Permit me to be the first to call the President’s bluff.
This Politico story has been making the rounds – see here and here and here and shoot, Memeorandum in general – and it’s mostly because of the passage below, in response over attempts to explain salary bonuses:
But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”
“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
Jarred by a cool reception from the White House and fears of unintended consequences across the financial world, Senate leaders are likely to delay until late next month legislation to punitively tax bonuses at banks and investment firms that receive federal aid.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced last week that the Senate would move ahead with the legislation as soon as possible, and he attempted to bring the bill to the floor Thursday night. But he revised that timetable yesterday, saying that the chamber will spend this week debating a national-service bill before turning to a long-scheduled showdown over the budget for fiscal 2010. With just two weeks to go until Congress departs for a spring recess, action on the tax measure would be unlikely before late April.
That will effectively kill the bill, because everyone in Washington is betting that a month should be enough time for the populace to have something else besides the Democrat-inspired and Democrat-encouraged AIG bonus PR fiasco to focus upon; which is not a bad bet, actually. Already people are starting to notice that the Democrats’ House bill has a good deal of faux-populist outrage associated with it; and as Glenn Reynolds over in Forbes is pointing out, the Democrats are going to be soon having to hit up the very people that they’re currently demonizing for campaign contributions. Time to let this story die, and that’s why there’s a Senate in the first place. Continue reading Senate to discreetly shut down House AIG bill of attainder.
From Blue Crab Boulevard we see the first subtle signs of panic from the Obama administration over the likely repercussions of letting Congressional Democrats attempt to scapegoat Wall Street for their own sins.
Obama Seeks to Soften the Punitive Legislation
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration wants to soften the impact of bills speeding through Congress that would impose heavy new taxes on Wall Street bonuses. But some potential allies in the Senate are reluctant to cooperate, fearing the political consequences of watering down the legislation.
Financial-industry officials launched a campaign Friday to fight back but are finding their hands tied: Anti-Wall Street sentiment following the American International Group Inc. bonus payouts is making it difficult to reach once-friendly lawmakers to make their case. Key senators and their staffers, nervous about appearing to support the industry, are refusing all meetings, and, in some cases, turning away phone calls. “Unless you have a pitchfork and a noose nobody’s listening to you” on Capitol Hill, said one financial lobbyist.
The White House has yet to publicly criticize the bonus tax proposals. But administration officials say privately they are concerned the House and Senate bills could lead to an exodus of employees or whole companies from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP, as well as other government-sponsored financial rescue efforts.
(Via Fausta, Hot Air) A group called “the Connecticut Working Families Party” planned to bus around people to visit AIG offices and their officials’ homes. This has alarmed New York Magazine sufficiently that they find themselves agreeing with Rush Limbaugh about how things are getting out of hand.
ACORN was most recently in the news because of yet another call by a Congressman to investigate their role in what the Washington Times calls “in a pattern of crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style ‘protection’ racket.” What makes this news is that the Congressman in question is the Hon. John Conyers, Jr (D-MI). His fellow-Democrats are being slightly more hampered in pushing back on this, mostly because they can’t use the standard reply of calling Conyers a racist.
So, to recap: the supposed ‘grassroots’ group of protesters making a big show of attempting to gin up faux-populist hysteria turns out to be a puppet of an election fraud group so blatant that it alarms partisan Democrats… and said group was one that this administration decided to have knock on your door next year and ask you all sorts of personal information.
Other than all of that, of course, there’s nothing of concern about this story.
Jim Tedisco reminds us that Murphy may have an inclination towards giving bonuses to companies losing money…
…although that may not be an entirely fair comparison. After all, back then Murphy’s bonus scheme didn’t involve your money. I wonder if he’s still for passing that miscalled “stimulus” bill – Tedisco is on the record as opposing it, mind you – and I wonder if Murphy is going to comment on his stance on the AIG payoffs further. Or at all, really.
[UPDATE] Yeah, let me fix this.
[UPDATE the second.] Not much to fix at all, really. Just a state and a readjustment of how much money he took off of PMA. Whew!
[UPDATE the third.] And hi, Instapundit readers. Never mind the first two updates; they were mostly to fix a snide aside that doesn’t affect the main point. My karmic backlash of the day, clearly.
In the midst of its negotiation with the federal government over revised terms of its bailout, American International Group Inc. sued the U.S. on Friday over a disputed $306 million in taxes, interest and penalties.
The suit steps up a battle with the Internal Revenue Service largely over AIG’s use of a controversial type of “tax arbitrage” transaction that authorities are challenging across the world.
With the company essentially suing its owner, the suit highlights the awkwardness of national control of AIG, which the government rescued from potential bankruptcy in September. If through litigation “you’re moving money from one pocket to another, why should we be paying lawyers to do that?” says David Weisbach, a tax law professor at the University of Chicago.
“AIG is taking this action to ensure that it is not required to pay more than its fair share of taxes,” said a company spokeswoman. An IRS spokesman declined to comment.