As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Watch The GOP Blow This

House Democrats offered the excise tax for bonuses from firms that took TARP Money, the "Stuff AIG Act," and based on the chatter on the floor this morning, it looks like the Republicans will block it, which is frankly AMAZING. Because the bill came up without a rule, it requires a 2/3 vote, so this is a rare opportunity for House Republicans to obstruct and they can't miss out on that. But with the country pretty dead-set against AIG execs keeping their bonus money, you have to wrack your brain to think of a stupider position that allowing the bonuses to go forward.

Looks like the Republicans may throw their weight against the TARP bonus tax.

Yep. Boss Limbaugh has issued his veto, and the GOP pays fealty.

But talk about trying to have your cake and eat it too! Limbaugh says they have to reject the bill as excessive, but Republicans are afraid to do that. Despite being idiots, they're not idiots.

So what's the hook? They oppose the 90% tax, they claim, because... it's not 100%!

Yep. That's actually it. That's what Boehner just said on the floor.

Republicans are upset because they wanted higher taxes. Mark your calendars [...]

Not looking good. Simply not enough GOP votes to get this through, so far. Sometimes they don't come to the floor to speak when they're afraid, so there could be some hidden GOP votes out there, hiding from Boss Limbaugh. But we'll need about 60 of them.

Just hilarious. The ads write themselves.

Check out team laundry collector Eric Cantor this morning unable to commit to any solution, wanting to sound all fiery and populist but without a clue how to actually produce:

When faux populism runs up against bank lobbyists and rigid ideology, I think we can divine who wins. Somehow they believe they can turn this into a confiscatory taxation issue. Um, allow me to let you in on something: nobody in the country cares if AIG executives have to pay a lot of taxes. I mean, good luck with it, I'm sure you'll be just as successful as you were in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but here on Planet Earth, the proper political move is clear.

Late on today I can explain why bonuses representing a pittance of the overall bailout matter. For now, let us savor the implosion of the GOP, who found a nicely wrapped present under their tree and threw it in the garbage.

...Barney Frank said this two years ago during a similar vote on the Executive Compensation Act, which gave shareholders more say over CEO pay. It applies today:

I often disagree with my colleagues on the other side, but I have rarely been as baffled by the illogic of their arguments as I am today. I do not recall the last time I heard such a hodgepodge of inconsistency and innaccuracy. This is a bill that has been condemned for being A) bullying and intrusive and B) toothless. The toothless bully is, I guess, a new concept.

...Grover "Thou Shalt Not Tax" Norquist:

Grover Norquist, the top anti-tax activist in the Republican Party, has given ABC an answer about whether Republicans can vote for the AIG-bonus tax and still be in accordance with the anti-tax pledge that the vast majority of them have signed with Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform.

The answer: Yes, you can -- but only if it includes additional offsetting cuts in taxes or spending, too. Norquist seems to acknowledge here that the AIG tax is itself a kind of spending decrease -- the government is taking back money it already spent -- but he wants more tax decreases, too.

"If your goal is to recoup the resources that you've given people that you hadn't thought would be spent this way, you can make it not a tax increase simply by having an offsetting tax cut on honest taxpayers," Norquist explained. "Or you could do the same thing by cutting the amount of money that you were going to give AIG in the next tranche that they'll demand, so you can have the withdrawal of the resources done in less spending."

Regardless of the particular matter at hand, it's fascinating to watch Republicans drown in a pit of their own ideology.

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