Paulson: On second thought, there’s no magic bullet to this crisis

posted at 4:05 pm on November 25, 2008 by Allahpundit

A magic bullet to prevent catastrophe is, of course, precisely what the bailout was supposed to be. Not that it was going to instantly restore a sick economy to good health, but the tacit understanding was that it would pull us back from a precipice and ensure that we were in for nothing worse than a bad recession. And yet here we are, at the precipice again:

In the short term, the latest effort to steady Citigroup has removed the risk that a sudden failure of the giant bank would send losses cascading through the financial industry.

But longer term, the new bailout could haunt regulators and taxpayers. The move ultimately may encourage banks to take more risks in the belief that the government will step in if they run into trouble…

Before long, anxious investors may start wondering which banks will be vulnerable next. If confidence fades, other big lenders will probably seek deals like Citigroup’s, in which the government has pledged to pick up potentially $290 billion in additional losses. Regulators drafted the plan with an eye to using it as a template for future bailouts…

“It looks like TARP 3.0,” Ms. Whitney said, referring to the Treasury Department’s $350 billion bailout fund known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program. “TARP 1.0 was buying illiquid assets from banks. Now, they are backstopping assets and really putting taxpayers on the line for much of this.”

Small banks with clean balance sheets wonder what they did wrong — and by wrong, I mean right — to be excluded from bailout Christmas. Exit instruction: Read this list. Slowly and carefully.


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The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing,” former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser once said.

sharrukin on November 25, 2008 at 4:07 PM

Fix the economy overnight:

reduce capital gains to 0 – retroactive to jan 1, 2007
reduce corporate taxes to 0 – retroactive to jan 1, 2007
cut income taxes to 10 – for 2008 and going forward
no more bailouts.

Fixed. I’m spent.

Can I get elected now?

lorien1973 on November 25, 2008 at 4:12 PM

A magic bullet to prevent catastrophe is, of course, precisely what the bailout was supposed to be.

Wishful thinking stimulated by fear.

Spirit of 1776 on November 25, 2008 at 4:12 PM

really,I am shocked that an event which is leading to the movement of trillions of tax payer dollars must continue.

rob verdi on November 25, 2008 at 4:14 PM

A magic bullet to prevent catastrophe is, of course, precisely what the bailout was supposed to be.

No. It was meant to shore up some of the larger institutions to keep the entire system ticking over and absorb the shock of derivatives gone bad and avert a panic. It was meant to buy time rather than fix everything.

lexhamfox on November 25, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Thank you, Mr. Obama, for suing Citibank and forcing it to make toxic loans.

“For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh, also shall reap corruption.”

unclesmrgol on November 25, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Exit instruction: Read this list. Slowly and carefully.

Dude.

CP on November 25, 2008 at 4:14 PM

And Just wait until universal health care is passed! We will never hear the word “balanced budget” ever again :-)

terryannonline on November 25, 2008 at 4:16 PM

And yet here we are, at the precipice again

This is what always happens, and is why so many people foresaw it happening this time, too.

FloatingRock on November 25, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Hmm…

Americans have said NO to the Bailout since the start? And Paulson finally has come to this conclusion.

WOW! I guess being a freaking GENIUS isn’t always about being SMART!

Screw it.

upinak on November 25, 2008 at 4:17 PM

A commenter over there…

Obama’s stimulis plan will create jobs improving our state and city infrastructures. That should help bail out some of the debt.

Yep, we are screwed…these are the idiots who vote Barney Frank into a position where he can push idiotic legislation.

And they have NO FREAKIN IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON.

benrand on November 25, 2008 at 4:17 PM

The Naked Emperor.

lodge on November 25, 2008 at 4:17 PM

terryannonline on November 25, 2008 at 4:16 PM

they’ll just move the costs to a 6th set of books to hide it. We have 5 already (the bailout created the 5th).

lorien1973 on November 25, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Fix the economy overnight:

lorien1973 on November 25, 2008 at 4:12 PM

That’s the Somalian state model. Government starved to death sometime in the early nineties, and taxation has been kept at minuscule levels ever since. Word is, it hasn’t worked that well.

factoid on November 25, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Gee thanks Paulson.

Way to clear that up.

