There it is, in black and white, in Article 1 Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution:
"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."
Therefore any legislative attempt to confiscate AIG Bonuses violates the constitution!
Those bonuses were written into contractual obligation to AIG long before the bailout. To NOT honor those contractual obligations would have placed AIG in legal jeopardy.
Dodd knew about the bonuses when he wrote the bailout legislation which required AIG to honor its contracts. Maybe he wanted it to become an issue later? He received more campaign contributions from AIG than anyone else! He benefited when AIG benefited - and now he hopes to benefit politically from bashing them! Obama and Geithner knew about the bonuses weeks ago. They let the story leak so they could feign outrage.
The bonuses are a drop in the bucket compared to the $3.2 trillion budget, or even compared to the billions given to AIG!
It seems we need to educate people about "Big Numbers."
It takes 1000 Million to make one billion. GM is losing One Billion Dollars a Day. (AIG paid out a couple million in bonuses).
The Iraq War cost $87 Billion for a year in 2004.
It takes 1000 Billion to make a Trillion. A Trillion is One Million Million!
The Libs have blown thru over 3 Trillion Dollars in less than 3 months.
But a few million in AIG Bonuses are front page news!
Where is the outrage over the millions in bonuses paid to Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, Jim Johnson and the others who brought the financial house of cards down?
Obama accepted a $101,000 bonus from AIG for his campaign last year.
But now, by fomenting populist anger at AIG bonuses, he's pulling conservatives over to the "tax them to death" Socialist team. Don't fall for it! It's fascism, plain and simple.
If they can tax bonuses at 90 percent, they can tax you at 90 percent.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "The government that's big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have."
Failure is an option in a free, capitalist republic. (Too bad we're not one anymore!) We shouldÂ never have passed the bailout in the first place, and must repeal it. Once GovernmentÂ has its hand in private enterprise... it will try to run it. (And we all know how wellÂ government runs anything!)
from: Â http://www.techlawjournal.com/glossary/legal/attainder.htmÂ
Bill of Attainder
Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial.
The Constitution of the United States , Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed."
"The Bill of Attainder Clause was intended not as a narrow, technical (and therefore soon to be outmoded) prohibition, but rather as an implementation of the separation of powers, a general safeguard against legislative exercise of the judicial function or more simply - trial by legislature." U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 440 (1965).
"These clauses of the Constitution are not of the broad, general nature of the Due Process Clause, but refer to rather precise legal terms which had a meaning under English law at the time the Constitution was adopted. A bill of attainder was a legislative act that singled out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them, without benefit of trial. Such actions were regarded as odious by the framers of the Constitution because it was the traditional role of a court, judging an individual case, to impose punishment." William H. Rehnquist, The Supreme Court, page 166.
"Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. ... The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less-informed part of the community." James Madison, Federalist Number 44, 1788.