John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Unconstitutional, Unconscionable

Posted on March 19, 2009



            The House of Representatives passed legislation that sought to punish the poor suckers who had the bad fortune of trying to make AIG profitable again.


            House Democrats, embarrassed by the fact that they hurriedly passed legislation that allowed AIG bonuses, did what they usually do when they are under stress.  They voted to raises taxes.


            This time they outdid themselves on the tax front.  They thought it would be clever to raise taxes by 90% on those criminals who work for the American Insurance Group and took bonuses.


            Some Republicans voted for this bill because they didn’t want to be in the unenviable position of looking like they are defending AIG.  But if they didn’t want to look like they were defending AIG, they could have made the case that they were defending the constitution.


            The House often votes on things that sound good on paper but are unconstitutional.  The vote to give D.C. a vote in the House is one such example.  The McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill was also not constitutional (although the Supreme Court turned its gaze away from it).  But rarely has a piece of legislation been this foul and this afoul of the Constitution.


            William H. Rehnquist, in his book, The Supreme Court, said this, “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." 


            What is more odious than a confiscatory tax bill targeted at just a few folks who are doing nothing more than their jobs, as they see fit.  And what is to stop Democrats from using this principle to target others they don’t like for this kind of tax policy.  Why won’t they go after executives at Big Tobacco or a drug company or a fast food chain or an oil company? 


            You don’t think they won’t do it because AIG is just a special case?  Think again.  These are Democrats and that is what they do.


            Those Republicans who voted for this unconstitutional and unconscionable piece of malarkey should be ashamed of themselves.   I know why they did it.  They did because they wanted to avoid a bad political vote.   They wouldn’t have brought this kind of crap up if they were in control.  But they should know better.


            For the Democrats, they should be impeached, each one of them, for showing such casual disregard for the Constitution.  They really believe this stuff and their tax theories in general are not exactly a distant cousin from this crime against the Constitution.  They want to punish the wealthy.  They want to spread money around.  They want to target specific groups and confiscate their riches. 


            Many Americans might think that these kinds of tax increases have nothing to do with them, that the rich should pay more and that they deserve a break.  But those folks need to understand that when the Congress starts attacking the Constitution like they did today, with such casual and complete disregard, it is a bad day for the entire nation.