Hawkins1701 on November 25, 2008 at 4:18 PM

• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion

Korea = war
Vietnam = war

but Iraq is an Invasion….from that list

jp on November 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Does Walmart sell those giant cans of powdered egg whites or do I need to get them online? Boiled lake water and egg whites….I figure I can lost for quite a while during the “troubles.”

Bishop on November 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Jim Bianco of Bianco Research crunched the inflation adjusted numbers. The bailout has cost more than all of these big budget government expenditures combined:

Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion

KentAllard on November 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM

factoid on November 25, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Only if you believe federal taxes are all that there are.

There is an acceptable level of taxation which we are way beyond. I’m talking about federal taxes. If the states want to have their own taxes on their level, fine. But central planning the economy through taxation does not work. It only creates problems in direct proportion to the level of taxes being collected.

lorien1973 on November 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM

It was meant to shore up some of the larger institutions to keep the entire system ticking over and absorb the shock of derivatives gone bad and avert a panic. It was meant to buy time rather than fix everything.

Nope. It was meant to magically save the stock market, bad mortgages, and poor business decisions all in one fell swoop. Because apparently we modern folks are too delicate and stupid to deal with a recession and cannot possibly budget or act like grown ups. Instead, the market’s gone further in the crapper, the mortgages are still bad, and every badly managed business is in line with its hand out.

They need to stop what they screwed up and walk away..

mjk on November 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM

Exit instruction: Read this list. Slowly and carefully.

W.T.F.

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM

So is it a deflationary recession or is that just a blip and we will get “hyper-inflation” soon, so ‘buy gold and silver’ per Peter Schiff?

jp on November 25, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Exit instruction: Read this list. Slowly and carefully.

I noticed Ben failed to figure what we have spent on the ‘War on Poverty’ or welfare in adjusted dollars. What about the pork our assholian politicians spend every single year, what does that add up to?

Bishop on November 25, 2008 at 4:23 PM

For this upcoming Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks for all those greedy Americans out there.

First I want to give thanks to all those Americans who had to ‘buy’ a house they couldn’t afford. I want to give thanks to all those banks that finance those mortgages to people they knew couldn’t afford those houses.

Second, I want to give thanks for all those Americans using their House Equity as an ATM machine. Without you spending like their was no tomorrow on things like HDTV, Americans might not have bankrupt themselves and the banks. I also want to give thanks to the banks to allow ‘homeowners’ to abuse their Home Equity privilege. If it weren’t for you [the banks] we might not be in this mess.

Finally I want to give thanks to our Congress. I want to thank them for trying to social engineer people into homes Congress ‘believed’ they [select groups of people] had a right to have under their Utopian dream. Without Congress trying to run every facet of our lives, maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t have just bankrupt the best country human civilization has ever seen.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Lance Murdock on November 25, 2008 at 4:23 PM

jp on November 25, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Gold/silver are only valuable if people want to buy them. Canned goods (consumables) are the commodities of the future.

lorien1973 on November 25, 2008 at 4:23 PM

jp on November 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Yeah I noticed that.

Bishop on November 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Egg Whites: http://www.amazon.com/Powdered-Egg-Whites-2-25-Pound/dp/B0006ZN4WU

Water Purifier: http://www.amazon.com/First-Need-Trav-L-Pure-Portable-Purifier/dp/B0002L5AC0?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1206719229&sr=8-1

enjoy

upinak on November 25, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Exit instruction: Read this list. Slowly and carefully.

And not only will it not work, it will make things worse.

FloatingRock on November 25, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Gold/silver are only valuable if people want to buy them.

People have lusted after gold for 6000 years. Don’t count on that changing.

lodge on November 25, 2008 at 4:26 PM

It’s pretty remarkable how these guys are trying to create another bubble to replace the one that just popped.

GoogleFinance had multiple stories today on how Obama is planning to cut wasteful spending out of the budget. That’s promising, if true, but I’ll believe it when it happens.

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 4:29 PM

So, in other words, people who opposed the bailout from the beginning were right.

Can we try doing nothing now?

Enrique on November 25, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Exit instruction: Read this list. Slowly and carefully.

You know, the Louisiana Purchase really was a bargain.

Mark1971 on November 25, 2008 at 4:30 PM

on the Drudge Report, there’s a report of the USA collapsing, and even being broken up into parts. I want to be in the conservative part/states, cause we will succeed. All our guys have the right plans. But, lets move to Alaska, cause its a self contained state. Although the Russian dude said that they may take back Alaska ;-0 NYET!

