Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

A Bill for the Taxpayers

Thursday, 19 March 2009
US lawmakers vote for bonus tax from the BBC

US lawmakers in the House of Representatives have voted in favour of a bill to levy a 90% tax on big bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: We want our money back and we want our money back now for the taxpayers.

President Barack Obama welcomed the result of the vote.

Okay, now Barack Obama is a lawyer, and at some point in her life Nancy Pelosi and all or virtually all of the Members of the House of Representatives have been exposed to Article I §8 of the United States Constitution, where it says

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
But, here the House is passing a bill to effect an ex post facto tax, which if it becomes law will be struck-down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. It would be the taxpayers who paid for the hopeless defense of the unconstitutional law, just as they've paid for the time spent for the House to craft and pass this unconstitutional bill. There's no attempt here to protect the money of the taxpayers; there's just a lot of posturing by Congressmen and by the President at the expense of the taxpayers.

The best that ever could have been accomplished would have been to make a precondition of the bail-out money be that those who continued employment with these firms would agree to waive some level of compensation for the previous year. (There'd still be the issue that some recipients have left the employment of these firms, and that others might refuse to waive their compensation even though it would cost the firm the state funds, and some of those who refused might have contracts that precluded their dismissal for such refusal.)

It never so much as occurred to those who designed the bail-outs to attempt to impose even those sorts of preconditions, because they regard themselves and the executives of these firms as part of a same elite, for whose benefit the bail-outs are primarily designed.

In any case, the House of Representatives, with the blessings of the President, is consciously spending money for nothing but political gain.

Batten your hatches! Sandbag the whole town!

Saturday, 3 May 2008

28bytes alerts his readers to the fact that 3 May 2008 is the 30th anniversary of the first piece of spam e.mail.

Although — because spam e.mail can cross national borders — there is a limit to what the Federal government might practically and legitimately do about spam e.mail, the Federal government doesn't do what it could. In fact, Federal legislation actively subverted the efforts of some state legislatures to battle spam.

My suggestion is this: On 3 May of every year, send one piece of email, objecting in your own words (however brief) to poor Federal action against spam, to each of the following:

(If one of your Senators is hiding his or her e.mail address, then send e.mail to I don't have a fall-back address for Representatives.)

Encourage each of your acquaintances, friends, and family members who are unhappy about spam e.mail to do the same, and to likewise encourage those whom they know.

This year, there will be very few people sending such objections, but next year there could be substantially more, and the numbers could continue to grow each year.

[Edit (2013:07/17): As part of an SEO programme to get sites to link to, Stuart Hultgren, of, contacted me to let me know of a dead link and of a good replacement.]