Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chart of the Day

From the Heritage Foundation's 2009 Federal Revenue and Spending Book of Charts:

source: Heritage Foundation

Heritage says:
Recently, massive federal government spending on programs such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the 2009 economic stimulus bill, and the bailout of AIG has dazzled the nation with their enormous price tags. However, the cost of the unfunded obligations for Social Security and Medicare are more than 61 times the cost of TARP alone.


bobn said...

Though you are right to decry the unfunded liabilities of the "entitlements", you're missing the boat on Bankster bailouts.

According to Bloomberg, Financial Rescue Nears GDP as Pledges Top $12.8 Trillion :

"The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion...New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks."

The PPIP is simply a more involved, less transparent way than TARP for the government to overpay for toxic assets. Bloomberg has a nice table at the end of the arricle, adding up to $12,798,000,000,000 - and the PPIP is only listed at $500B there, though the text of the article puts it at a trillion.

Carl said...

Well, yes and no. First, here's a link to a CNN site with figures a bit less than Bloomberg, but of the same magnitude.

Using your numbers, I note that over half the $12.8 billion total falls under the Federal Reserve rescue commitments. But the Federal Reserve is largely self-funded; its operating expenses are paid for by interest earnings on securities (May 13th balance sheet). Meaning that the Fed receives little appropriations from Congress.

Obviously, if all the discounted securities and collateral the Fed takes in return for relief fails, its balance sheet will go sour. But that's not quite the same as taxpayer funding. I therefore question the inclusion of all the Fed's bailout activities in the list.

Still, you're right that the total non-Fed bailout commitment is more like $5 billion--larger than merely the three programs Heritage mapped, but still dwarfed by the total Medicare and Social Security liabilities.

Carl said...

Whoops--make that $5 trillion in the last paragraph.

bobn said...

Re the Fed: "operating expenses" is totally different from the losses to be incurred on loans made on toxic assets, of which they have plenty, (though they won't say what it is), and on the additional garbage they are guaranteeing. Becuse the money is *already* out the door on the loans, and the guarantees are already committed to, this *will* come back to haunt taxpayers. And it will do so more rapidly than SS and Medicare, which the reports you quote are extrapolating out to 2082.

Your buddies on Wall Street and their government flunkies in both parties have only started bleeding us.

OBloodyHell said...

> Your buddies on Wall Street and their government flunkies in both parties have only started bleeding us.

bob, they've been bleeding We The People since 1913.
THAT was the thing that started this mess rolling.

Long gone are the days when we had a PotUS with a mindset like Grover Cleveland---

After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there.[92] Cleveland vetoed the expenditure. In his veto message, he espoused a theory of limited government:
"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.".


How did such men of self-evident common sense vanish from the political spectrum to be replaced with the current crop of almost unanimous, across-the-board dunderheads?.

It's too late to fix things, and too early for the hangings.