity, are breathtaking.

Shouldn't there be some kind of test these people have to take that shows they're minimally conversant in the particulars of the document that creates the elective offices they hold?

No comments:

Post a Comment