Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty sure that giving out bonuses as your company practically goes into bankruptcy (which is where it probably would have ended up if the government had not stepped in) is a pretty low activity. The problem I’m having is that this whole problem was caused by the government– a government now indignant and performing yet more overreach to correct a case of too much overreach in the first place!
The Original Problem
Congress should never have gotten into the business of handing companies money in the first place. There’s a fundamental problem here: freedom comes with boundaries, but not control. Part of the reason for the original Boston Tea Party and the copy-cats now is that people were upset that their government was taxing Tea too much– they were taking everything! The people realized that if a government has enough power to protect you from everything, it can also take away everything you have.
What Should Scare You
The Congress right now is considering legistlation to tax up to 90% these bonuses that the AIG people have received. We can’t change their contracts. We can’t change that they legally (according to regular law and the stimulus package itself) are owed these bonuses. So what should scare you is that if the government can take away what legally belongs to someone else, they can take away what legally belongs to you as well.
They only have to find a reason! What’s scary is that they’re exposing their hand– they’re showing us all of what they are capable of. This is an opportunity to see just how far our elected representatives will go, and what’s frightening is that there seems to be no limits!
What about the Constitution?
Where in the Constitution did Congress get the right to tax individuals 90% on a bonus? Where in the Constitution did Congress get the authority for TARP or any other of these meddlings in private business?
The truth is, I don’t think they care about the Constitution. I believe they pay lip-service to it, but I don’t believe that there are many elected officials that believe their power has any limits other than “can I get it passed?” And that should be terrifying, because all it takes is for enough people of a certain worldview or party to get into power and the sky would truly be the limit.
All This Nonsense About Fairness
And then, to top it all off, I’ve had almost enough about hearing about fairness. How is it fair to sign a contract and not get what is coming to you? How is it fair for 80% of the people not to pay taxes (or get refunds!) and 20% to get a tax increase!?! What is their fair share? How come, when people say that someone owes their “fair share,” that person is the one that’s not paying anything, and they think the people that are paying almost all of the taxes should pay more!
It’s all indicative of a culture that fallen away from its roots and has no moral moorings, and is free to drift in the wind.
If you have any extra time, check out this document: What Happened To the Land of the Free. I intend to highlight some of this more in the future, but this will give you a head start.