Monday, March 23, 2009

 

The Administration Is Warily Outraged

The proposed AIG Bonus Tax is a dumb tax; for Congress, it is nothing more than a CYA maneuver.

And this response from the Administration is classic Barack Obama:

“While acknowledging the legitimacy of the public outcry over at least $165 million in bonuses paid to executives at American International Group, administration officials stopped far short of endorsing legislation passed last week by the House that would levy a 90 percent tax on the payments.” Advisers To Obama Wary of Bonus Tax

The President understandably wants to play to this latest outburst of populism while also not having to do something that would surely be excoriated in hindsight. The Senate will be dealing with this matter this week. If Mr. Obama were still the junior Senator from Illinois, I suspect he would vote for the tax. Voting against it would outrage many more people on the left than voting for it.

But as President, he faces a different dynamic. Of course, his best scenario (and this is true of so much with this man) would be not having to make any decision. I suspect that is why his advisors are out signaling his discomfort, hoping the Senate takes the hint and kills this tax without the President having to leave any fingerprints. But if this tactic fails, I don’t believe he’ll personally intervene. He’ll then quietly sign whatever Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid tell him to.

'Cause that's the way he rolls.

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