Americans for Tax Reform, a grassroots policy activist organization opposed to any and all tax hikes, today announced their opposition to the proposed "AIG Bonuses" excise tax.
In recent days, bailout-recipient AIG has come under fire for going ahead with bonus payments to executives and other employees. The criticism has been that companies that receive bailout money funded by taxpayers should be sharing the pain that taxpayers are facing.
"Let’s be clear—the bailout should have never happened, no matter who is benefitting, No more bailout money should be paid. Any monies that are set to go out should be immediately-rescinded," said ATR President Grover Norquist. "But two wrongs don’t make a right. A tax increase does not ‘make up for’ a bad decision on spending. If politicians decide that taxes need to be raised on AIG executives, they should at least have the decency to cut taxes somewhere else."
This tax increase–which to date has been written behind closed doors and with no input from the public or policymakers–would take the form of an excise tax hike on executive compensation packages. Going forward, the mechanisms used in this bill might serve as a precedent for populist tax increases on other companies’ executive pay–even companies that never received a dime of bailout money.
"If the politicians who want to raise taxes felt confident that they were doing the right thing, why wouldn’t they do this in the light of day? What are they afraid of?" continued Norquist. "President Obama has said that any bill he signs should be publicly-available for five days. This tax increase isn’t publicly-available now. It’s clear that this secret tax increase is merely a smokescreen to cover up the failed policies of bailouts and waste."