Friday, April 8, 2011

Government Bail Out vs. Shut Down

It looks like we're going to have a Newt Gingrich style government shut-down this weekend.  A friend of mine, who will be affected by this if it happens, mentioned that it seems like this is fall-out for the bail-outs.

I've heard various things about the Government bail-outs of banks, auto makers and mortgages.  So, I did a quick search, and found a really great article over at ProPublica.  This is a list of who still has money, and who paid money back already.

To me, I find it cool that it combines the 700 billion dollar "TARP" Bank Bailout bill, the 400 billion dollar "Housing and Economic Recovery" Mortgage bail-out and the 82 billion dollar "Automotive Industry Financing Program".

Bottom line, for all that promised money, the Government actually spent 619 billion dollars, and after so much talk of it being paid back, the US Government is still waiting for 305 billion dollars (specifically $305,505,533,784).

But what does 305 billion dollars have to do with the current Government Shut-down?  Well, from the best I can tell, nothing.  The current shutdown is about the Tea Party holding Republican senator's feet to the fire, and Democrats not understanding how serious the new majority party is about cutting spending. CBS News is reporting today that last night, Democrats had agreed to cut 35 billion in spending, but that the Republicans are not yet satisfied.

To me, I think that it's likely that a deal will happen today.  Spending cuts can be reported, so the Republicans will be able to tell their constituents that they got something done, and Obama and other Democrats will be able to pat themselves on the back about how they reached across the aisle to include the concerns of their Republican friends.

Maybe one of those spending cuts will include my friend's job.  All the talk about government workers, and government spending, usually forgets that this is directly screwing with people's lives.

3 comments:

  1. Should the US Government (or any government for that matter) “bail out” the residents & businesses in the storm devastated Southern states?

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  2. Inspector,
    The precedent was set at least as far back as Calvin Coolidge's day that extra-ordinary natural events will release emergency aid funding. I don't question that, but maybe I should?
    Of course, it also begs the question, what is FEMA for?
    It does make me think.

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  3. Somehow I missed this, back in the day. Thanks for talking about how the individual worker can be affected by these political debates in Congress.

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