Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Jim Webb, D-Va., have introduced legislation that would impose a tax on large bonuses paid by Wall Street banks and other firms that received more than $5 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2009.

The Taxpayer Fairness Act would impose a 50 percent excise tax on the bonuses of employees at these firms that exceeded $400,000 in 2009. Any employee who received a bonus larger than $400,000 — the salary of the president of the United States — would have to pay a 50 percent tax on the portion of the bonus over $400,000. Only bonuses received in 2009 would be affected. The revenues generated would be used to reduce the deficit or to help the nation recover from the recession.

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