Bailouts could top $23 trillion — yes, trillion.

Holy Toledo! More than the entire cost of all wars the U.S. has ever fought.  More than the New Deal.  More than the cost of sending a man to the moon.  Almost twice the yearly gross domestic product of the entire United States of America.

That’s the possible cost of the 50 bailout programs to which the U.S. is now committed — $23.7 trillion — according  to Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP). The ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa of California, points out that spending a billion dollars a day back to the birth of Christ would have added up to only $1 trillion. Barofsky’s report is expected to be delivered today to the House oversight panel.

If Congress ever needed a bucket of cold water on its over-heated passion for spending, Barofsky’s warning should provide it.   Some Democrats representing districts where people earn enough to feel threatened by President Obama’s massive new spending proposals, and specifically by proposals to levy new taxes to cover the projected new health care entitlement, are beginning to balk.  The trillion dollars that entitlement’s likely to cost over 10 years — a modest, low-ball estimate no doubt — will soak the rich and, finding that revenue source insufficient, will soak the middle class, too.  Throw in higher energy costs, higher manufacturing costs, and the general increase in the cost of goods and services that “cap-and-trade” or, more correctly, “cap-and-tax” will cause and suddenly the liberal majority begins to look unaffordable.

The numbers are now so staggering that it’s virtually impossible  to grasp them.  Even asserting a variant of Issa’s calculation, spending the entire annual budget of the State of Georgia every single day back to the birth of Christ, would still not equal $23 trillion.  Staggering. Debt will sink America.

190 comments Add your comment

@@

July 21st, 2009
7:39 am

Staggering. Debt will sink America.

Leftists putting their children and grandchildren on the bullet train to socialism without “a care”.

They’re a very selfish lot, Jim.

Copyleft

July 21st, 2009
7:56 am

But trillion-dollar optional wars are still a viable option!

Yeah, the leading REPUBLICAN offered a negative spin on the necessity of fixing Bush’s Depression. Huge surprise.

What did the competent economists have to say?

Mac

July 21st, 2009
7:57 am

Yeah, we need to go back and undo most of these bailouts. They are not stimulating anything, so the government should tighten its belt as we citizens do.

Aquagirl

July 21st, 2009
7:57 am

It’s hard to take any complaints from a Republican seriously. Where the crap was Issa when his party was running the economy into the dirt? Bush’s response to 9/11 was a stirring challenge to Americans to spend more.

What we have now are costs resulting from years of idiocy and avoidance of any responsibility. We’ve been running a bar tab for years. Someone’s got to pay up.

Mac

July 21st, 2009
8:00 am

Yes, Copyleft, this is the Bush recession, no doubt about it. But all of them are culpable and all of them need to make sure we don’t sink permanently in debt.

By the way, wasn’t Wooten supposed to retire and have Kyle “Right” Wingfield take over management of this hotdog stand? And, wasn’t Cindy Tucker supposed to start blogging, too. Guess it’s not just politicians who break their promises.

Ga Values

July 21st, 2009
8:06 am

Both of our Socialist Senators voted for TARP. Saxby got $2,500,000, what did Johnny get?

Churchill's MOM

July 21st, 2009
8:09 am

Wingfield is no Conservative, just another big spending RINO. Why did the AJC hire a liberal who calls himself a conservative?

Class of '98

July 21st, 2009
8:56 am

Actually, spending $1 Billion dollars per day since the birth of Christ would add up to about $733,000,000,000 ($733 Billion).

But I get your point. After a while, we’re talking about real money. sheesh.

matt

July 21st, 2009
8:57 am

This nation needs to stop trying to fix the problem in the middle and get to the roots of it the back bone of America the people, if you used the money to BAILOUT the people this nation would make a quick turn around. I dont ever see it getting better with how these decision makers are driving America in the ground. They give bailouts to these companys but the people are still in DEBT!! While the companys are in the black now we still owe so doesnt that actually double the money the companys get while the people are still in DEBT!!!

Rickster

July 21st, 2009
8:59 am

And yet Joe “Foot-In-Mouth” Biden says we have to SPEND MORE in order to avoid going bankrupt.

Class of '98

July 21st, 2009
8:59 am

Ooops… that was supposed to be MILLION dollars per day.

One trillion dollars equals one thousand billion dollars, so if you spent one billion dollars per day, it would take about 3 years to spend a trillion.

oops.

Not a Math Expert

July 21st, 2009
9:08 am

I think Jim needs to go back to school. A billion dollars a day would make Christ born in 2006. Either you have your math wrong or the date Christ was born. Like so many other things Jim you take something you hear, and run with it before you check the facts

jconservative

July 21st, 2009
9:19 am

And if we sit tight & do nothing on medical care reform, the costs of Social Security, Medicare & Medicade will easily surpass that $23 trillion after all the baby boomers are retired. You folks born after 1965 are headed for the modern version of Dante’s “Inferno” if you do not get the medical care problem solved. Republican/Democrat has nothing to do with the problem. I recomend a Conservative solution, but there are no such people in Washington, DC at present. Not one!