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 4:30 PM

Fix economy overnight:

1. give me all my social security contributions – gov’t goes into debt for that only.

2. I can pay off half my mortgage. If all borrowers did this, there would be a massive infux of capital to the banks. Both the banks and the consumer de-leverage.

3. With the interest I save, probably 100K over the life of the loan, I stimulate the economy. The financial sector shrinks accordingly, which it should.

4. I then am allowed to put future SS contributions toward my mortgage and get out from under it in 5 years. I save another $100K that I spend elsewhere. The financial industry, not getting that interest, shrinks further. Yay. If everyone were allowed to put their SS contributions (and their boss’s match) towards the mortgage it would dilute the underperforming loans enough for the financial industry to ride out the economic downturn.

5.Now, I’m out from under my mortgage and I’ve still got 20 years to aggressively save for retirement. I’ll surpass the money I would have in SS if I get the house paid off 15 years early and put most of the mortgage money into various saving vehicles.

I just don’t like keeping the banks running with my money, when they screwed up, just to collect interest from me. I can be handed that money first, which is mine to begin with, and then pass on to the banks in order to accomplish the same thing but with considerable benefit to me and the economy I spend my savings in.

shuzilla on November 25, 2008 at 4:30 PM

Lorien, stop. You’re making too much sense.

The government will NEVER come to the conclusion that cutting taxes and spending less is better for the economy than raising taxes and spending more.

jimmy the notable on November 25, 2008 at 4:31 PM

LETS MARCH BROTHERS AND SISTERS! PICK THE DATE AND I WILL BE THERE!

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 4:32 PM

And we can pin a lot of this on one “man”.

Barney Frank.

Lovely, just lovely.

War on Poverty: 87 Trillion, and counting, include thirty large cities along with that.

benrand on November 25, 2008 at 4:32 PM

“Heckuva job, Hank.”

Mike Honcho on November 25, 2008 at 4:33 PM

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 4:30 PM

You aren’t allowed to come up unless you bring these items in large amounts.

1. ammo.. I take 30.06 and bricks of .22
2. Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Doughtnuts (at least 12 boxes just for me) since we do not have them up here.

hmmmm yeah that is about it.

upinak on November 25, 2008 at 4:33 PM

Korea = war
Vietnam = war

but Iraq is an Invasion….from that list

jp on November 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Good catch. I overlooked it. Damn libs.

txsurveyor on November 25, 2008 at 4:33 PM

Exit instruction: Read this list. Slowly and carefully.

All fine and good for the HotAir readership. They understand.

My collie says:

Keep in mind that these numbers mean NOTHING to liberals. They do not understand arithmetic. Never have. Never will.

CyberCipher on November 25, 2008 at 4:34 PM

there’s a chance the CPI algorithim for housing prices is flawed, it currently shows Housing prices are increasing/inflating, when we all know they are deflating.

http://www.optimist123.com/optimist/2008/11/housing-prices-are-not-falling-theyre-still-inflating.html

the Fed makes policy based off the numbers that report gives. Might explain Greenspan and interest rates

jp on November 25, 2008 at 4:34 PM

LETS MARCH BROTHERS AND SISTERS! PICK THE DATE AND I WILL BE THERE!

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 4:32 PM

Time to make our presence felt. How about we start with CPAC — in D.C. in February?

My collie says:

We could descend on it like locusts.

CyberCipher on November 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

that man is a liar. thhhhhhh, thhhhhhhh, iiititttttiitt, uuuuhhhhuuuhhh, thats thinking of a lie to tell the sheephle

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

AMEN, CC & UPINAK, IM THERE. I SWEAR TO GOD. I AM SOOOOO READY FOR THE PROTEST! U THINK IM KIDDING, I WILL BRING ALL I CAN! AND BE ON THE FRONT LINE!

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 4:42 PM

RE: Exit instructions.

That list is out of date.

Bloomberg puts it at 7.7 Trillion and that was before this latest 800 Billion bailout of consumer credit was announced.

This is based on a 3 trillion yearly federal budget, and 8.5 trillion would nearly double the existing 11 Trillion dollar federal debt outstanding.

