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Tell Congress: Stop the Secret AIG Bailout

This petition had 6,419 supporters

Elizabeth Warren has asked Congress to stop the secret bailout of AIG, and so should you.

At the height of the financial crisis, we spent billions of dollars bailing out failed insurance giant AIG after its reckless bets on mortgage-backed securities went south.

And now, according to recent reports, the Treasury is engaging in a second, secret bailout of the firm -- one that's costing U.S. taxpayers billions, and artificially boosting AIG's profits, leading directly to higher share prices and bigger executive bonuses for some of the same people who ran the company into the ground.

Elizabeth Warren and three other members of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program she chaired -- including two members appointed by Congressional Republicans -- have denounced this stealth bailout of AIG and asked Congress to intervene.

Tell Congress: Stop the secret AIG bailout.

The issue is about something called "net operating loss," which in normal circumstances allows corporations to use losses in one year to offset their future tax bills.

But when companies are taken over, as AIG was when the government spent over $100 billion to keep the company afloat, they are supposed to be barred from using their net operating loss in this way.

Here's where things become suspect. In 2008 the Treasury issued a special waiver to a handful of companies, including AIG, that allows for their net operating losses to offset taxes owed to the government.

At a time of brutal budget cuts at all levels of government, it would be simply unconscionable for Congress to allow for a multi-billion dollar subsidy to AIG's shareholders and executives.

Tell Congress: Stop the secret AIG bailout.

By some estimates, the waiver given by the Treasury will allow AIG, a company that claimed over $19 billion in profits just from the last three months of 2011, to avoid paying anything in taxes for a decade.

With tens of billions in tax dollars on the line, Congress needs to step in and pass a law to revoke AIG's waiver and require the company to pay its fair share in taxes.

Furthermore, the Treasury has clearly abused its discretion to grant waivers like this, and Congress needs to take away the U.S. Treasury's ability to allow companies like AIG to dodge taxes.

Tell Congress: Stop the secret AIG bailout.

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