Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Congressman Earl Blumenauer takes aim at outlandish executive bonuses

Kudos to Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) for standing up to corporations and protecting our interests. Congressman Blumenauer has introduced legislation to tax bonuses of corporate executives receiving federal TARP funds at 100 percent. Memo to AIG: the party is over.
Today, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee announced his bill that will impose a 100% tax surcharge on bonuses received by highly-ranked employees at taxpayer subsidized financial institutions.

Specifically, Blumenauer’s states that any highly ranked employee of a subsidized financial institution who receives a bonus, including any amount of deferred compensation or other compensation, after the institution received funds authorized under the TARP program shall face a tax of 100% on the amount of that bonus effective as of December 1, 2008.

Up until now, AIG has been gluttonously gorging itself at the taxpayer trough and paying out bonuses to executives like a gambler hitting a Vegas jackpot. Just today we learned that AIG paid out bonuses of $1 million or more to 73 executives, claiming they were for the purpose of retaining qualified employees, despite 11 of the executives no longer working for the company. Without government oversight, there is no doubt that other companies would engage in the same tactics (if they aren't already), something fellow blogger and nationally syndicated columnist David Sirota has referred to as the kleptocracy.

What Blumenauer's bill does is bring the boat full of adults to the island William Golding described in Lord of the Flies. No more will the child savages and chaos rule the day. If a company is in bad enough shape that the American people have to bail it out, then executives don't get bonuses or are taxed at 100 percent. It's our money and our economy, and Congressman Blumenauer is providing the tool for us to take it back.


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