Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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« A different perspective on AIG bonuses | Main | Nick on TRBS »

Taxing the AIG recipients is stupid ... oh, and unconstitutional

Let me see if I have this correct:  The administration knew about the AIG bonuses weeks in advance and chose to do nothing about for fear of legal challenges from AIG.  Legal challenges. From a company that the government owns.  In fact, Tim Geithner was so afraid of lawsuits that he made Senator Chris Dodd (who seemingly forgot this) change the language in the recovery bill so that is specifically allowed for these types of bonuses.

Then when the public goes nuts -- and rightfully so -- the administration back tracks, saying they'll do anything within their power to get the money back.

Which leads us to this insanely stupid idea -- which the House passed overwhelmingly yesterday -- to levy a 91 percent tax against the bonus recipients.

Do we really want the Federal government targeting private individuals to retroactively punish them for something that they didn't necessarily do? Yes, they received the bonuses, but it was AIG's board and management -- along with a complicit Tim Geithner -- that made this happen.

The Constitution specificially prohibits "Bills of Attainders" -- basically laws that are intended to punish private citizens for past wrong doings without a trial.  The Founders feared that legislature could get around jury trials by simply punishing citizens through retroactive legislation.  In a sense, that's what's happening here.  And it's plain stupid.

The time to prevent these bonuses were weeks ago ... when Geithner knew about it, and hadn't handed out the latest round of bailout dough.  Having Congress punish the recipients retroactively is stupid, dangerous, and a waste of time because it's unconstitutional.

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Reader Comments (2)

wow, i wanted them to give everything back until i read this post...unreal.thanks for sharing

March 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermitch

can we all say " knee-jerk" ?

March 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Quarry

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