It would have been cheaper to just give every person in the US $100,000, and call it a done deal.

Skandia Recluse on November 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM

CYBERCIPHER:

I want to march/fight, not sit and be lectured to. I have heard enough crap from the “leaders” I’m sick of it!

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 4:45 PM

The initial bailout money went to buying dtocks in those companies at the years high price, who got bailed out was paulsons freinds. Here is a question for everyone, the bailout money is being loaned to the treasury by the fed. Why can’t the fed loan it directly to those companies? The answer? Because they are putting the American people on the hook to pay back the money that is being given to paulson’s freinds, money they will never pay back. Half those companies will go down in flames anyway but henry’s freinds now have their golden parachutes and the our great great grandchildren will being apying through their teeth to pay the fed back. Welcome to fascist America.

peacenprosperity on November 25, 2008 at 4:46 PM

great grandchildren will being apying paying through

I don’t type well when I’m worked up.

peacenprosperity on November 25, 2008 at 4:48 PM

I’m a 40 yr old married lady w/no kids. I kick ass in the gym, so I’m strong too. I can work all day and night. I am a foot soldier in this army for our country. NOW WHO IS READY TO LEED ME AND THOUSANDS LIKE ME?

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Allah:

No, it was not supposed to be a magic bullet. No one, including Paulson said it would be. I think the reason Paulson and leaders all over the world came up with the rescue plans they did..was because they were trying to stop a complete collapse of the financial markets. That does not mean this will all just go away in the near future.

Terrye on November 25, 2008 at 4:52 PM

You mean Obama isn’t the answer…now we find out.

right2bright on November 25, 2008 at 4:54 PM

“$4.6165 trillion”

………….. on it’s way to $7 trillion?

Time for the American people to say:

STOP SPENDING!!!!

It is time to hold these people accountable!

STOP SPENDING!!!!

It is time to show the initial cause of the problem!

STOP SPENDING!!!!

Let those companies and bureaucracies FAIL, and hold the BAD MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTABLE!!!

STOP SPENDING!!!!

FOR GOD’S SAKE, AND FOR OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN STOP SPENDING!!!

Seven Percent Solution on November 25, 2008 at 4:56 PM

upinak:

Most Americans could and would buy a lot spam before they put gas in the car and drove out to the woods and killed something. If they did, it would probably just be some farmer’s cow. I stopped letting city people hunt on my place because of that kind of thing. Idiots with guns.

The truth is most Americans have no idea how to survive a difficult time. My parents were born during the Depression and they had no money. I mean no money. And there was no real government help either. There were no food stamps, no unemployment insurance, no childrens programs, no medical help..no nothing. They just starved and froze and did without for years.

People today might think that a bailout is a drag, but it is a walk in the park compared to a real honest to God Depression or even a bad recession. It has been so good for so long that most people simply can not imagine what a real bad time is like.

Terrye on November 25, 2008 at 4:57 PM

Magic Bullet = J.F.K.

Seven Percent Solution on November 25, 2008 at 4:58 PM

obvious exit Q #1: how do we pay for this?
obvious exit Q #2: who are Uncle Sam’s largest creditors? Those are our new masters.

Heckuva job, bushie & paulie.

james23 on November 25, 2008 at 5:01 PM

I’m sorry but it is now beyond my comprehension. How can this not be purposeful? I mean. If you wanted to destroy the United States, you could not do it militarily. This would be the most effective way. Was Marx right when he Marx was right when he said capitalism would destroy itself as capitalist would absorb capitalist until they became so big they could not compete.

ronsfi on November 25, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he underestimated the impact subprime mortgages would have on the economy, according to an interview to appear in the New Yorker magazine’s Dec. 1 edition.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aOhTH3DLMX5g&refer=home

These guys are making it up as they go along. This whole bailout sage is one of those “rinse, wash and repeat” drills. We gave them a blank check, and now they can scream ‘Panic!’ and expect that taxpayers will gladly go along with the endless handouts.

The market reacts to what it deems to be positive news, yet in this environment it is short-lived. People are coming to grips with the total cost of this fiasco – not the politicians and their lackeys – people like us.

The only people who truly understand what is going on are the ones who are stuck with the bill. Ivy League degrees are not necessary to understand what’s going on.

