When it comes to wasting money, the United States has become the champion. There simply is nobody better at it. Whether it is the billions wasted in the Wall Street bailout, the billions wasted in the reconstruction of Iraq or the billions wasted in frivolous government spending, there is no match anywhere in the world for the incredible skill that the U.S. government has for flushing money down the toilet.
First, let's talk about the Wall Street bailout.
The U.S. government gave the banks 350 billion dollars, but nobody seems to know where it went or what is being done with it.
When JPMorgan Chase was asked what they did with 25 billion dollars that they were given, they had the following to say about it:
"We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to."
25 billion taxpayer dollars go to them and they tell us to stick it?
The Associated Press actually contacted 21 banks that received at least 1 billion dollars from the U.S. government and asked them the following questions.....
How much has been spent?
What was it spent on?
How much is being held in savings?
What's the plan for the rest?
So how many of those banks provided specific answers to the Associated Press?
So do we have any clues where the bailout money went?
Well, according to one study, banks that got taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits in 2008.
Hmm.....my bonus was a 50 dollar gift card.
Somehow I feel ripped off.
Are we supposed to feel good that all those fat cat executives got their bonuses on time?
The reality is that U.S. politicians have given a massive 700 billion gift to the major Wall Street banks.
Americans were told that they "had" to pass the bailout bill "or else" they would face serious consequences.
And so how is all of this money being spent?
Much of it is going to executive bonuses and "picking off" smaller banks.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the major Wall Street banks owe their executives more than $40 billion in pay and pensions that these firms fully intend to deliver to them.
Here are just a few examples of what these firms owe to their executives.....
Goldman Sachs: $11.8 billion
J.P. Morgan Chase: $8.5 billion
Morgan Stanley: approximately $10 billion to $12 billion
The American people should have stood up and DEMANDED that NO taxpayer money go to these executives. Instead, Barack Obama and John McCain pushed through a bill loaded with pork that will end up benefiting Wall Street executives more than it will benefit the average guy on main street.
The bailout bill contains "some" restrictions on future bonuses, but according to the Wall Street Journal, "the rules won't affect what the banks already owe their executives."
Wall Street executives also are admitting that this bailout money is not going to go for loans, but rather to pick off smaller banks.
Just listen to what one JP Morgan executive said about the bailout money during a recent conference call that New York Times reporter Joe Nocera was listening in on:
“What we do think it will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling. And I would not assume that we are done on the acquisition side just because of the Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns mergers. I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way and obviously depending on whether recession turns into depression or what happens in the future, you know, we have that as a backstop.”
Did you get that?
JP Morgan is talking about using 25 billion in bailout money to acquire more banks.
It is supposed to be used to loan money to regular Americans!
But this is what the same executive said about that later on in that conference call:
“We would think that loan volume will continue to go down as we continue to tighten credit to fully reflect the high cost of pricing on the loan side.”
Do you get that?
JP Morgan has NO INTENTION of increasing loans!
Do you understand?
"Continue to tighten credit" means that they intend to loan LESS money.
So why in the world is the U.S. government giving them bailout money?
Meanwhile, recently bailed out Bank of America just blew 10 million bucks down at the Super Bowl.
I guess that it what they mean by stimulating the economy.
On another front, it is now being revealed that billions upon billions of dollars have been totally wasted in the reconstruction of Iraq.
It's bad enough that we had to pay to blow Iraq up and pay to put it back together, but now they are telling us that billions and billions was simply "wasted"?
But the federal government wastes money every single day in a thousand different ways.
Just check out some of the ways that the U.S. government spent money in 2008.....
$1,529,220 for an Appalachian Fruit Lab.
$742,764 for olive fruit fly research. $211,509 of this amount was to be spent in Paris, France.
$172,782 for the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield, S.C.
$1,128,000 for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Alaska Eagle River for an at-risk youth mentoring program. That is one expensive Big Brother program! There must be a lot of at-risk youth in Alaska.
$50,000,000 for REAL ID grants. Got to be sure to track and trace those unruly American citizens!
$123,050 for a Mother's Day Shrine in Grafton, West Virginia (population 5,489, with a land area of 3.8 square miles).
Those are just a few examples. The list could literally go on for pages and pages.
The point is that the United States is squandering the future by wasting money like it never has before.
But this is what happens to a society in decline.
America is falling apart and most people are just sitting there and doing nothing about it.