JF McNamara

July 21st, 2009
9:21 am

Wooten,

Can you point us to the actual article. The NY times has this number at a lot less.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/02/04/business/20090205-bailout-totals-graphic.html

Committed: 12.1 Trillion
Spent: 2.45 Trillion

It’s also looking like most of the committed money won’t be used. Perhaps they should quote dollars actually spent and dollars actually expected to be disbursed instead of “Committed”.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2009
9:22 am

Hope all you Democrats explain to your grandchildren that this is your fault since you voted this man into office. You need to explain to them that it’s your fault they are still having to pay for all these ’stimulus packages’ and universal health care.

db

July 21st, 2009
9:26 am

We’re screwed.

WWR

July 21st, 2009
9:31 am

While a lot of the mess we are in stems from the past 10-12 years, neither of those Presidents is in office. I am so fed up with people pointing fingers and not accepting responsibility. How much credibility would anyone of us have in our respective jobs if every problem was blamed on the predecessor, while taking credit for every victory?

Focus: 33% of Americans think that the proposed health care legislation would improve care. Whether it’s $23 trillion (astounding how flippantly the “T” word is thrown around in the past 6 months) or $10 trillion that is an enormous price tag for something one-third of the constituents believe in. The fact of the matter is this is not a partisan issue, and republicans and a growing number of democrats are offering up solutions that would bring positive reform to the broken system, but they are being drowned out by those who are only interested in pushing their agendas. Something that is going largely overlooked is the rhetoric from the Administration does NOT match the language in the House’s bill.

It’s frightening to see over 200 years of personal responsibility, prosperity and selflessness erode into a Government Knows Best society with an open hand.

Tom

July 21st, 2009
9:31 am

Issa and Wooten demonstrate the razor-sharp mathematical acuity we’ve come to expect from our conservative legislators and commentators.

Worker Paying Taxes

July 21st, 2009
9:33 am

And Congress wants to investigate Bush and Chaney for getting information from terrirists on plots against America, but Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are telling us how to turn the economy around?? Shouldn’t these two be tried and impeached for their manipulation of Freddie and Fannie and how they (or their significant others) benefitted from it with high saleries and sweetheat loans. This is the root of the whole mess. Bush should have had a spine and stood up to them instead of backing down when the left said they were heartless and were keeping the American Dream of home ownership only available to the “rich”. No – just those who could be responsible. Now we and generations to come are paying for this failed social engineering experiment. 2010 can’t get here fast enough !!!!!

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

July 21st, 2009
9:34 am

General Motors received three final offers for its Opel unit in Europe,
with Magna International, Germany’s preferred bidder, proposing to take
a bigger stake from its Russian partner.

Captain Freedom's Immortal Soul

July 21st, 2009
9:34 am

Greetings, Wooteneers, this THE Captain calling down from His lofty perch at the right hand of the Lord, Yahweh. We’ve been pretty busy up here lately striking down all those celebrities, and then finding good spots for them up here (or down there, as the case may be). But the Big Guy’s only begotten son saw today’s column and asked THE Captain to speak for him.

Jeezy (he’s in a hip-hop phase right now…I know….kids these days) would like you all to know that if you took those 23.7 trillion dollars in singles and made a staircase out of them, he could have walked those stairs clear up to heaven and avoided all that unpleasantness at Golgotha. And now him and the big guy are arguing again over that “Father why hast thou forsaken” bone that the kid picks now and again.

But anyway, Jeezy just wanted to point out that you can come up with all kinds of brain dead metaphors about how much money things cost now, but he just wishes you lunatics would leave him out of it. He says he suffered enough.

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

July 21st, 2009
9:35 am

Managed care provider UnitedHealth Group said it will pay about $510
million to buy rival Health Net’s operations in the northeastern U.S.,
which include 578,000 members in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

July 21st, 2009
9:35 am

A Southern California resort where American International Group Inc.
sponsored a luxury retreat after receiving federal bailout money has
been seized by Citigroup,

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

July 21st, 2009
9:38 am

T. Boone Pickens, whose hedge fund posted steep losses last year, is
seeking new investors in BP Capital, which has risen as much as 79
percent so far this year,

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

July 21st, 2009
9:40 am

Employees at The Boston Globe voted Monday to accept a package of
concessions on wages, benefits and job security six weeks after they
rejected a similar plan, capping a period of labor strife.

Northern Songs, Ltd.

July 21st, 2009
9:46 am

Hey Class and Tom : Dontcha know math is just another science, and we all know how the cons feel about science.

Dee

July 21st, 2009
9:58 am

The current administration has rendered the ultimate “Argumentum ad Captandum”. By pushing healthcare reform onto the masses,who unfortunately to a great degree do not even understand what it is, a great tragedy is unfolding. There is not any type of program that can be effective and cost efficient when it is rolled out in this fashion. We can point fingers to the previous Bush administration in an attempt to find solace is what it currently being sold – but sold we will be if a program of this type is rammed through. A thought to keep in mind a this unfolds – there are those who do not like to lose gracefully or admit that sometimes it is necessary to step back and re-assess.