Cody1991 on November 25, 2008 at 5:03 PM

Magic Bullet = J.F.K.
Seven Percent Solution on November 25, 2008 at 4:58 PM

Um, what? I don’t know what you’re getting at, other than possibly trying to get banned.

TexasDan on November 25, 2008 at 5:10 PM

Terrye on November 25, 2008 at 4:57 PM

Terrye

Oh I agree. You have no clue how much.

I wonder constantly what would happen if this or that happened. I am no dumby when it comes to such thing. Also, maybe it is the fact I lost my job quite a few years back. Right after I got kicked out of my apartment when I finally got a new job, yet couldn’t pay for the rent. I lived on the streets for a while.. even though I was working. I lived out of garbage cans, stayed at a few homeless shelters if it was cold and used the shower if I needed to. I saved up money from my job that had not clue I was homeless and eventually got a apartment after 3 months on living on the street.

Lets say I had an education in my early 20′s most people wouldn’t want to have an education in. I know how to survive, lets see what others can do if they were in the same boat.

upinak on November 25, 2008 at 5:11 PM

Peter Schiff said on the Savage Nation that the Chinese now have enough dollar reserves to buy out every company in the S&P 500.

lodge on November 25, 2008 at 5:16 PM

C’mon guys, why am I hearing crickets?

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 5:16 PM

Now that most of his friends and Goldman Sachs have been bailed out..sure there’s no magic bullet but there is cronyism, greed and lots and lots of smoke and mirrors, so a gigantic magic disappearing act for our money to save his ass but no bullet to kill the recession.

Speakup on November 25, 2008 at 5:16 PM

Depression 2009.

Courtesy of your Big Government and fair-minded liberals.

The solution….MUCH MORE OF THE SAME

notagool on November 25, 2008 at 5:27 PM

C’mon guys, why am I hearing crickets?

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 5:16 PM

Because you’re too early, yet. Wait a while until everybody, preferably in the entire nation, is screaming mad and then we may have a shot. It’s easier to push something that already has some momentum.

FloatingRock on November 25, 2008 at 5:52 PM

http://www.rebuildtheparty.com/

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 5:25 PM

This is the first time I’ve looked at that sight but from what I saw it looks like an attempt by unemployed compassionate conservatives and RINO’s to re-brand the party in their own image.

They’re part of the problem, not the solution.

FloatingRock on November 25, 2008 at 5:57 PM

hmmmmmm.

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 5:59 PM

compassionate like Bush or Savage? Cause if it’s the Savage type. I’m in!

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 6:06 PM

FloatingRock,

I didn’t see what your talking about. I will keep my eye on them.

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 6:08 PM

compassionate like Bush or Savage? Cause if it’s the Savage type. I’m in!

Mercy4Me on November 25, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Compassionate conservatives like Bush, McCain, Grahmnesty and Steele.

FloatingRock on November 25, 2008 at 6:15 PM

The move ultimately may encourage banks to take more risks in the belief that the government will step in if they run into trouble…

OK, I thought this was childishly obvious the second I heard about the proposed bailout.

…But Henry Paulson is only JUST NOW figuring this out?

logis on November 25, 2008 at 6:35 PM

There is no magic bullet, but there is hard work to do. He’s finally doing what needed to be done in the first place, supporting the markets. Fixed income markets are very illiquid. Hedge funds and mutual funds have to mark-to-market at the end of the day for NAV purposes. If leverage versus NAV is too high, they must sell the next day, whether the underlying securities are mis-priced, or not, continuing the cycle down.

If Paulson gets in there with a dozen traders, he can stop the “dumb” selling (not credit based) in funds that are fixed income holders (Fixed income securities are trading in the 70′s (cents on face dollar) and below although they should never trade below 90 cents unless the company who issued the debt has gone bankrupt).

Get the fixed income market back into the 80′s, which should end forced liquidations in mutual funds, and hedge funds. The added benefit is that hedge funds will also stop being forced to sell other investments such as equities, and gold/silver, stabilizing all the markets.

phreshone on November 25, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Well, there goes Bush’s legacy. There could never be another act of violence in the middle east because the Iraq plan turned the whole area into peaceful democracies. But he will forever be remembered as the guy who destroyed the American economy.

Not that he is to blame for the problem arising; That can accurately be blamed on Mr Community Organizer’s lawsuits against Citibank and others and the lobbying of the Democrats in Congress, to force them to make bad loans.

