The costs of Washington’s bailout fiesta are now so huge, you can see them from space.Agreed--but I still hear liberals wrongly blaming the recession on the relatively modest spending for the Iraq war.
The latest number, which includes the Citigroup rescue, is $7.7 trillion. That’s roughly half of America’s GDP.
In fairness, it’s impossible at this point to know the full costs of the various financial rescue efforts because, for example, some of them involve mere loan guarantees, which may cost nothing.
Still, any way you slice it, we are talking about really, really large amounts of money here. Barry Ritholtz, a financial blogger and Wall Street analyst, offers some perspective. Adjusting for inflation, the Marshall Plan cost $115.3 billion. The Louisiana Purchase: $217 billion. The race to the moon: $237 billion. The New Deal: $500 billion (estimated). The Korean War: $454 billion. The Iraq war: $597 billion.
You can add all of these things together and still not come close to what taxpayers are on the hook for already. You could even throw in the Savings and Loan bailout ($256 billion), the Vietnam War ($698 billion) and all of NASA ($851 billion) and still come up short.
Given these commitments, as Apollo from Federalist Paupers says, "Why not just have a bailout of $∞?"