Stop calling it a “bailout”

January 9, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Let’s stop calling it a “bailout of the financial system.”  Instead, let’s call it something like “Irresponsibly throwing precious taxpayer dollars at feckless and devious financial institutions who arrogantly and defiantly refuse to be transparent to the taxpayers.”

If getting money “into the system” is the plan, and it’s done without ANY accountability, why would throwing money at banks be any more productive than spending that money to blow up more of our bombs overseas?  Why is it more helpful for the average American than handing it to rich people so that they can buy bigger yachts?  Why is it more worthy than starting a National Candy Fund, so that all children can eat as much candy as they can stand?

In short, why is it that spending money in a mysterious and untraceable way is any better than spending money in a foolish way or an irresponsible way?

Consider today’s report by the WSJ:

The U.S. Treasury has failed to reveal its strategy for stabilizing the financial system, not answered questions asked by a government watchdog, and has done nothing to help struggling homeowners, a report being released Friday charges.

In the most scathing criticism yet of Treasury’s implementation of the $700 billion financial-rescue package, a draft report being issued by the five-member congressional oversight panel said there appear to be “significant gaps” in Treasury’s ability to track hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I have also noticed that many of the banks getting large chunks of money are headquartered outside the US. For example, HSBC (Hong Kong-Shanghai Banking Corporation, currently headquartered in London, UK which has branches in almost every county including Iran, Syria, and Libya and is reknowned as one of the major predatory lenders in the US, received $35 billion in "Bailout" funds.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Arianna Huffington on the "bailout" and the way the media fails to cover it:

    Do you know all you need to know about who's managing all that taxpayer money — and how effectively it's being used?

    Not if you're getting your news from cable TV. Judging by where the media are focusing their attention, you'd think the Blago/Burris/Reid and Kennedy/Paterson/Cuomo soap operas are the biggest issues facing the nation — and that little thing about the potential collapse of the world's largest economy is just a sideshow.

    Why have the media shown such relatively little interest in the utter lack of transparency about the bailout. Is it because they are still in campaign mode — addicted to small bore, quick burn-out stories?

    The time has come to recalibrate. As Obama transitions to governing mode, so should the press. Admittedly, governing stories aren't usually as sexy as campaign stories — but the reason we cared so much about the campaign in the first place was to get to the governing.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/

  3. Karl says:

    Erich,

    Don't know if these are the signs of the times, but I agree with you about the plans to put the nation into such astronomical debt.

    Its like throwing good money after bad. Supposedly good intentions will not rescue a sinking monetary fiasco. Let it bottom out so we stop loosing more money all the way down.

    Money that is directed at companies that have turned a corner will be beneficial. Directing money at companies anticipating further immediate loses is about as smart as buying the stocks everyone else thinks are worthless. Loses in a poorly run business should lead lead to takeovers or insolvency.

  4. grumpypilgrim says:

    Oh, but Erich, calling it a "bailout" sounds so much more beneficent than calling it "trickle-down economics" or "flushing money down a crapper" or "bribing the guys on Wall Street so they won't tank the economy even more than they already have."

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