A top Republican now has buyer's remorse about his vote last week in favor of a punitive tax increase on AIG employees.Why did he need to hear from "legal scholars" to know that a targeted punitive tax was unconstitutional? I'm not legal scholar, but I have read the Constitution, and a plain reading of Article I, Section 9 makes it clear that Congress is prohibited from doing this kind of thing.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the budget committee, said Thursday he would have voted against the 90 percent tax increase if he had known that legal scholars would deem it unconstitutional.
"Now, that I know — which I didn't at the time — that this is unconstitutional, I wouldn't have voted the same way," Ryan said during a taping of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" on Thursday — the show is set to air on Sunday.
Ryan should have known this -- he really has no excuse. Or does he? Yes, he can blame the Democrats!
Ryan blames confusion about the constitutionality of the plan on Democrats for rushing the bill through the House.It's their fault that my ignorance of the Constitution made it easy for the Dems to draw me into their mob frenzy!
"You rush this thing to the floor. Nobody had time to review it," Ryan said on the C-SPAN program, adding that lawmakers "got conflicting advice on it" before the vote.
While he now understands that the AIG tax bill is unconstitutional, he still thinks the AIG execs shouldn't receive their bonuses.
But the conservative still agrees with the underlying principle behind the bill.If only Congress had the power to punish every "completely ridiculous" -- but completely legal -- act done by private citizens.
"The message was sent that should have been sent," Ryan said. "These bonuses were completely ridiculous. They rewarded failure."