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Tax those S.O.B. executives

© March 2009 Anthony Lawrence

I don't want to turn this into a political blog, but honestly right now this is most of what I'm thinking about. I saw this morning that a bill is planned to take back those bonuses through taxes and I think that's great - in fact, we ought to have a special "You Made This Mess Tax" that slams everyone involved - yeah, some people who are relatively innocent would get hurt, but when you swim with sharks, sometimes you get bitten.

I don't mean just tax them 100 percent on those bonuses - that's a given. I mean raise their rates on ALL income they made this year - every unearned penny of it!

I also see that they want AIG to pay us back. Huh? Wasn't that the plan all along?

I'll be preparing my taxes this weekend. I'll be thinking of those 96 AIG executives that each got million dollar handshakes as a reward for destroying my retirement investments. That will make an already unpleasant task even worse.

Tax 'em. Really they ought to be in jail, but at least make them suffer financially. I've lost 40% of my retirement finds because of them - I'll probably never be able to retire now.. so I want them to feel some pain! Don't tax those bonuses 100% - make it 120%!

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Wed Mar 18 16:48:44 2009: 5747   BrettLegree

I agree with you 120 percent here Tony. I pretty much accepted a few years ago (once my triplets were born!) that I probably wouldn't get to "retire" in a traditional sense - this sort of thing makes it all the more unlikely.

So I, too, want to see these kinds of people hit where it hurts them the most - money is what they love, therefore we should deny them that which they love.

Wed Mar 18 20:31:36 2009: 5748   TonyLawrence

We need to tax more. U.S. tax rates stop escalating very early.. 35% for $357,701 and above.

That's ridiculous. Why SHOULDN"T somebody pay 40%-45% on a million dollars or more in net income? And don't give me the charity crap (they will stop charity donations) or the "these people create jobs". That's all b.s. - let them pay more!

And for the really big earners - say $10 million and up - even more: 50%, 60% even 70%.

And never mind any "socialism" crap either - I'm SICK of the greed!! These S.O.B's have wreaked havoc on us - never again!

Wed Mar 18 21:44:32 2009: 5752   BrettLegree

Agreed again - countries with better standards of living also (coincidentally?) have higher tax rates, especially for the people who would otherwise be big earners. That way, you know the people who become doctors or lawyers *really* want to do that, rather than just doing it for the money.

(I've known people who went into medicine for the money, rather than the passion.)

Wed Mar 18 21:52:27 2009: 5753   TonyLawrence

I saw some study recently that said after so much income, normal people don't get any happier either - NOBODY needs to make millions of dollars per year and as long as we have people living in poverty and despair, nobody deserves to either. Tax 'em hard - I'm sick of listening to their crap!

Wed Mar 18 22:06:17 2009: 5754   BrettLegree

That is true - once you get beyond a certain level (e.g. you're living comfortably with enough food, and shelter) - it does not buy happiness.

Perks, services, health care - that is the kind of thing I'd rather have.

It reminds me of something I'd read comparing Google vs. Microsoft. Google being known for the really great perks (the free food etc.) - well, it seems that Microsoft pays a little bit better for the same work than Google does. It turned out that the average employee costs Google about $3000 a year for the perks - which was roughly the difference in salary between the two companies.

When I thought about it for a minute, I'd rather have the perks, knowing I'd never have to make my lunch again (for instance).

Much like health care. I pay more money in taxes in Canada because of social programs, but at the end of the day it is well worth it - especially since I know that other people who couldn't afford the services otherwise will also get access.

Wed Mar 18 23:06:33 2009: 5755   TonyLawrence

"especially since I know that other people who couldn't afford the services otherwise will also get access."

Right. How is it right that I get health coverage because I can afford but some poor s.o.b. working two minimum wage jobs doesn't?

I'm sick of the uncaring attitudes. Call it socialism if you want to - I don't effing care anymore - TOO MUCH GREED!

Thu Mar 19 01:50:14 2009: 5759   Friar


You're saying 35% tax for $350K?

Wow..no WONDER people want to move to the States.

In Canada, you start getting in the "high" tax bracket after $77K.

I don't even make $100K. I did a quick calculation....with federal and provinical tax, at my salary, I'm already at about 29%.

Thu Mar 19 02:04:27 2009: 5760   TonyLawrence

See (link) for what you'd pay here.

Thu Mar 19 02:14:02 2009: 5761   TonyLawrence

So now Fanny Mae et al. say they HAVE to pay bonuses to keep their talented execs.


Where are these bozos going to go and get big compensation? Who wants to hire someone who helped drive their companies to the state they are in? That's a GREAT resume!

