The Bailout Blowup: Has Congress Gone Too Far?

We interview Essence.com readers to find out what's on their mind about Congress' decision to impose a 90 percent tax on the AIG bonuses.
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 20, 2009

1 of 7

Age: 25
Hometown: Brooklyn

“I don’t necessarily feel that taxing the AIG executives is the best way to go about it. In my mind, the greater issue is that things like this are going unchecked. They aren’t the only ones who have done this but they are the only ones who have gotten caught. In these economic times, there needs to be more credibility and legitimacy. Everyone needs to sacrifice."

2 of 7

Age: 21
Hometown: Harlem, New York

“The AIG executives claimed that the bonuses were for retention, but a number of employees left after they received the bonuses, so where is the retention there? It’s not fair that our tax money is paying for them to get off.”

3 of 7

Age: 23
Hometown: Harlem, New York

“The bonuses should be taxed between 90 to 100 percent. The government shouldn’t be rewarding failure. Those bonuses were completely unnecessary."

4 of 7

Age: 36
Hometown: New York City

“The government needs to tax the executives because AIG got the money to help their company, but they gave it out to their people instead. I don’t care if they have families because they don’t care if we have families, so yes, why not tax them?”

5 of 7

Age: 34
Hometown: Atlanta

“Ninety percent is a little extreme, but the amount in bonuses was extreme as well. I think they can probably take care of their families on a lot less. I know I take care of mine on a lot less.”

6 of 7

Age: 36
Hometown: Jersey City, New Jersey

“People are suffering. My job just cut half my hours and everyone else is making a sacrifice. Why should they be better off when everyone else is suffering?”

Share your thoughts below.

As told to: Maya Rhodan and Jasmine Bolton

7 of 7

Last month, AIG executives wrote Congress requesting its fourth bailout from the government to keep the company from going belly up. Then we learned that those same executives, used part of the $30 billion they received from the government to distribute bonuses to same employees who created the mess that caused them to ask for a handout. Now, Congress not only wants them to give the money back but it has also just passed a bill that will add a 90 percent tax to the bonus.

ESSENCE.com hit the streets to find out how you’re feeling about this issue and whether or not the AIG executives are being treated fairly.

Share your thoughts below.

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