Sunday, March 22, 2009

VIDEO: Joe Biden's Economic Advisor Questions Constitutionality Of HR 1586, The AIG Bonus Tax Bill

I reported earlier that President Obama told "60 Minutes" that HR 1586, The AIG Tax Bill, was probably not constitutional.

Joe Biden's economic advisor Jared Bernstein joined Obama in questioning the House legislation.

Newsmax reports:

Vice President Joe Biden's economic adviser warned Sunday that a congressional plan to tax American International Group Inc. executives' bonuses may go too far in using the tax code as a tool for retribution.

President Barack Obama has not said whether he would veto some version of a House-backed plan to heavily tax the $165 million in bonuses. Biden economist Jared Bernstein said it's important to look at what version of the proposal comes out of the Senate.

"I think the president would be concerned that this bill may have some problems in going too far -- the House bill may go too far in terms of some -- some legal issues, constitutional validity, using the tax code to surgically punish a small group," Bernstein said in a television interview. "That may be a dangerous way to go."

The Constitution says the government can’t interfere in private contracts–and the AIG bonus agreements were struck in early 2008, when the company wasn’t under government control.

The Fourth Amendment guards against searches, arrests, and seizures of property without a specific warrant or a "probable cause" to believe a crime has been committed. Some rights to privacy have been inferred from this amendment and others by the Supreme Court.

Where is the crime? No penalties were written into the original TARP bailout.

This act also violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment! You cannot just tax one individual more than another because you don't like it!

The Full Transcript

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