These #$@#!'s are LYING! Or stupid.. or both.

Thu Mar 19 03:07:56 2009: 5762   Friar


Funny...my job (and almost everyone else's I know) just basically includes SALARY.

Where are all these "bonuses" that everyone else seems to be getting?

Sat Mar 21 23:09:55 2009: 5795   anonymous

I expect your "when you swim with sharks" remark also applies to all the detainees the US military has captured in Afghanistan and other places. A few innocents may get hurt, but that's what happens. Or, does the US Constitution only protect non-citizens?

Sun Mar 22 00:12:11 2009: 5796   TonyLawrence

I have no idea why you think this is related to that, but oddly enough I had an argument with someone about this recently. I said that Guantamano and other mistreatment of human beings is disgusting. I pointed out that our Constitution says "all men" are endowed with certain inalienable rights - it doesn't say that you only have those rights if you were lucky enough to be born here.

Needless to say, my position didn't get any agreement.

There's quite a difference between imprisoning people and slapping some extra taxes on people who have too damn much money to start with. One is obscene, but unfortunately most people see the obscenity in the wrong place.

Sun Mar 22 15:57:52 2009: 5803   BigDumbDinosaur

There's quite a difference between imprisoning people and slapping some extra taxes on people who have too damn much money to start with.

How much is "too damn much money?" Do you have a dollar figure in mind? <Grin> BTW, does the illustrious senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, have too much money?

Sun Mar 22 16:18:18 2009: 5805   TonyLawrence

Obviously circumstances vary. If you live in New York, you need more money than you'd need in rural Georgia. If you have medical problems, you need more money. A large family requires more than a small family.

However, we manage to compute a poverty line under the same difficulties and we can damn well compute a "you have enough" line too. The more you rise above that line, the more you should pay back to the common wealth.

Aside from moral responsibility to help create a decent society, there's a case to be made that the rich benefit more from some of the things taxes pay for. Take our police force, for example. There honestly isn't a damn thing worth stealing from me except our computers and our car. Nothing else we own is even worth the gas to transport it to a pawn shop. Ted Kennedy, on the other hand, has much of value. He also is threatened by kooks who would harm him - I don't think anyone hates me enough to hurt me :-)

Our transportation system also benefits the rich far more than it benefits me. Goods and services that they and their businesses need move because of our roads.. again, more important to them than to me.

Of course the poor benefit more directly from social programs, but again there is an indirect effect of keeping crime and disease down that benefits the rich.

Call it socialism if you want - as I said, I really don't care any more. We need radical change.

Sun Mar 22 16:38:56 2009: 5807   Friar


How much money is too much? Good question.

I agree that the super-rich (i.e. CEO's, athletes, movie stars etc..) are rewarded with salaries that are WAY out of proportion of what these people actually do.

But...on the other hand, I get tired of all this rich-bashing.

Seems everyone like to jump all over the "rich". Like somehow they don't deserve the money they make. Like it was handed to them or something. There's a lot of resentment.

Most people I know who make over $100K, have gotten that way by being smart, and/or working their asses off. They put 20 years into a company, they run businesses, pay taxes, and provide employment for others. They contribute to society.

As opposed to others who do nothing, and and are actually depending on others to live.

In Canada, Welfare pays better than the States. Not saying everyone is a welfare bum. But there IS significant fraud. Yet nobody ever dares question the those who abuse the system.

Yet we'll jump all over someone making over six figures, because they're "Rich" and should pay more tax.

The poor don't pay much tax because they don't have much income, and the rich don't pay much, because there aren't too many of them. It's basically the in-between middle-salaries that pay for everything and keep the country running.

We should be THANKING the $100K earners, instead of giving them*\***.

Sun Mar 22 16:45:24 2009: 5808   TonyLawrence


Most of the super rich got there by being nasty s.o.b.'s, not by being "smart".

They got rich by exploiting other people, here or abroad. They got rich by exploiting resources, by manipulation with lawyers, patents and tax codes. Very few get rich by anything most of us would consider honest and moral.

We DO need punitive taxes. I've had ENOUGH!!

Sun Mar 22 16:46:52 2009: 5809   TonyLawrence

By the way, 100K isn't rich - not even close.

You are correct - those people SHOULD be thanked. But they aren't "rich".

Sun Mar 22 17:32:45 2009: 5810   TonyLawrence

Another statistic the rich love to use to bamboozle you is the "there a very few people making a lot of money". True enough, but they forget to mention just how MUCH money that is, and it's a LOT.

You can get U.S. breakdowns for 2006 at (link)

The total amount of reported income for over $200,000 a year is from only a little over 4 million taxpayers, but the amount is staggering: 2,501,104,714,000 dollars.

