Needlessly Amplifying the Price Tag of the Bailout

In the last hour of his show today, WPRO’s Matt Allen discussed the shopping list [sorry, no link] of additional spending which Congressman Patrick Kennedy announced today that he wishes to attach to the seven hundred billion dollar bailout, a sentiment presumably shared by many other congresspersons.
Is the congressman’s shopping list dwarfed by the size of the bailout? Undoubtedly, though it starts to add up to “real” money when up to five hundred and thirty four other shopping lists are thrown in. More troubling is the mindset revealed.
One is an obliviousness that the federal budget is – or ought to be! – finite. Vast though the budget has grown, seven hundred billion is still a lot of money. And while there is optimism that the federal government may break even or possibly profit many years down the road, the only certainty is that taxpayers would be on the hook for quite a large sum of money with no guarantee that it would all work out in the end, especially if the bailout began to experience mission creep.
Secondly, in view of the finite nature of the budget, individual congresspersons and Congress as a whole should be giving thought to “what are we cutting out of the budget going forward so we can write this gargantuan check” and even, “this is not our money so let’s make the check as small as possible”. The “what spending can I add to this gargantuan check that will get my vote and get me votes” approach taken early on by the congressman from Rhode Island’s first district is entirely the wrong attitude when signing a sizeable check to be drawn on someone else’s account.

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Mike
Mike
12 years ago

It’s a lot easier than that. The government shouldn’t be in the business of bailing out corporations. Period.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

How much should the bailout check be for?
ZERO.
End of story. I hope this thing gets bogged down in the DC swamp for YEARS.
Amazing how fast “Free Market” Bushie became a communist when it was his rich buddies in trouble.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

I hate to start the morning with “doom and gloom,” but … I fear that right now we’re in the midst of an Atlas Shrugged like collapse – the system is breaking down before our eyes – it has been deteriorating for some time now, but it is now accelerating and the public is beginning to notice (though it hasn’t yet put the pieces together or contemplated cause and effect). I also believe that it all began with FDR’s trashing of the U.S. Constitution – once the U.S. Supreme Court succumbed to his threats and enshrined in law the (previously deemed unconstitutional) concepts that welfare is a federal responsibility and that redistribution of wealth a legitimate federal function, then the wheels were set in motion. Consider Alexis de Tocqueville’s observation that democracies are ultimately doomed, for once the electorate discovers that it can vote itself largesse from the public treasury … If it doesn’t occur beforehand, methinks that it’ll really hit home when Social Security goes cash-flow negative in about ten years and AARP will be shocked! SHOCKED! to discover that the trust fund cupboard is bare. In the meantime, the politicians will keep making promises (e.g., prescription drug benefit) and spending (Wall Street / Detroit automaker bailouts and earmarks and bridges to nowhere) until stopped. That “stopped” will occur from outside, not because they will become responsible; when they can no longer cobble-together bailouts, float bonds or otherwise keep the money flowing to buy votes to get themselves through just one more electoral cycle. I also suspect that they / the Federal Reserve learned the lesson of deflation post-”Great Depression” – so we’re more likely looking at devaluation of the dollar (and thus repaying the spiraling federal debt with near-worthless dollars) via some Weimar-reminiscent inflation. We’re already seeing the… Read more »

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

Step 1. Buy a gun.
Step 2. Learn how to use it.
Step 3. Be ready when the poor lose their entitlements and decide that your PC and DVD player are good sources of income.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

We’re a long way from an “Atlas Shrugged” meltdown.
But we need to be real careful about this “bail out”. Just as the legislation intending to provide relief for Hurricane Katrina was rushed through Congress and was full of pork, you can bet every Member of Congress is trying to tuck away funding for pet projects.
This is their golden opportunity and the taxpayers are about ready to get fleeced.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

At least Joe Biden agrees with John McCain on the AIG bailout.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Not a dime should go to Wall Street.
You watch-the DEMOCRAT House and the DEMOCRAT Senate will make a lot of noise and hullaballoo and will then “roll” for this with a couple of laughable cosmetic changes they will hang their hat on.
Are you proud progressives?
Keep mailing those checks to Osama and the DNC. LOL.

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