General Motors and Chrysler, so the story goes, have repaid the dollars the federal government loaned them to keep them from going belly up. Therefore, it is said, every American should ignore the nagging constitutional and ethical questions and applaud the government’s efforts to turn these companies around. After all, what is more important: some yellowed piece of parchment or, as President Barack Obama put it, “millions of jobs [that] wouldn’t have been around anymore” if Uncle Sam hadn’t stepped in?
President Barack Obama has lately been touting the government’s takeover of two of the Big Three automakers as an unqualified success. This is not surprising considering the large hand he had in it; nor is it surprising that his statements on the subject have been less than forthright.
Economists Richard M. Ebeling and Matthew J. Slaughter testified before the House Monetary Policy Subcommittee May 11 and agreed that spending must be cut to avert a financial catastrophe, but disagreed about the risks of failing to raise the national debt limit.
Need more proof — besides the staggering national debt — that the federal government is totally incompetent in fiscal matters? Three years after the feds took over their already failing “government-sponsored enterprises” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage companies are still bilking taxpayers in order to stay afloat — and Fannie’s rescue is now slated to become “the most expensive bailout of a single company” in history, the Associated Press reports.
The state of Alabama was already struggling with high unemployment when it was pummeled by tornadoes last week. As businesses and homes have been destroyed by the twisters, many residents in the region are struggling to recover from the devastation without their jobs.
Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke told reporters at the Fed's first ever press conference April 27 that the Fed's Open Market Committee will not change existing policies that are suppressing interest rates to nearly zero and will complete purchase of $600 billion in federal government debt securities. Bernanke also predicted inflation will stay under control and the economy will grow only slowly for three more years.
"I'm sure the rising cost of energy is bothering the market," said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D. A. Davidson & Company last week. "I do think the uptick in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer spending in the next few quarters."
The University of Texas decided this week to take physical possession of some 664,000 ounces of gold it has bought over the past year, a quantity valued at nearly $1 billion as gold passed $1,500 per ounce Wednesday.
Speculation over the length of conservative pundit Glenn Beck’s tenure at Fox News has pervaded media circles and conservative blogs almost since the first days of his appearance on the news channel. As Beck’s contract is set to expire in December of this year, it appears more likely that Beck may leave Fox News and possibly start his own channel.
On February 4, 2009, President Barack Obama signed legislation establishing a $500,000 limit on executive compensation at firms receiving federal aid through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. “In order to restore trust” to our financial system, Obama said during the signing ceremony, “we’ve got to make certain that taxpayer funds are not subsidizing excessive compensation packages on Wall Street. He referred to these “lavish bonuses” for executives at failing firms as “the height of irresponsibility” and “shameful” — “exactly the kind of disregard for the costs and consequences of their actions that brought about this crisis.”
Even after the Cash for Clunkers program failed, the federal government refuses to give up. It is now launching Cash for Clunkers 2, this time for “green vehicles.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the proposal has delighted General Motors.