November 14, 2008
This headline in yesterday’s Washington Post got my attention: “Bailout Lacks Oversight Despite Billions Pledged; Watchdog Panel Is Empty; Report Is Unfinished.”
In the six weeks since Congress approved the Treasury Department’s massive bailout of financial firms, the government has poured money into the country’s largest banks, recruited smaller banks into the program and repeatedly widened its scope to cover yet other types of businesses.
So far, the Bush administration has committed $290 billion of the $700 billion rescue package (which is really $850 billion when you include the pork). Yet for all of this activity, no formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste.
This is an outrage on top of many outrages, but it’s what happens when the government spends other people’s money. They don’t care and the next election is two years away. They hope we will forget. Now Democrats want more to bailout Detroit. When will it end? And who will end it?
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.