But he let his cabinet guys and the idiots in congress have a blank check… Which they just gave to their friends in the Executive Suites, and made the problem worse, and worse, and worse. and tomorrow will be worse again.

It is like he decided that after years of (mostly unfair- some deserved) abuse to get even and destroy the economy of America; preempting the Democrat’s plans to do the same thing.

One more trade, hopefully tomorrow, and I should be out of the capital markets completely, forever. I should have done this a year ago when they started losing money; But I was too dang lazy and had a misplaced faith in the ‘powers that be’ to limit the destruction.

I’ll be out soon, on my way to join the guys out at ‘the Gulch’, and I’m going to leave the mines empty and the ore carriers at the bottom of the bay, Just like my pal Francisco.

So Long, Suckers.

LegendHasIt on November 25, 2008 at 6:52 PM

I just love this.
These people are plain thieves.
Thieves and liars wearing suits with lofty titles holding elected office.
They are destroying our nation.
Literally destroying it.
We are watching it all with our own eyes.
I think even President Bush has lost his mind.

JellyToast on November 25, 2008 at 6:54 PM

• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion

Not fair. These actually accomplish something.

drjohn on November 25, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Well, there goes Bush’s legacy. There could never be another act of violence in the middle east because the Iraq plan turned the whole area into peaceful democracies. But he will forever be remembered as the guy who destroyed the American economy.

Not that he is to blame for the problem arising… But he let his cabinet guys and the idiots in congress have a blank check…

LegendHasIt on November 25, 2008 at 6:52 PM

It’s kind of ironic. Bush, Sr.’s Presidency was killed when he promised to fight Congress — saying that he would tell them to “read my lips, no new taxes.” And the media branded him a “liar” because the Democrats in Congress instituted higher taxes.

Now, you could say that both Presidents did indeed “fail” to oppose the Democrats strongly enough – and you would be correct. But the bizarre thing is that Americans then elected DEMOCRATS to replace them. That’s sort of like throwing FDR out for not prosecuting WW2 stridently enough, and then electing Adolf Hitler as his replacement.

It’s been 28 years since Reagan was elected in his first landslide. Will Beltway Republicans ever learn that trying to compromise with collectivists NEVER pays off?

logis on November 25, 2008 at 8:57 PM

Besides cutting corporate, capital gains, and income taxes, shouldn’t a first line of business be to rescind the CRA?

If Obama is going to eliminate waste in the budget, I suggest that he eliminate federal funding for ACORN and similar bleeders of the American economy.

Those failing businesses with their hands out should not be given bailout loans unless they demonstrate a plan for restructuring and their CEOs and CFOs use their golden parachutes as collateral.

The shrinking portion of the population who actually pay federal taxes will be burdened with the debt on these loans well beyond their grandchildren’s time. What will anyone’s incentive be to learn or earn, only to see that effort carry the drones of society? What kind of idiocy is this?

Have these numbskulls factored in the crash factor of entitlement programs bound for failure: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid? And these are the same nitwits that want to saddle taxpayers with single-payer federal government-directed insurance and health care in addition?

Are all of these “jobs” Obama is promising supposed to be government bureaucracy drone work that handles the administration of federal funds?

It was not deregulation that caused these falling dominoes of woes. It was failure to follow the regulations and lack of accountable oversight that crashed our system.

Who in their right minds lends money to people who have minimal to no down payment and/or no adequate income to repay the loan? Didn’t these losers have to pay for private mortgage insurance if they hadn’t the minimum of 20% down when they applied for a loan?

This whole fiasco of failing credit can be laid at the feet of irresponsible people who don’t understand the connection between cause and effect. The do-gooder social engineers whose best-laid plans always result in unintended consequences should be running for their lives, for there are a number of red-hot angry responsible citizens sharpening their pitchforks.

onlineanalyst on November 25, 2008 at 10:54 PM

Paulson makes me nervous through his stage presence

joey24007 on November 26, 2008 at 12:09 AM

So is this dude technically the President now lol

So we have President Bush the Constitutional president
Barack Obama in the newly created “Office of the President-Elect

and Hank Paulson the de facto President of the Economy

right? lol

joey24007 on November 26, 2008 at 12:11 AM