Originally Posted by dholly
Introducing legislation to tax bonuses 100%? Selective, punitive tax power? Wtf kind of precedence does THAT set?!
F8ck the U.S. Constitution... full speed ahead!! Article I, § 9, of the Constitution states: "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."...which was written to enforce the Constitution's separation of powers, thereby protecting individual rights. The judiciary, not the legislature, is the branch that judges the application of the law to specific individuals and entities, resolving the disputes before it on an individualized basis and ensuring that each case is afforded due process.
Our Founders knew procedural law, where our civil and criminal justice systems guarantee broad procedural rights meant to protect the individual from unjust government action, would be worthless if Congress could short-circuit it in any instance. Punishment meted out by the legislature is followed not by process but by enforcement: Property is seized, liberty curtailed, life taken. At some point, a tax—if narrowly enough targeted and sufficiently punitive in intent—crosses the line to being a bill of attainder.
In addition, such a narrow tax provision may constitute a taking, as prohibited by the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. That clause requires "just compensation" for "private property taken for public use." It is not difficult to conceive of prohibited exactions that the government could seek to accomplish via tax policy—for example, a 90-100 percent income tax on a particular individual. A tax singling out one or a handful of citizens offends the constitutional principle the Supreme Court has repeatedly invoked: the Takings Clause is designed "to bar the Government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole."
Congress has repeatedly used public outcry and other controversies to weaken contractual rights that are at the core of our economic freedom and prosperity. Without even addressing the MORAL ramifications, it invariably raises the costs of making and enforcing agreements across the economy by reducing the certainty of all agreements. Madison himself described the slippery slope that would result: "The more the legislative branch interferes in private affairs, the more who will demand that it interfere in their affairs, to their advantage, and the less the role private agreements will play in economic life." Well, I guess that is Indeed the goal of this Big Government Grab.
Taxpayers should be outraged that they are being asked to make large deferred compensation payments to employees of companies that have received billions in government aid, or owe hundreds of million$ in back taxes
. More important, they should be outraged that the U.S. Taxpayer OWNS this pile of shit PLUS is on the hook for future liabilities. But this type of situation is the inevitable result of government intervention in the private sector and THAT is where outrage should be directed. Stoopid Citizens who embrace the fallacy Congress or Federal Government have their personal Liberty or financial interest at heart are selling out this country if they don't demand a halt to this bailout lunacy..