According to Senator Webb’s office, NY City Mayor Bloomberg is urging the NY Congressional delegation to vote no on Webb’s Taxpayer Fairness Act. According to Bloomberg, this bill (which “puts a one-time windfall tax on 2009 bonuses above $400,000 paid to executives of financial institutions that received $5 billion or more in taxpayer support from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) or the or the Housing and Economic Recovery Act 2008”) is “unfair…to New York” and would “badly… hurt at a time when we can least afford to lose jobs and tax revenue.” Here’s Webb’s response:
This is a carefully drafted, one-shot amendment, directed only to a small group of firms that received more than five billion dollars of bailout money. Its purpose is to give American taxpayers an upside in the recovery of our economic system, which became possible only because their tax dollars saved it. Scholars from across the philosophical spectrum agree: as a matter of equity, the rewards should be shared with the taxpayers who made it possible.
It’s ironic that the very people who caused this economic meltdown now believe they should receive billions in bonus payments that were made possible only because our taxpayers were required to save the economy from their errors in judgment. Some of these taxpayers don’t even own stocks.
Nor is this an attack on New York City. In fact, two of the largest firms that would be affected — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are located in Washington, DC and Virginia.
When regions of Virginia are experiencing more than 21% unemployment and the struggling economy is hurting so many working Americans, it is only just that America’s working people feel that they also are being looked after by our leaders.