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Senate Proceeding on Mar 3rd, 2010 :: 2:37:30 to 2:46:55
Total video length: 10 hours 27 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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James Webb

2:37:27 to 2:37:47( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: way that will be additiveo the job creation. i ask that my colleagues support this amendment. i believe here in a couple of hours and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? e presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. webb: mr. president, i have 10 unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and

James Webb

2:37:30 to 2:46:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: James Webb

James Webb

2:37:48 to 2:38:08( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. webb: mr. president, i have introduced an amendment to the pending legislation, it's amendment number 3342. it's my intention to call that amendment up after the votes on the pending amendments this afternoon, but i would like t

James Webb

2:38:09 to 2:38:30( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: take a few minutes and explain to my colleagues the nature of this amendment and why i believe that it is important. this amendment basicly says that if you are an executive at one of the companies that

James Webb

2:38:31 to 2:38:52( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: received more than $5 billion in the tarp bailout, the financial bailout that occurred when we began our economic crisis and if you received in addition to your compensation a bonus in excess of $400,000, then that amount

James Webb

2:38:53 to 2:39:13( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: above $400,000, which is the proximate compensation of our president, will be taxed at 50% and that the amount that it is taxed will be returned to the american taxpayers for deficit reduction. and it's a very simple amendment.

James Webb

2:39:14 to 2:39:35( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: it's a one-time amendment based on a unique situation in this country when the american taxpayers had to bail out our major companies in order to stablize our economy. this is not class warfare. it is not a continuing windfall profits tax. but i believe it is very proper

James Webb

2:39:36 to 2:39:57( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: for us to institute this on -- on a one-time basis and estimates that we have had when i introduced this amendment as independent legislation a short while ago, along with senator boxer, was that you could recoup in the neighborhoo of $10 million back into our

James Webb

2:39:58 to 2:40:19( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: economy by this very fair tax assessment. i want to go back to two opinion pieces that have been written over the last couple of years fr people with great standing in the financial community and great philosophical differences, and then i want to remind my colleagues of the process that we had to enter into when the

James Webb

2:40:20 to 2:40:40( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: tarp legislation was first voted on. in july 14, 2008, paul crudman, noble prize winning economist, wrote a piece in "the new york times," i came to the floor at that te and quoted from his piece. he was talking about the

James Webb

2:40:41 to 2:41:02( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: beginning of what became our crisis. and he'd made the point -- and i'm going to -- quote -- "that it's the belief of investors" he was talking at this point about the situation with fannie mae and freddie mac, to quote his article -- "is a belief that if

James Webb

2:41:03 to 2:41:25( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: they fail the federal government will come to their rescue. the implicit guarantee means that profits arerivatized where lowses are socialized." now what he meant by that and what we have seen play out as our economy, thankfully, has begun to recover, is that with the situation that we entered

James Webb

2:41:26 to 2:41:46( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: into with the tarp program, risk was socialized. that means that the average worker in this country -- the person out there driving a truck, the nurse working in a hospital, the pple doing the day-to-day work had to put their tax doll in this order to

James Webb

2:41:47 to 2:42:09( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: stablize these banking systems. but that the reward from the stablized has become personalized to the executives who were running these companies who then have benefited through these large bonus systems once our economy began to stablize. and it's my strong belief, as

James Webb

2:42:10 to 2:42:30( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: someone who is a supporter of people who are willing to take risks and -- and create the right kind of environment for growth in our economy, that they should be happy once they have reached a point where they've been compensated and they've had a $400,000 bonus, they should be happy to take the money beyond

James Webb

2:42:31 to 2:42:52( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: that $400,000 bonus and divide it up with the average worker out here who may not even own stock who had to put their tax dollars in this order to stablize the economy. the second article that i would like to quote from is from "the financial times," which, as all of my colleagues will recognize,

James Webb

2:42:53 to 2:43:13( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: is one of the most conservative newspapers in the world when it comes to capitalist enterprise, risk taking, rewarding the people who get out and lead in -- in our business sector. morton wolfe wrote an editorial on november 19, 2009. not that long ago.

James Webb

2:43:14 to 2:43:37( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: where he said -- i'm going to quote from this article and i would ask unanimous consent that the entire article be included in the record after my remarks. martin wolfe said this, "windfall taxes are a ghastly idea. no sensible person should support them. so why do i now find the idea of

James Webb

2:43:38 to 2:43:59( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: a windfall tax on banks so appealing? because this time it really does look different." mr. wolfe goes on to point out -- quote -- "ordinary people can accept that risk takers receive huge rewards, but such rewards for those who have been rescued by the state and bear

James Webb

2:44:00 to 2:44:21( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: substantial responsibility for the crisis are surely intolerable. the public finances will be devastated for decades. taxes will be higher, public spending lower. meanwhile bankers are about to reap huge rewards. this damages the legitimacy of the market economy." mr. wolfe went on to support the

James Webb

2:44:22 to 2:44:42( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: very concept that i am putting on the table today, and that is a one time windfall profits tax on moneys that were earned in 2009 when this american taxpayer rescue of our financial stem occurred. when earnings that occurred

James Webb

2:44:43 to 2:45:05( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: through work in 2009, which are paid in 2010 -- this is not a retroactive tax -- one shot, the balance of playing field and reward the people who helped to save our economy. sometimes it's hard for us to remember the circumstances that took place when we were asked to vote for this tarp program.

James Webb

2:45:06 to 2:45:27( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: back in september of 2008. because so much has happened to our economy and to the debate in this country since then. but we should remember that in september of 2008, secretary paulson, chairman bernanke put us all on a conference call and

James Webb

2:45:28 to 2:45:48( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: they told us if we did not put $700 billion of taxpayer money into a program to assist our major financial institutions that the world as we knew it economically was going to fall into cataclysm. we voted in support of this $700 billion -- i voted for it -- in

James Webb

2:45:49 to 2:46:10( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: order to help these financial institutions solve the problems, undo their systems of bad assets which had taken place, quite frankly, through a lot of bad judgment in their -- in their leadership, free up our economic system and get credit going again. and we did it with the explicit understanding that it was the american taxpayers who were

James Webb

2:46:11 to 2:46:33( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: putting the money in and who, when the system righted itself, would get their money back. so this one-shot deal is designed to help do that. it's -- it's fair to all parties. it allows the executives in these 13 companies that received

James Webb

2:46:34 to 2:46:54( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: more than $5 billion each of taxpayer money to still reward their executives and at the same time share these profits or these -- these benefits that go beyond the $400,000 bonus with the people who basically pull their fat out of the fire. i hope that we can get a vote on this amendment, and i trust that

James Webb

2:46:55 to 2:46:55( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: my colleagues will understand

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