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Oct. 4th, 2008


Bailout type Cost to taxpayers (Source: Reuters)
Financial bailout package approved this week up to or more than $700 billion
Bear Stearns financing $29 billion
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nationalization $200 billion
AIG loan and nationalization $85 billion
Federal Housing Administration housing rescue bill $300 billion
Mortgage community grants $4 billion
JPMorgan Chase repayments $87 billion
Loans to banks via Fed's Term Auction Facility $200 billion+
Loans from Depression-era Exchange Stabilization Fund $50 billion
Purchases of mortgage securities by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac $144 billion
POSSIBLE TOTAL $1.8 trillion+

Last week, the Bush administration proposed a three-page bill to bail out Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion. It died in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week.

On Friday, though, the House approved a far bigger, broader, and beefier version of the bill--which has ballooned to a remarkable 442 pages. The vote was 263 to 171, with the bulk of the opposition coming from Republicans. Because the Senate already approved the measure, it immediately went to President Bush, who signed it into law.

On the theory that this would be a way to convince previously skeptical Democrats to approve the measure, one large chunk of the bailout bill is devoted to renewable energy, energy-efficient appliances, and so on (the "Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008"). The authors lured Republicans with protections from the alternative minimum tax (via the "Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008").

That includes, as the New York Post pointed out, millions in tax breaks and related pork for kids' wooden arrows, Puerto Rican rum producers, auto race tracks, and corporations operating in American Samoa. (The likely explanation for the latter: StarKist has a large tuna-canning operation in American Samoa. And StarKist's parent company happens to be located in the district of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.)

The bill has become, in other words, something almost unrelated to the business of bailing out Wall Street. The Beltway term for this is a "Christmas tree bill," meaning everyone gets to hang their favorite spending projects on it--though by the time Congress gets it through, it more closely resembles a slop bucket.

"We will not Christmas-tree this bill," Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat promised a few days ago. "The times are too urgent. Everyone has their own desires and needs. It's going to have to wait."

So much for that idea.

{Let me put this plainly. I am very angry at this. I am angry that we had to pass such a bill at all. I am VERY ANGRY that the blame for this mess isn't going toward those who are at fault: Barney Franks and the democrats. I am very very very angry at the crap attached to this bill. It is time fo vote out the whole mess of these idiots. }


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 5th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)
And you should be angry (and not at the Democrats either) - you should be angry because if you operate in a 'free market' - which the US does - then the idea is that the market operate 'free' of government influence - bailing out companies for bad buisness practices does not a 'free market' make. If anything, the funds should go to help the hardship of the citizens that will (and still will despite the bailout) affected due to said business practices.
Oct. 6th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
I am mad about that too, but I should be mad at Barney Franks and his dems.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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