My occasional “Least Objectionable Legislator Award” today goes to Michele Bachmann (R-MN) for a solid statement at today’s hearings on the Bailout on Wheels, otherwise known as the House Financial Services Committee Hearing on “Stabilizing the Financial Condition of the American Automobile Industry.” From the statement:
It’s only appropriate that we again total the taxpayers’ current bailout tab: $29 billion for Bear Stearns, $200 billion for Fannie and Freddie, $300 billion to expand the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), $150 billion for AIG, and $700 billion for the Paulson Plan — plus $110 billion in sweeteners to pass that plan.
Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke chose to start this bailout mania over eight months ago. Since then, the American people have been told over and over that the woes in our financial markets will subside. Yet after bailing out bad decision-makers time and again to the tune of over a trillion dollars, our financial markets remain in turmoil.
Throwing taxpayer money at Detroit’s spiraling problems will not fix their long-term management and productivity problems. ….Taxpayers are again being asked to throw their hard-earned money behind a short-term, unproductive investment which will only prolong the companies’ failures at a cost that could be even greater later on down the road. I have received no assurances to date that this money will not simply be down a rabbit hole. None of us have.
Plus, much of the urgency that would force the Big Three to make tough restructuring choices would be reduced if federal money is available. Like AIG, it is easy to predict that they will be back at the taxpayer’s trough in no time.