Our Conor Clarke asked Larry Tribe whether or not one could, legally, tax away the bonuses paid to AIG employees. Larry Tribe seems to think that the answer is yes.
This has interesting implications for the banks that have already taken government funds, and certainly, any banks that might be considering doing so in the future. I suspect it would be hard to write a specific tax that applied only to AIG and not, say, to Citibank--and that's assuming that the Democrats in Congress would want to.
Why would the Democrats not want to? It would be a cheap and easy way to distract us from the billions they are giving away to the banking industry.
Moreover, only a bad journalist would announce they "suspect" something can't be done without trying to find out if it could be done. Is she too lazy to look it up? Make a call? Is she posting from her iPhone while standing in line for the latest consumer goods that will hopefully make her cool and hip? Why won't she do the basic requirements of her job?
I think it's safe to assume that if this passes, any banks that possibly can will rush to return bailout funds to the Treasury. And perhaps this is a good thing. But the attempt to shield shaky banks behind a general distribution of funds will be over.
Good for that, too. I don't know if bank failures would bring down the entire system, but neither does McArdle, no matter how many times she bleats that it will happen. She doesn't have any facts, doesn't consult anyone but bankers, why should I believe a word she says, especially when she has shown so little knowledge and foresight in the past?
I suspect that it would also not do any good things for whatever future plans Treasury has. All of the plans I'm currently aware of involve substantial voluntary participation from sound financial institutions. I don't think you'll get much voluntary cooperation from banks if you declare that any acceptance of government funds will involve substantial risk that they will appropriate your paycheck.
So banks will not take billions of dollars because their bonuses might be cut? They might make a few million instead of many millions, after eight years of looting the country? Bullshit.
Stop it! Stop being a stupid, lazy "journalist" who smugly defends the power elite. Post after post of concern trolling, ignoring basic facts like the bailout is not the stimulus--simple, basic facts that reveal her posts are built on absolute faith, trust and worship of the financial system, of all things. Of all the things to worship and believe in! Men and women whose main if not only concern is to make more money! I have to echo Jon Stewart here--you're hurting us. Your idiot commenters believe you, look to you to support their fantasies and hatreds. They are seething with hatred and lies that you offer to them like a human sacrifice. You feed the beast that is swallowing us whole.
If you have no pride at least have some self-interest. You are weak and poor and you support the rich and powerful. Whom do you think the people will persecute when the truth is too obvious to be denied? Do you think social unrest is only for the Third World? Take another look at our income inequality, sweetie. We are the Third World.