Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Citizen Stimulus and Bailout Committee

"Stimulus", "bailout", whatever they call it, it is going to cost us a pretty penny (plus interest). Wouldn't we have a wise and "transparent" government if they were to incorporate a committee of citizens in various industries across the country to audit and evaluate who and how regarding stimulus and bailout? After all, it is the taxpayers' money.

In the circumstance of the auto bailout, wouldn't it be prudent that they incorporate an actual audit of those companies receiving consideration for the money? Or are they just going to take the executives at their word.

The actual $700 billion bailout (TARP) was supposed to receive an audit of sorts in early December. But, no matter where or how I searched, I could not find any specifics on the actual grade, review, audit, or otherwise. So, what has become of that money? Shouldn't we be privy to that information, since it is our money (plus the interest of at least 5% that we will owe some foreign country, most likely China)?

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted the notion of a 'car czar' to supervise an auto industry bailout, saying Tuesday that Big Three executives haven't adapted well to changing conditions." -- December 9, 2008, Associated Press

Without and audit, how does Congress expect to know how much total taxpayer money will be needed to help General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. to actually survive. After all, they are telling Congress that they need "a total of $14 billion to $15 billion to survive through early 2009". What happens after that?

"Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Stakeholders in the U.S. auto industry must show they're willing to sacrifice if assistance funds are to be allotted, a White House spokeswoman said Tuesday." --, Business News, December 16, 2008

Sure, they should make sacrifices, but what do they mean by "show they're willing to sacrifice"? Does that mean that they have to take business class airfare? Or does that mean that they have to drive themselves in their own brand of car instead of taking a limo? When you are talking about executives that "haven't adapted well to changing conditions", what are they going to consider change and sacrifice, versus what actually needs to be accomplished in our reality.

"(If) we're going to use taxpayer financing to assist the automakers, all stakeholders are going to have to come to the table and be willing to show that they are capable and willing to make really tough decisions about the way forward," spokeswoman Dana Perino said. "(We) need them to become viable, competitive firms in the future, and in order to do that, concessions are going to have to be made by stakeholders." --, Business News, December 16, 2008

When there is a Washington machine committee put together to evaluate this issue of "concessions" and "sacrifice", are they really living in reality enough to evaluate the issue? Or would it be more prudent to have some actual citizens involved in this process...people who are in various working industries and conditions around the country? After all, it is our (the taxpayers') money.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are preparing a massive economic recovery bill in the range of $600 billion.

It would blend immediate steps to counter the slumping economy with longer term federal spending on infrastructure like energy efficiency projects.

The California Democrat told reporters that economist Mark Zandi has recommended to Democrats an economic stimulus in that range -- including $400 billion in infrastructure and $200 billion for tax cuts.

Pelosi says
Capitol Hill Democrats
are already "hard at work" writing a stimulus measure to pass next month. It's expected to combine tools like tax cuts and help to states suffering from big budget deficits with infrastructure projects like road and bridge repairs." -- The Associated Press, December 16, 2008 (note: italics added)

If you are not worried about future ramifications of all of these "stimuli", you should be. If it were as easy as just printing more money, that would be easy and we would not have these recessionary, depressionary, devaluationary, deflationary concerns. However, in the end, the buck stops with you and I...literally. In the end, since the money is coming from you and I, wouldn't you rather see a committee of folks who are a part of the various working industries around the country, and not just those who are a part of the Washington D.C. system?

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