Alleged cost of TARP: $700 billion. Actual cost of TARP: $2.9 trillion.

The special inspector general appointed to oversee the bailout package, the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), said that the $700 billion does not include the additional financing and associated programs run by the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Once it is all added together, the $700 billion sum balloons to $2.9 trillion in taxpayer commitments…

“$2.9 trillion is just short of what the entire federal government spent in fiscal year 2008,” said Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). “It’s like having a second United States government budget, dedicated solely to saving the financial system. And that is truly surreal.”