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Democrats To Banks: Surrender Your Rights

Every private sector employee or self employed individual should take note of what the Democrats are writing into the still yet to be revealed stimulus bill ( BTW, where is the draft of that bill they promised to post on the net?).

Bankers get little sympathy in the crucible of populist debate, but if they are coming for the bankers now no one will be safe later. Democrats are drafting language in the current stimulus legislation that will allow the federal government to claw back bonuses paid to Wall Street bankers in the year 2008.

A claw back provision essentially empowers Congress to unwind and recover from recipients any bonuses paid in excess of $100,000 to employees of banks that received TARP funds in 2008....retroactively. That's right, Congress wants the power to unwind legal agreements between private sector parties after the fact. Let that sink in.

If Congress succeeds in usurping the legal standing between two private parties in what was an otherwise perfectly legal (and very commonplace) contract does anyone believe they will stop there? This legislation, if it passes, will represent the most stunning peace time power grab and set aside of individual rights and liberty since WW II.

Where next? How about a claw back on some of those outrageous union contracts that bankrupted Detroit? The Big Three have received TARP funds. Is Frank,Dodd & Co. go after Big Labor? Don't hold your breath.

An out of control policy of blatant class warfare benefits no party in a capitalist system but the Democrat Congress appears hell bent on testing that principle, oblivious to the fact that once this tiger is out of the cage it is impossible to put it back in. Employees everywhere that are party to private contracts with their employers should pay close attention to this new legislation proposed by a Congress that seems to be taking its cue from the French Revolution's radical left.


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Comments (17)

Can the Law of the Maximum,... (Below threshold)

Can the Law of the Maximum, or the Law of Suspects be far behind?

If they were going to do th... (Below threshold)
James H:

If they were going to do this, wouldn't it make more sense to claw back a pro rata portion of the bonuses? Maybe somewhere along the lines of a percentage equivalent to the amount of the bank's assets composed of TARP funds?

The next thing you know the... (Below threshold)

The next thing you know the Democrats will enact retroactive tax increases. They will raise the taxes on money you earned last year and make you pay it this year.

"seems to be taking its ... (Below threshold)

"seems to be taking its cue from the French Revolution's radical left."

At some point we will need to take a cue from the AMERICAN Revolution!!

Democrats are trying to des... (Below threshold)

Democrats are trying to destroy capitalism and they're doing a great job.
A Continental plane has crashed into a house in http://www.rightklik.net/

sorry for message above...a... (Below threshold)

sorry for message above...accidentally pasted the headline that was supposed to go into a google search

While I don't believe it's ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

While I don't believe it's right, or even constitutional, to take ex post facto action, it's interesting that you would equate the bejillion-dollar bonuses given to banking execs who drove their companies into the ditch, with union workers getting paid $28/hr instead of $22/hr.
Why do you hate the working man so much?

I'd like to offer up an ame... (Below threshold)

I'd like to offer up an amendment that the salary and bonus caps not only be applied to banking CEO's, but other people too -- like say professional athelets and Hollywood actors.

The French Revolution? Poss... (Below threshold)

The French Revolution? Possibly.

It seems more like the 1930s and we live in Italy or Germany. I am waiting to see the government forcing an industry to create products they want and not the customers. Oh...they already have--the "Smart Car."

Keep in mind, these CEOs did not destroy the banking system. The government and the FED's meddling in the system broke it. Now, they are trying to fix? Where is the common sense in that?


Because Brucie, a differenc... (Below threshold)

Because Brucie, a difference of 6 dollars an hour means a difference of over 3 million dollars an hour overall, given the number of active UAW members. Assuming a third of workers are actually working on any given work day, this means that in 5 days or less a 40 million dollar bonus would be used up.

You mean "used up" as in sp... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You mean "used up" as in spent at Applebee's, or buying a new target pistol, or maybe on groceries or a new garage door, or college tuition, or any one of a million economy-stimulatin' purposes?
Or do you mean "used up" as in "deposited in my Cayman Islands account?"

At least you capitalized "B... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

At least you capitalized "Brucie." Thanks, Ravenshrikey.

Gotta love it. You are not ... (Below threshold)

Gotta love it. You are not a socialist if you want to to cap the salary of autoworkers, who make around $25.00 an hour, and work for a company getting a loan from the government; but you are a socialist if you want to cap the million dollar bonuses for people who come to the government asking for, not a loan, but a handout.

At least you're consistently inconsistent

Who said anything about cap... (Below threshold)

Who said anything about capping auto worker salaries? This post is about a claw back of already paid bonuses to bankers.

Suppose for a minute that the bonuses paid to bankers were excessive. Does that entitle the federal government to retroactively seize them? If so, under that reasoning the federal government such claw back auto worker wages, which were excessive by any measure (particularly in comparison to the historical wage paid by the Big Three versus foreign owned auto manufacturers).

I'm no Constitutional schol... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I'm no Constitutional scholar, but I believe this attempt ( if there is, indeed, a serious attempt) is doomed to fail. I think there is a Constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws.
I realize that you were making a point that the same reasoning could be used to rationalize both "grabs." Perhaps I posted too soon.
Any lawyers here? Am I right that this is going nowhere? Am I right that the Constitution prohibits this kind of action?

BruceThe draft I lin... (Below threshold)

The draft I linked did not make it into the final bill passed last night.

TPM has a comment here:


I believe ex post facto is only relevant in criminal cases, not civil. I'll find out.

The Constitution, in sectio... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

The Constitution, in section 9, states that, No Bill of Attainder, or ex post facto Law, shall be passed.

Like I said, I'm no scholar. I don't know if the courts have interpreted that clause as pertaining only to criminal, and not civil, matters. Seems pretty cut-and-dried to me, but I must be missing something.

I appreciate your looking into it, Mr HughS. I wouldn't know where to start.






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