Fall of the titans, rise of the blog commenters

Responding yesterday to the escalating AIG bonus story, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer proposed the government take the advice of a blog commenter called “Joe Buck,” who proposed in a comment thread at Salon that we retrieve through taxes, if all else failed, the millions of dollars in executive bonuses paid by the global incompetent insurance company now owned by the American people.

For the record, Schumer’s office hasn’t confirmed he got the idea from blog commenter Joe Buck — but that’s probably only because I haven’t asked!

Look at the timeline: Commenters “Joe Buck” and “Joonbeams” go back and forth Monday night on the long thread trailing a post by Mike Madden titled “Take this bonus and shove it.” Schumer spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon.

The chain of events seems clear.

Unless of course Schumer is “Joe Buck”!

The thread:

labor agreements are also binding contracts

… and that didn’t stop Washington from demanding givebacks in exchange for a bailout.

A tax is another possibility. If you get more than x million dollars bonus from a company that lost y dollars, the tax rate could be set at 95%. Set x and y high enough to only penalize those who loot failing companies.

— Joe Buck

Joe Buck

I like the selective tax idea. I hadn’t thought of that. It’s a mechansism the feds can use to selectively claw back this money since it appears it has already been paid out. This is one tax hike that will have zero political fallout.

— Joonbeams

To recap: Over the weekend, the administration lamented that its hands were tied, that because we live in a land of laws, we would have to suck it up and hand over the cash to the loathed derivative traders. It was only after “the people” — i.e., bloggers and blog commenters — rose up in disgust Monday that the Obama administration and lawmakers around the country decided that the AIG geniuses who helped tank the world economy probably didn’t deserve their whopping bonuses this year.

Tuesday night, the taxpayers were promised their money back as AIG succumbed to pressure from its new bosses at the Treasury Department, who succumbed to pressure from the president, who succumbed to pressure from “the people” or blog commenters like Joe Buck, who may or may not be Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Here he is, Sen. Charles “Joe Buck” Schumer, drawing his line in the sand.

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