An open letter to my Congressman re: HR 1586

The following is a letter submitted to the office of my Congressman, John McHugh, Dist. 23, NY.  And, frankly, to all our Congressmen.  This will be cross-posted at SLC Republitarian and sent to local papers today.

Dear Sir,

When you took office, you swore to uphold the Constitution.  This is the document which defines our nation, and as such, which must be the standard to which our government holds.

Yesterday, when you voted ‘Aye’ on HR1586, you, and those who voted with you, blatantly disregarded not only the letter, but the intent of the US Constitution.  And in so doing, you negated the very reason for a Republican form of government: to protect from the tyranny of the majority.

Sir, no matter how egregious the act, for the government to impose a retroactive, punative tax is not only tyrannical (and no, I’m not merely being hyperbolic), but unethical.  But let’s take a look at this so-called crime, committed by certain executives at AIG.  What they did, in essence, was accept a sum of money which they were promised — and contracted for — by a company which happened to get a government bailout that they never should have gotten.

That the bonuses were in bad taste in not in question.  Indeed, the very idea of non-performance based bonuses of this type illustrates the kind of poor business management that drove AIG to the brink of collapse in the first place.  However, in providing the bailout, it was THE GOVERNMENT which ultimately provided for the bonuses — even to the extent of actively allowing for them in the bailout bill itself.  In other words, what the government has done in effect is to give these executive their bonuses, and then punish them for receiving them.

How are we, the citizens of this Country — of your District — to have any confidence in a government that shows this level of ethical schizophrenia?

Sir, you have betrayed your oath to uphold the foundational ideals of this Country.  I pray, and as your constituent demand, that you find a way to make this right.

Randy Streu

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