John Hinderaker asks, Are We A Banana Republic?
If the Pelosi bill is actually enacted into law (which I still think is doubtful) and upheld by the courts, there is no limit to the arbitrary power of Congress. In that event, we have no property rights and there is no Constitution–no equal protection clause, no due process clause, no impairment of contracts clause, no bill of attainder/ex post facto law clause. Instead, we are living in a majoritarian tyranny. As I explained here, there is nothing wrong with the AIG bonuses and no reason why they should be repaid. But even if you think it was wrong for AIG to pay them, Pelosi’s proposed confiscatory tax–total taxes would exceed 100 percent in some jurisdictions–is an outrage. If Congress can appease a howling mob of demagogues by enacting discriminatory tax legislation against a group of people who are, for the moment, politically unpopular, even though the vast majority of them have nothing to do with the supposed problems that have given rise to popular outcry–imagine, say, Congress enacting a surtax on the incomes of all homosexuals in response to a notorious case of homosexual molestation–then the idea that the Constitution affords us any sort of protection against arbitrary government power is an illusion.
As far as Pelosi goes, maybe we should be asking “are we a banana republic yet?”