Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Grand TheftOn my days off, I usually get up in the morning, make some coffee, and turn on CNBC. Since the economy began to take a turn for the worse this year, I have come to believe that this meltdown is the gravest threat facing our nation, so every morning, I tune in to see my fears becoming reality. This morning, CNBC was airing the testimony of Henry Paulson, and Ben Bernanke on the progress of the $700 billion bailout. Barney Frank was grilling Paulsen on his use of the money, the passage of the bill was contingent on helping taxpayers re-structure their mortgage loans to avoid forclosure, but Paulsen has instead decided to give the money to companies like AIG, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs. Paulsen, all on his own, has decided that buying the troubled assets of these companies, in the hopes that in a few years, they will be worth something, isn't something he feels will be effective, instead, he has just given money without strings attached for these banks to use as they wish.
I was thinking at the time of all of the debate about the Tarp bill, that it was basically the final Bush rip-off of the American taxpayer, and I guess I was right.
But what's even more disturbing, is the money the FED has loaned out in emergency funds that do not require Congressional oversight. This taxpayer money adds up to $2 trillion dollars, and the Fed won't disclose who the borrowers are, or what collateral was given for the loans. I nearly spit my coffee all over my partner's new rug when I heard this on C-span. And it's true, Bloomberg News has filed a suit, to force the FED to disclose the recipients of the loans, and the assets these borrowers have put up to secure the loans. Here, we're all freaking out about a mere $700 billion in Paulsen's pocket, and the FED is doling out $2 trillion that we don't even have. Where is money going? Are these un-known entities putting up crappy commercial paper, or are they pledging real assets?
Obama has told the press, "One President at a time". He has declined to participate in the G-20 meeting this weekend. I can't blame him, this is a huge mess, and he didn't create it. But if we don't stop this massive theft of taxpayer money to ghosts, Obama is going to be one broke President on January 20th.
And we, or our children, will have to pay for it.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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