Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dingell Unveils Plan to Tax AIG Bonuses


Rep. John Dingell on Tuesday joined a growing list of lawmakers proposing legislation to recover the controversial bonuses paid to employees of insurance giant AIG.

Dingell, D-Dearborn, introduced a bill that he said would tax at a 95 percent rate any bonuses paid to any employees of companies receiving federal money from the Wall Street bailout fund.

"It is unconscionable that companies dependent upon the largesse of the federal government for their very existence should in turn pay the very employees partially responsible for our current calamity such irresponsibly exorbitant bonuses," Dingell said in a written statement.

On Monday, Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, introduced his own bill, which would add a 60 percent surtax to the bonuses. Peters' staff said the surtax, plus federal income taxes and state and local taxes, would account for nearly 100 percent of the bonuses.

There was support from lawmakers of both parties and both houses of Congress on Tuesday for trying to recover the controversial bonuses by legislation. American International Group has received $170 billion in federal aid, designed to keep the company from collapse, which economists fear could drag down much of the global financial system.

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