The next two brackets down break down like this:

 $75K to under $100K 10,981,207    947,433,910,000
$100K to under $200K 12,041,382	 1,600,506,040,000

In other words, those 4 million make as much money as the 23 million just below them!

Don't get fooled by the half-truths and evasions of the rich.

Sun Mar 22 17:37:34 2009: 5811   Friar


$100K isn't huge....but it IS quite comfortable for one person. (Even two).

Lots of families live off a lot less than this...and would consider $100K "Rich". Especially in the area where I live.

Sun Mar 22 17:40:08 2009: 5812   TonyLawrence

Well, I'm not arguing that people shouldn't be "comfortable". I'm not even arguing that people shouldn't be much more than that - only that it's time for them to pay more.

Sun Mar 22 17:50:14 2009: 5813   Friar


I'm eventually going to be in the $100-$200K bracket. (Not there yet...but probably, hopefully, within the next 5 years...).

But it will have taken a PhD in engineering, and over 20 years or working my ass off to get there. And I paid my taxes all along the way. So I don't feel too bad, if I take home a more than the $75-$100K earners.

Especially, considering Union Jobs, where people with Grade 9 educations and zero training can earn $30 an hour (plus benefits) working on an assembly line.

Of course, the tax figures you quote me are for the States. My argument might be moot, because in Canada, for a comparable $100K salary, we pay a lot more in tax than you guys do South of the Border.

Sun Mar 22 18:00:06 2009: 5814   TonyLawrence

The total amount of reported income for over $200,000 a year is from only a little over 4 million taxpayers, but the amount is staggering: 2,501,104,714,000 dollars.

The next two brackets down break down like this:
 $75K to under  $100K 10,981,207    947,433,910,000
$100K to under $200K 12,041,382	 1,600,506,040,000
In other words, those 4 million make as much money as the 23 million just below them!

But wait, there's more: all the other brackets combined, from $5,000 on up to $74,999 represent 64 million tax returns but only 2,394,158,589,000 dollars.

So those 4 million make more than another 64 million Americans.. and basically represent a third of ALL reported income!

Don't forget that is Adjusted Gross Income too - these guys can well afford the lawyers and accountants to get them tax schemes that hide their true income.

Don't feel sorry for these S.O.B's - they owe YOU.

Sun Mar 22 18:04:42 2009: 5815   BrettLegree

How much is too much?

Well, $100k is a lot to someone who makes minimum wage. But compared with the people we were discussing, it is "chump change". I bet most of the people who we're talking about - the AIG executives - drive cars worth more than $100k.

Perhaps that could be considered "too much". Have a look here:


The biggest payout was $6.4M, and the top 10 took home $42M in total.

Seventy-three took home $1M or more.

How much is too much?

Well... if you gave me $1M today, I'd quit my job today, because I could invest it properly and not have to work another day in my life to maintain my current standard of living, which is quite comfortable.

I could run a small hobby business on the side without worry of failure, to amuse myself. Purely service based. And I bet within a year of focusing on that it would be pretty good in itself.

So how much is too much?

I'd say a $1M retention bonus - why? Because, the other question I'd ask is, "how much did each of these guys make last year to begin with?"

So I did a bit of digging. Now, not sure whether the guys I'm about to link to are included in that payout, just to show what we're talking about...


The CEO made $21M in 2006, and $14M in 2007, salary, bonus, stocks and options included.

How much is too much? How about, "why the hell is a person who ran the company into the fracking ground getting so much money???"

Sun Mar 22 18:17:37 2009: 5816   TonyLawrence

Especially, considering Union Jobs, where people with Grade 9 educations and zero training can earn $30 an hour (plus benefits) working on an assembly line.

How long can you work on an assembly line? Or as a carpenter or electrician?

As an engineer, you can do your work long after your aching joints would have caused misery for you at any physical job. Those jobs are also much more likely to suffer layoffs - reducing overall income.

Many union jobs can be dangerous, too - those carpenters, electricians and assembly line workers get injured more often than the guy sitting at a desk.

I don't begrudge them anything they can get.

Mon Mar 23 13:58:35 2009: 5820   BigDumbDinosaur

Yes, but after all that discussion, you still haven't answered my question. Does Ted Kennedy have too much money? It's a simple yes or no. <Grin>

Mon Mar 23 14:06:57 2009: 5821   TonyLawrence

Unless something has changed with his finances that I'm not aware of, of course he has "too much money".

So? He voted "yes" on increasing tax rate for people earning over $1 million (last year).

Generally speaking he has voted against Republican tax breaks for the wealthy and for reforming the tax code.


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