Saturday, March 21, 2009

Selective Taxation is Tyranny

by David Boaz, Cato Institute

Everybody’s angry. But anger doesn’t make good law. And there are real questions about both the wisdom and the legality of such legislation. Bloggers like Conor Clarke, Megan McArdle, and Eugene Volokh have asked if the bonus tax is legal or constitutional. And thank goodness for bloggers who ask the questions that members of Congress and print journalists seem to ignore! [full article]

This article points out that the confiscatory taxation of the AIG bonuses likely violates the constitutional ban on bills of attainder and ex post facto laws. Even if the bill to confiscate the AIG bonuses could be drafted to pass constitutional muster however, it is a tyrannical abuse of power.

We should not let our populist anger at AIG and the Obama-Dodd conspiracy that engineered this outrage rush us into violating basic principles of American governance. As this article states: "The rule of law requires that like people be treated alike and that people know what the law is so that they can plan their lives in accord with the law." The rule of law is more important than getting even.

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