Representatives Wolf and Wittman joined the majority voting in favor of H. R. 1586, the bill to punish executives who work for companies receiving bailout funds for getting bonuses using the tax code, and I’ve gotten a few calls and emails today from conservatives who are mightily not pleased, and doubtless there are more who haven’t contacted me. Yeah, it was outrageous that companies were using taxpayer funds to pay huge bonuses to executives who ran their companies into the ground. Yeah, it’s outrageous that a few senior Democrats blocked efforts to prevent the payment of these bonuses in the bills which lavished these thoroughly underserving companies with so much of our wealth. This use of the tax code, however, adds bad to worse.
The tax code is supposed to fund government operations. That’s it. The more government screws with the tax code in order to fulfill secondary and unrelated goals, the more personal liberty is stolen away from us and the more people attempt to evade it. If the government actually had the legal authority to control what you do with your wealth, they’d pass laws to effect those controls and prosecute you if you failed to comply. In the absence of that authority, they instead provide deductions, credits, excise levies and other curbs or incentives to influence your behavior to get you to conform to the government’s will without having to cross the line of actually imprisoning you if you ignore it. It’s a back-end way for government to control you that isn’t authorized under the Constitution. That’s bad enough. This gets a whole lot worse.
The stated intent of this legislation is to use the tax code as a means of punishment for those who engage in lawful behavior, but embarrased elected officials. It might not have been pleasing for these companies to lavish millions of your dollars on the executives of failed enterprises, but it was entirely lawful for them to do it. That made the elected officials who gave them the money in the first place look like the spendthrift, wasteful and irresponsible idiots they truly are. They made these elected officials look like fools. Now they’re going to get even with them, and will use the full and awesome power of government to do it.
Instead of realizing that giving billions of taxpayer dollars away to bankrupt companies was a dumb idea, they start punishing the people they gave the money to. Incredible.
Wolf and Wittman could have just leaned back in their chairs, told Democrats that they’re responsible for this whole stupid mess, and that it’s about time that the full level of stupidity of this enterprise came back to bite them. They made this bed, now they can sleep in it. No, instead of that they buy into this whole outrage thing and instead of rightly laying the blame for this utter mess at the feet of those elected officials who devised this ridiculous garbage, they meekly give the Democrats political cover and vote for a 90% excise tax on bonuses.
Yeah, like it’s really AIG executives who are to blame here. When you give ten thousand dollars to a four year old and they have a trailer truck full of My Little Ponys delivered to your house, do you bother to try to steal back the tip she gave the driver?
Someday, we ought to elect some Republicans to congress, if there still are such things to be found. Instead we’ve got state “republican leaders” engaging in a pre-election inter-party battle to see who can hold the most thankless job in the state party (called either “Impact Area Close Observer” or “Chairman”, I don’t quite recall which), and others fixated on how to abandon principle in order to appeal more to whatever narrow electoral segment of the month is seen as. Then there are those “Republicans” who decided that supporting an omnibus appropriations bill containing nine thousand earmarks was better than letting the government starve for a few days to demonstrate the sheer idiocy involved here.
Darn it, where the hell are the patriots? If they aren’t found between now and April 19th, the anniversary of when Americans met tyrants at a bridge in Massachusets and sent them packing, perhaps we should figuratively re-enact that example of courage and dedication. Perhaps it’s time to take out country back from the outrageous idiots who are bent on destroying it and the weak-willed, unprincipled, and supposed “guardians of liberty” who are allowing them to do so with such impunity. Sure, there are some that understand what’s going on and fighting this. Not nearly enough, though.
If the tax code has now become a political weapon to weild against the lawful instead of a distasteful but necessary means of funding government operations, I shudder to think what the next step in the dismantling of our Constitution will be. This has got to be stopped, and soon.
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