Why oh why oh why do people say that taxing the fuck out of those boni is breaking a contract? Was there a clause in that contract promising tax rates wouldn't change?
Tax rates can _always_ change. You don't get to make contracts about them.
ETA: interesting little analysis about targeted taxation
Back in the Reagan years, the Philadelphia Inquirer sent a bunch of investigative reporters out to track down the beneficiaries of some of this crap. It was great reporting.
ETAYA: I think part of why I'm so cranky about this argument is because I live in a Town Meeting town in New England where the Town Meeting really is the government. And Town Meeting can't pass rules/laws/whatever that restrict the actions of subsequent Town Meetings. Cannot. Illegal. Not constitutional. Whatever. And a decent Town Moderator makes sure that gets enforced in detail. This actually makes some very good things (saving money in a capital fund to pay for an ambulance, say) really tricky to implement and require ongoing good faith efforts by the Town to stop people who don't want to pay taxes one year from draining the fund so they don't have to pony up as much on their Property Tax. (This happens. Bring up Merrimack, NH's library capital fund someday and just watch everyone cringe. And don't _ever_ move to Merrimack. There are some Very Bad People in that town.)
So the _idea_ that a contract between AIG and their employees somehow limits what the Federal Government can do?
Obscene. Blasphemous. Very, very wrong.