I'm sure you've all heard the gnashing of teeth about the bonuses payed to executives by bailed-out financial institutions. Now congress wants to slap a retroactive tax of 90% on all of those bonuses (story here). (It's ironic to hear the outrage from congressmen about wasted taxpayer money in the bonuses--didn't these guys approve the bailout in the first place?) I know everyone is angry about wasting taxpayers money but think about the precedent this kind of bill sets. I'm not a constitutional scholar but this sounds like a bill of attainder. Legal experts correct me if I'm wrong, but this is essentially a bill that punishes someone for a supposed crime without a trial. It is really a usurpation of judicial power by the legislative branch. Essentially, the government is going to confiscate private property because the public is upset and because CEO's are bad guys. These bonuses are contractual agreements agreed upon by private parties (see here for more discussion on this topic) and their priority relative to other obligations these companies have should probably be worked out in bankruptcy court, not in congress. At any rate, the government should have stipulated the conditions for disbursement of the bailout money BEFORE they flushed it all down the toilet.
Post script: It looks like someone else has the same idea.