Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Real Transparency

As suggested by Anthony Randazzo:
Mr. Obama should press for a complete, itemized—and publicly available—list of how much money taxpayers are already on the hook for to bailout failing entities. There are so many different bailout-related programs—TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program), Federal Reserve programs, auto bailouts, and investment guarantees—that we don't have a firm dollar figure. No one knows exactly what to count. Different sources have given different estimates that vary by as much as $1 trillion or so. The New York Times, in December, calculated bailout spending to be $7.8 trillion. CNBC thinks it is about $7.3 trillion. If you count all the taxpayer money spent in 2008 on bailouts, including the $150 billion stimulus in the spring of 2008 and the early bank rescues, such as IndyMac, the figure rises to over $8.4 trillion.

During the campaign, Mr. Obama talked about "putting the government online" and he has already announced a website for stimulus spending—
UPDATE: Here is $192 billion worth of TARP injections. Of course, that's less than 10% of what the government has financed.

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