David R. Henderson  

Shocking News

The Financial Crisis in One Se... Kane's Pledge...

A news story in today's Boston Globe titled, "Auditors Fault Treasury Policing of Bailout Funds," cites a report by federal government auditors at the Government Accountability [sic] Office. The GAO criticized the Treasury for not making sure banks comply with limits set by Congress.

The story goes on to say:

"The GAO's discouraging report makes clear that the Treasury Department's implementation of the (rescue plan) is insufficiently transparent and is not accountable to American taxpayers," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Ms. Pelosi, apparently, is shocked, shocked that such a thing could occur. After all, she did so much to make the Treasury accountable to taxpayers by pushing a bill that would let us get our money back if the government messed up.

Seriously, though, I think her upset is on a par with the upset of those who blindly supported the U.S. government's invasion of Iraq. The standard procedure for most members of Congress is to ignore everything public choice economists teach us about the incentives of bureaucrats, give the bureaucrats enormous power, and then complain when they use that power badly, fail to achieve their goals, create other problems, and transfer wealth to their political allies.

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COMMENTS (3 to date)
El Presidente writes:

I too think it's more show than substance.

There is a tendency to search for a willing martyr when things are expected to get worse. Mr. Paulson volunteered. Pelosi's being a little pompous, but Paulson has been dead wrong on most of what he's done. So, instead of attacking him on substance, she's attacking him on character. Place two nametags in a bag and let them draw to see which one will be "Pot", and which "Kettle".

This crisis had its genesis in fiscal decisions. While Pelosi holds the reigns of the institution responsible for making those decisions, she inherited a bunch of really poor ones made by her predecessors. Nobody wants to hear that though. They just want her to fix it, and she can't while the veto hangs over her like a guillotine, so she's become accustomed to washing hands and placing blame. She'll need to have a different outlook to be successful come January 20. I think she's already working on it.

Daublin writes:

I don't think it's a veto she's worried about. How much, exactly, has GWB vetoed? And why would he step in now? He sure got excited about the bailouts in general.

The root problem is that the accountability Pelosi is looking for is retarted. Only give bailouts... if they don't go to dividends? Only give bailouts.... if CEO pay goes down? These are populist canards, not things that can realistically be controlled. If you want to make a company healthy, you're going to need to pay the CEO's, and you're going to need to pay the share holders.

comsense08 writes:

This is what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum! These folks don't have a clue about what's going on or how to handle it. They are career politicians and the biggest thing they know how to do is blow hard on tv, and blame someone else. It would be so refreshing if we had true statesmen/stateswomen up there who actually felt shame for failing at their jobs. In other cultures dishonor brings about resignations, and in some cases suicide. Hmmmmm, seems the liberals are always commenting how we should be more like those cultures. Here would be a good place to start.
Take responsibility, and when you fail America's trust, resign!
When you hold "leader" and "chairman" in your title, its' nobody else s fault but yours. It goes with the territory. You don't want the blame, don't take the position. Otherwise step up to the plate, and take it like an adult. Right now you sound like the child who got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. It's no wonder congress's ratings are the lowest in history. There is no leadership what-so-ever. Just finger pointing.

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