Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Be Blunt: Taxing AIG Bonuses "Purely Political"

"This bill will not pass the Senate"
Congressman Roy Blunt tells The Notebook Friday that his vote to tax 90 percent of bonus money allotted to the big banks was "all about sending a message" and says he's confident the bill won't pass the U.S. Senate.
"If it was going to be real, it would have to have a lot more thought than that bill had," Blunt said in an interview Friday.
Blunt signaled that he might not have voted to tax the bonuses if he knew the legislation had a chance of passing and being signed by the President. "This is all about sending a message. You're going to get slapped back if you do things that don't make sense to people," Blunt explained, calling it a "purely political" vote.
"I'm for sending messages occasionally, and the message here is, when you take a lot of taxpayer money, you have a different level of responsibility than you had before," Blunt said. "This bill will not pass the Senate. This was all about messaging to people who've taken TARP money."
The vote to tax bonuses divided the House GOP caucus, with Blunt voting in favor of it along with 84 other Republicans, including Whip Eric Cantor. House Minority Leader John Boehner voted "no."
Politico on Blunt and Adam Putnam: " . . . the populist anger over bonuses paid by a bailed-out company all but required them to get in line behind the Democrats’ tax plan."

Blunt and Putnam are both candidates for statewide office.

The Congressman said he doesn't have confidence in the Treasury Secretary yet, but is willing to give him more time.

"I'm willing to give him some more time and he needs more help," Blunt said of the Secretary.
Notes 20 vacancies remain in key advisory roles
"I do think he's probably working as hard as anybody in Washington right now, maybe harder, but not producing very good results because he's not fully populated the government with people that need to do these jobs," Blunt explained.


boyd said...

Everything washington does is political! I can't wait for Roy to start running ads for the senate showing him next to an old Ford tractor like he is some kind of a farmer and is looking out for us poor working class jerks. As soon as he loses he will take a 6 figure lobbying job and will ditch the old tractor, just like the rest of these criminals.

Busplunge said...

I think Blunt's message in voting to tax the bonuses was to potential Blunt voters in Kansas City and St. Louis

His brand doesn't sit as well up there as it does down here. He has to come to them.

Anonymous said...

"when you take a lot of taxpayer money, you have a different level of responsibility than you had before"

One would figure that if bonuses were wrong, then maybe it should have been taken care of before the bailout, when it was allowed.

Quite possibly, Obama should have taken care of the bonuses before he signed off on it.

I find it odd how Washington as a whole continues to point the finger at AIG about the bonuses, seeking to "send a message" and "reclaim" these dollars from their misuse, when the misuse was OK'ed and known the entire time.

When will someone finally turn the finger around and say, "Hey, we screwed up. We're sorry and we'll do our best to make sure we try to watch out for this the next time around."

gumshoe said...


To his credit, Obama has taken blame for the AIG bonuses, admitting the buck stops with him.

"Listen, I'll take responsibility. I'm the President." 3/18/09

Anonymous said...

"Obama has taken blame for the AIG bonuses, admitting the buck stops with him."

Yet they're still using the tax code to punish the AIG bonuses.

Saying you are taking responsibility and then still forcing the actual responsibility or punishment on AIG is hardly taking the blame.