17 March 2009

Dodd Wrote Exception For Bonuses Into Stimulus Bill

Remember the stimulus bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that Obama and Congress wanted rushed into law?

President Obama said that the country "cannot afford inaction or delay" on the economy at a time when people "are looking to Washington for action -- bold and swift." He also asked for corporate support for the stimulus so that the government could "help create a favorable climate in which workers can prosper, businesses can thrive, and our economy can grow. And that is exactly what the recovery plan I've proposed is intended to do."

Speaker of the House Pelosi reinforced the president's sentiment, saying that the stimulus bill was "the most important piece of legislation Congress will vote on this year."

Remember that stimulus bill? Well, it turns out that that stimulus bill also contained an amendment to exempt certain contractually obligated bonuses from the executive compensation restrictions in the bill.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on Monday night floated the idea of taxing American International Group bonus recipients so the government could recoup some or all of the $450 million the company is paying to employees in its financial products unit. Within hours, the idea spread to both houses of Congress, with lawmakers proposing an AIG bonus tax.

The move represents somewhat of an about-face for the Senator.

While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. That amendment provides an "exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009" -- which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax.

The amendment made it into the final version of the bill, and is law.
Senator Dodd, the one who has promoted taxing the AIG bonuses away, is the same senator who added an amendment to the stimulus bill that protects those AIG bonuses from the stimulus bill's executive compensation restrictions.

What a bunch of incompetent morons.


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