Monday, March 23, 2009
Yesterday I asked the question, what happens if President Obama refuses to sign the House-sponsored bill that slaps a punitive 90 percent tax on bonuses to executives at financial institutions like AIG who received taxpayer bailout money?
Last night on CBS’ 60 Minutes, the president appeared willing to wager significant political capital and suggested he would not sign the bill because the tax would is unconstitutional and he would not “govern out of anger.”
While questioning the constitutionality of the House measure, Obama said he expected the Senate would produce a more acceptable version of the bill — one he could sign.
There is considerable political risk attached to Obama’s implied rejection of the 90 percent tax measure. The bill overwhelmingly passed the House last week as lawmakers responded to a tidal wave of anger over bonus payments to American International Group executives.
A week ago, AIG admitted they paid out $214 million in bonuses even though taxpayers were keeping the insurance giant afloat with a $170 billion government bailout.