No, I’m not going to opine on whether the now infamous AIG bonuses are right or wrong. Nor am I going to explore whether politicians knew about these bonuses all along and are simply covering their rears and scoring points by demagoguing the issue. I’ll leave that for others.
What I find much more interesting is how this episode is revealing the liberal Democrat mentality about taxes. Several Democrats are proposing getting back the bonuses by retroactively taxing them at rates of up to 90%.
Now it’s easy to cheer on getting those eeeevil AIG fat cats. But let’s think this through. What we have here are Democrats thinking out in public that they have the right to tax, really confiscate, income they don’t approve of. And they think they have the right to do so retroactively, after the fact.
The question is, where does this stop? What if your granny in Texas gets a royalty check from dirty obscene oil income? Put a “windfall profits” tax on it like Jimmy Carter did. God help you if you make money in a manner not approved by liberal Democrats. What if they want to raise taxes on your income already earned? Think the Democrats won’t tax retroactively? Bill Clinton did.
What if you make “too much” money? Hell, let’s tax that at 70%, even 90% rates. Don’t laugh. FDR taxed income at up to 91%. LBJ? 77%.
And please don’t be so naïve as to think the mentality behind those taxes is a thing of the past. It isn’t. And the current faux outrage over the AIG bonuses is letting that mentality slip out into the open once again.
Really, it is not going too far to say the Democrat Party is the party of tax slavery. The liberals who dominate it have long had the attitude that government has the right to tax your income at whatever rates they want for whatever reasons they choose. Heck, it’s really their money, and they let you keep some of it. So if you get to keep half, be grateful. They may take more.
They have in the past . . . and will try to do so again.
From President Obama’s comments just now on the AIG bonuses:
. . . We believe in people getting rich, but we believe in people getting rich based on performance and what they add in terms of value and the products and services they create.
In other words, if the wisdom of Obama doesn’t consider your economic contributions to be “of value,” then he doesn’t believe in your right to gain and keep the income to get “rich.”
I rest my case.