Taxing bonuses does no good

In the face of global recession, taxing bonuses is a distraction.

James Madison once noted that CongressâÄô power over the purse represented the âÄúmost complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people.âÄù In allowing bonuses to be paid out to the same company partially responsible for the downfall of the global economy, A.I.G., our lawmakers turned that weapon on themselves, and their solution âÄî levying companies receiving federal bailout money a 90 percent tax on bonuses âÄî is misguided. The House bill taxing bonuses is nothing more than a red herring. Not only is $165 million pennies in comparison to the billions of dollars created out of the latest stimulus package, but it misses the point of the so-called populist outrage resulting from the bonuses. Greed has been profuse within the U.S. financial system because our government failed to regulate it. Indeed, the credit default swap market âÄî a main culprit of the global economic meltdown âÄî in 2004 totaled $6.4 trillion. In 2000, it was just $100 billion. Rather than political grandstanding about changing a bonus provision that our lawmakers created âÄî ask Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. âÄî Congress should concentrate on tracing the loopholes in the nationâÄôs regulatory system and closing them. Instead of passing ex post facto and arbitrary (therefore unconstitutional) laws punishing a group of people, Congress should presciently work to create a system where those people are only allowed to revive the nationâÄôs economy âÄî not bring it to its knees. Hold committee hearings or create a commission wherein rational analysis about the nationâÄôs economic rut is encouraged. Create solutions; donâÄôt yell at the problems born out of your decisions.