When is this nightmare going to be over? It started under George W. Bush and Hank Paulson with the original bailouts. Now it has continued under the reign of Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner who have taken bailouts to a new level, spending trillions of taxpayer dollars. Yet the end is nowhere in sight.
In recent congressional testimony, when Geithner was asked about ending the TARP bailouts at the end of the year, he said that it is too soon to declare victory and close up TARP prematurely.
Prematurely. How much more money can you spend? Haven’t we spent enough?
Obama’s TARP czar has already come out to state that the TARP bailouts could end up costing the U.S. taxpayer up to $23 trillion. That’s the estimate from Obama’s own guy. Who knows how much this thing will actually cost us?
Now, a lot of people have come out and criticized the $23 trillion number because it represents our total loss potential and not what we’ve already spent.
OK, so let’s look at what we’ve already spent.
According to Newsweek, here’s the amount of bailout spending, where it came from and where it went to.
Where the money came from: Federal Reserve, $8.2 trillion; included bank loans and asset guarantees. Treasury Dept., $6.8 trillion; included TARP funds, stimulus spending, and tax benefits. Other, $654 billion; included $134 billion from FHA to guarantee residential mortgages. Joint Treasury, Fed set aside $1.3 trillion to buy bad bank assets and help Citigroup. FDIC, $2.3 trillion in liquidity guarantees; beefed up deposit insurance.
Where the money went: Wall Street, $17.5 trillion; much of it went to banks and to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. U.S. citizens got $1.8 trillion in tax benefits, government subsidies, and indirect mortgage guarantees.
Tally all of that up, that’s $19.3 trillion. That’s no joke. That’s how much taxpayers have already coughed up because of the wasteful spending of the Bush administration and now the Obama administration.
By the way, the United States only produces $13.84 trillion a year as its gross domestic product (GDP), leaving us only a paltry $5.46 trillion short of the $19.3 trillion that’s already been spent. No biggie. If we can’t pay it, we’ll just pass it along to our children, and then they can pass along that debt with interest to their children.
The mainstream media has been quick to condemn tea party patriots, town hall participants, and Glenn Beck viewers as being crazy, fringe, or extreme. Has the media even looked at Obama, Geithner, and Bernanke to say that those guys might have lost touch with reality?
We’re spending trillions upon trillions of dollars, and there’s no plan to stop. If that’s not a recipe for disaster, then I don’t know what is.
What’s even worse is that we will never see our money back. According to recent congressional testimony from Neil Barofsky, TARP’s special inspector general, "It is extremely unlikely that the taxpayer will see a full return on its TARP investment."
So not only are we spending like we’ve never spent before, we can kiss that money goodbye because we’re never going to see it again.
To add insult to injury, Congress doesn’t even have the power to stop the bailout spending even if it wanted to. As part of the original TARP bailout legislation, there is no provision to allow Congress to disapprove of an extension of the bailouts.
Last week, 39 Senate republicans and one democrat wrote Geithner a letter imploring him to end the bailouts by Dec. 31, 2009. They said the money had been used in ways not contemplated by Congress.
Silly Congress. When will they learn that you can’t get in the way of Obama & Company. They’ve got their own plan: a plan to put America trillions more into debt, a plan to devalue the dollar, a plan to bankrupt our nation.
This isn’t an issue about democrats or republicans. During the Clinton administration, we saw a great era of American wealth and government surpluses, and during George W. Bush we saw great expansion of government and excessive deficit spending.
The problem is fiscal responsibility. Nobody’s taking any responsibility. Obama & Company are just spending away like the money is going out of style, and no one is holding them accountable.
Traditionally, the media would be responsible for holding elected officials accountable. Sadly, the mainstream media has turned a blind eye to the wanton spending in Washington, D.C.
Well, if the media can’t hold Obama & Company responsible, then the people should.
To a degree, Americans are. Many exercised their first amendment right when they gathered in town halls across the country to let their elected officials know how they felt.
However, the mainstream media was quick to marginalize these people and allow the administration to air 30 minute to 60 minute commercials guised under the cloak of journalism.
But take heart, remember the Constitution. It doesn’t begin with, “We, the government” or “We, the media,” it begins with, “We, the people.” The people of the United States hold the power, and the more that the people demand accountability, the better chance that they have of getting it.
Politicians are creatures of necessity. If they get the message that excessive spending will not be tolerated, you can bet your falling U.S. dollar they will start looking to slash some budgets. After all, mid-term elections are only a year away, and Obama & Company will have to face the American jury in 2012.
So America, keep sending them the message. We the people have the power, and we the people demand fiscal responsibility and less spending. And if our current elected officials won’t do it, we’ll find ones who will.
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