Bonus tax bill; Some ask, "Who's next?"

By Molly Reuter - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The bill that puts a 90% tax on bonuses is in response to the controversy surrounding AIG. but some East Texans fear their job could be targeted next.

"I think it's definitely bad," said David Krafve. "I mean, to single out one group like that, who's next?"

Krafve, co-owner of Triad Land Services in Tyler has been working in the oil and gas industry most of his life. An industry, that thanks to last year's three dollar gas prices, has not been getting the best publicity. It's one of the reasons, Krafve fears Congress will use the tax code against them. Just like AIG.

"I think it's amazing our government can single out a group of people and knowing before they gave them the money this contract was in place, and that they had the right to these bonuses and then give them the money and now want to take it back," explained Krafve. "I don't think that's right personally."

He is not alone. Congressman Louie Gohmert says he agrees AIG should not have used bailout money for company bonuses, but imposing a tax is unconstitutional.

"The constitution addresses it," said Gohmert. "It makes this kind of thing inappropriate. That's why we have bankruptcy. That's why we have receivership. That's why we have courts that allows us to do that. The legislature should never run in, and basically what's been done is a bill of attainder, you single one out and go after them."

Gohmert says, once again, the House rushed into a quick solution that was politically motivated, and says people like Krafve should be worried.

"It's absolutely a bad precedent - terrible precedent and certainly I want 100% of the bailout bonuses back, but this isn't the way to do it," said Gohmert.