Congressman Lacy Clay represents my district. He’s never responded fully to a question. However, I consistently bug his office about federal government spending. The same goes to Claire McCaskill (but I do substitute the appropriate words to directly address her).
Here’s the latest question
Dear Congressman Clay,
As a long-time Missouri, and a first generation Mexican-American, I had two questions concerning the stimulus plan earlier this year and the upcoming votes on the Federal Budget.
(1) How does passage of the stimulus bill in February, which OVERTURNED Clinton’s welfare reform provisions of the mid-1990s, benefit St. Louis taxpayers?
(2) How does the government’s pledge to spend more money this year (in terms of the stimulus package and the federal budget) than what the entire US GDP output was last year benefit St. Louis taxpayers?
PLEASE give an actual response. Your office has never returned this constituent’s questions about federal government spending.
A St. Louis (and Federal) Taxpayer
We have a man who has never run a for-profit company, who cannot even fill out his own income tax properly, now firing the heads of large manufacturing firms.
On top of that, Congress wants to limit “excessive spending.” Hmm…which business or entity has blown (pledged) enough money in the past 70 days to equal that of the US GDP? (see previous posts). How about we have Congress set an example first and allow TAXPAYERS to set their pay grade and perks (like free unlimited health care and travel).
The old Revolutionary War slogan was “no taxation without representation.”
Why not make “no taxation, no representation”? In other words, if you do not pay state taxes, you don’t get to vote in state elections. If you don’t pay federal taxes, you don’t get to vote for federal elections. Why does this matter? Because the type of people who are currently running our government have spent this money money (below) [i.e., I’m betting people who actually pay taxes are more likely to be more careful about who they vote for and how that person/party will spend their money than those that do not. Not a hard and fast fact. Just an idea].
The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.
New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.
The following table details how the Fed and the government have committed the money on behalf of American taxpayers over the past 20 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
— Amounts (Billions)—
Total $12,798.14 $4,169.71
Federal Reserve Total $7,765.64 $1,678.71
Primary Credit Discount $110.74 $61.31
Secondary Credit $0.19 $1.00
Primary dealer and others $147.00 $20.18
ABCP Liquidity $152.11 $6.85
AIG Credit $60.00 $43.19
Net Portfolio CP Funding $1,800.00 $241.31
Maiden Lane (Bear Stearns) $29.50 $28.82
Maiden Lane II (AIG) $22.50 $18.54
Maiden Lane III (AIG) $30.00 $24.04
Term Securities Lending $250.00 $88.55
Term Auction Facility $900.00 $468.59
Securities lending overnight $10.00 $4.41
Term Asset-Backed Loan Facility $900.00 $4.71
Currency Swaps/Other Assets $606.00 $377.87
MMIFF $540.00 $0.00
GSE Debt Purchases $600.00 $50.39
GSE Mortgage-Backed Securities $1,000.00 $236.16
Citigroup Bailout Fed Portion $220.40 $0.00
Bank of America Bailout $87.20 $0.00
Commitment to Buy Treasuries $300.00 $7.50
FDIC Total $2,038.50 $357.50
Public-Private Investment* $500.00 0.00
FDIC Liquidity Guarantees $1,400.00 $316.50
GE $126.00 $41.00
Citigroup Bailout FDIC $10.00 $0.00
Bank of America Bailout FDIC $2.50 $0.00
Treasury Total $2,694.00 $1,833.50
TARP $700.00 $599.50
Tax Break for Banks $29.00 $29.00
Stimulus Package (Bush) $168.00 $168.00
Stimulus II (Obama) $787.00 $787.00
Treasury Exchange Stabilization $50.00 $50.00
Student Loan Purchases $60.00 $0.00
Support for Fannie/Freddie $400.00 $200.00
Line of Credit for FDIC* $500.00 $0.00
HUD Total $300.00 $300.00
Hope for Homeowners FHA $300.00 $300.00
The FDIC’s commitment to guarantee lending under the
Legacy Loan Program and the Legacy Asset Program includes a $500
billion line of credit from the U.S. Treasury.
AND YET, voters still believe that Obama is being “careful with public money.”
* The $787 billion stimulus, gargantuan as it was, was in fact too small and not aimed clearly enough at only immediate job-creation.
* The $275 billion home-mortgage-refinancing plan, assembled by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, is too complex and indirect.
* The president gave up the moral high ground on spending not so much with the “stim” but with the $400 billion supplemental spending bill, larded as it was with 9,000 earmarks.
* The administration is throwing good money after bad in at least two cases—the sinkhole that is Citigroup (there are many healthy banks) and General Motors (they deserve what they get).
* The failure to call for genuine sacrifice on the part of all Americans, despite the rhetorical claim that everyone would have to “give up” something.
* A willingness to give too much leeway to Congress to handle crucial details, from the stim to the vague promise to “reform” medical care without stating what costs could be cut.
* A 2010 budget that tries to do far too much, with way too rosy predictions on future revenues and growth of the economy. This led those who fear we are about to go over Niagara Falls to deride Obama as a paddler who’d rather redesign the canoe.
* A treasury secretary who has been ridiculed on “Saturday Night Live” and compared to Doogie Howser, Barney Fife and Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone”—and those are the nice ones.
* A seeming paralysis in the face of the banking crisis: unwilling to nationalize banks, yet unable to figure out how to handle toxic assets in another way—by, say, setting up a “bad bank” catch basin.
* A seeming reluctance to seek punishing prosecutions of the malefactors of the last 15 years—and even considering a plea bargain for Bernie Madoff, the poster thief who stole from charities and Nobel laureates and all the grandparents of Boca. Yes, prosecutors are in charge, but the president is entitled—some would say required—to demand harsh justice.
* The president, known for his eloquence and attention to detail, seemingly unwilling or unable to patiently, carefully explain how the world works—or more important, how it failed. Using FDR’s fireside chats as a model, Obama needs to explain the banking system in laymen’s terms. An ongoing seminar would be great.
* Obama is no socialist, but critics argue that now is not the time for costly, upfront spending on social engineering in health care, energy or education.
Hope and Change!!!
Thanks to Obama, we now get to pay for other people’s mortgages AND equity that people took out of their homes! Hooray!
Definition of “Home Equity Loan“: Type of loan in which the borrower uses the equity in their home as collateral. This means people used the money to purchase a pool, buy cars, or make additions to their house.
Moral of the story? Be reckless with your money. Obama will use other taxpayer’s money to cover it.
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