The government rat hole: You don’t know where all your tax dollars are going

If Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Pentagon procurement, federal education spending, and countless other federal boondoggles weren’t enough, we now have a nice category called “bailouts.”

Some of us have been reading the think tank reports for decades about “structural deficits.” Even while I despaired of Republican Party stupidity, I honestly didn’t think it could get worse. For me, the pre-2008 federal budget was bad enough. I certainly didn’t expect that a Republican President would help make the national debt markedly worse even as he was heading out of office.

The reason for limiting government is rather simple. Thomas Jefferson summed it up: smaller works better. I would only add that when it gets too big, true oversight is impossible. When government gets big – get ready for big time thievery.

Few people have time or the inclination to even watchdog their local school districts, where a lot of tax dollars are spent making a lot of people (especially contractors and school superintendents) filthy rich.

For your information – I thought I’d pass along the following press release from U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, R-Texas. Read it and weep. Or laugh. Whichever you choose – just know that it’s the tip of the iceberg.

For Immediate Release

May 1, 2009


Treasury Ignoring Inspector General’s Fraud Prevention Recommendations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should stop stonewalling and immediately implement the taxpayer safeguards recommended by the special inspector general for the government’s massive financial rescue plan, says U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

Brady is the senior House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee which heard Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky testify last week that the Treasury Department has not agreed to implement his recommendations to increase accountability and prevent fraud within the government’s various TARP and bad-loan programs.

Barofsky is pushing for banks to account for their use of TARP funds and for the Treasury to adopt basic safeguards within the public-private investment program to remove toxic assets from troubled banks.  The potential of “collusion, conflicts of interest and money laundering” within the new program puts at risk significant taxpayer dollars, said Barofsky.

“Secretary Geithner should embrace this call for accountability and safeguards, and direct his team to immediately implement the recommendations contained in the inspector general’s report,” said Brady. “Why has the Treasury failed to act?”

Brady believes that the lack of accountability for taxpayer dollars and absence of basic safeguards within the toxic asset program undermine public and investor confidence in the government’s bailout efforts.

According to the Special Inspector General’s report, “many aspects” of Secretary Geithner’s recent proposal for public-private partnerships to purchase toxic assets “make it inherently vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse.”  Specific problems identified with Secretary Geithner’s proposal include conflicts of interest, collusion, and money laundering.  As the report notes, it would be unacceptable if this proposal “were used to leverage the profits of drug cartels or organized crime groups.”


Press Release #111-8

Contact: Christopher Frenze

(202) 225-3923

©2009 John F. Biver