Neanderthal

July 21st, 2009
10:00 am

Class of ‘98…. ‘Actually, spending $1 Billion dollars per day since the birth of Christ would add up to about $733,000,000,000 ($733 Billion).’

It has been 733 days? They must have been skimping on math in 98!

gafarmer

July 21st, 2009
10:09 am

Enter your comments here Any number with six zeros or more to the left of the decimal point is huge to most folks.

Ram It Through--We Don't Want 'em

July 21st, 2009
10:09 am

Looks like the Republican fookup since Ragan is going to end up costing us a lot of money. We never should have had any of ‘em in office. They’ll never see the light of day again.

How ’bout that Birther segment of your severly mentally ill party? The hits just keep on coming as the voting public looks for cages in which to permanatly house you pubtards. You nutcases just won’t accept that we have a black Presiident born in the USA who can stomp you. Long live racial bigotry–your ignorance is the gift that just keeps on givin’.

Reminds you of a McCain-Palin campaign event, doesn’t it?

A woman gets up, holding a baggie containing her birth certificate, and unleashes a rambling, minute-long tirade tirade about how the president is a “citizen of Kenya.” The crowd hoots and cheers when she’s done. Castle responds, diplomatically: “Well I don’t know what comment that invites. If you’re referring to the president, then he is a citizen of the United States.” That elicits roars and boos from the crowd, so Castle presses on. “You can boo, but he is a citizen of the United States.”

Ole fat sonny just chuggin along continuing to be stupid spending your money on futile appeals when there has been tight Supreme Court precedent against unplanned Atlanta water hogging in place. An appeal is going nowhere but it will hemorrhage your money, and of course that’s what pubtards do best.

Ole Sax in the hemorrhage money tradition. We”re going to slam the door on his nutcase F22 attempt and do it with pleasure.

dave

July 21st, 2009
10:15 am

Hate to tell you regular contributors of “hate” to my friend Jim’s column but he’s not going away for a long time. He’ll just write his short piece setting on the dock down at the farm and post it online and go back to fishing and let you guys pee all over yourselves. While anyone who is willing to look at what’s happen to the economy knows it’s not (all) Bush’s fault, that same “reasonable” person can see that the current attempt to fix it, is not and will not work. But you guys really don’t care because you can still blame Bush.

Copyleft

July 21st, 2009
10:18 am

Dave: Actually, according to Keynesian economics (the only kind that are proven to work), federal spending IS necessary to make up for drops in consumer spending, especially when interest rates have already bottomed out.

In other words, the stimulus plan is both necessary and correct. Sorry to disappoint you. But then, the far right has a pretty poor record when it comes to accurate predictions, don’t they?

im4ball

July 21st, 2009
10:19 am

so the government give money to instituitions who screw the people and still the economy is in the toilet.

I say just give every registered voter in the U.S. $100,000. This would actually save the Government money and would help the economy more than bailing out companies who failed due to incompetence and/ or greed.

not that the Government would do this but it could fix:

1) much of the housing problem by allowing people to pay their mortgage or others to get into a home
2) get people out of credit card debt.
3) solve problems in the automobile industry by allowing people to purchase cars
4) by helping other industries, businesses would start hiring again which would help the unemployment problem

I know, nice dream but it isnt going to happen because it makes too much sense and that is not what the government is about…making sense

Ram It Through--We Don't Want 'em

July 21st, 2009
10:20 am

Oh No!

“You just ‘cain’t mispell Saint Reagan’s name–the e comes before da a and everuhthing. Alzheimer’s for years in Office is the Republican mantra and style.”

The Bush CIA who has been lying since 1994 got their butts in trouble in federal court yesterday. Ah loves it when Bush deadender lawyyuhs gets in trouble.

Wooten is totally unaware of what happens in a federal courtroom so I’ll educate you.

A federal judge has ruled that government officials committed fraud while defending a lawsuit brought by a former DEA agent who accused a CIA operative of illegally bugging his home.

In rulings unsealed Monday, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth wrote that he was also considering sanctions against five current and former agency lawyers and officials, including former director George Tenet, for withholding key information about the operative’s covert status.

Bush CIA is now implicated by the former head of the FISC court in lying to Congress and the federal courts. Put ‘em in prison.

AtlE

July 21st, 2009
10:23 am

It wasn’t totally Bush’s fault, but he stood by and allowed the corporate vultures to prey on hard working blue collar Americans. Guys like W

Class of '98

July 21st, 2009
10:26 am

Hey Big Bucks GOP, everybody makes mistakes.

Actually, I’m a proud “con” and most cons I know are much smarter than liberals. Even fancy book-learnin like science.

One thing I’ve never understood… how can conservatives, in the opinion of liberals, all be both stupid and rich at the same time?

I guess all those welfare queens that blindly vote for democrats all got perfect scores on their SATs and complete the New York Times crossword everyday, huh?

Conservatives are either rich or stupid. Pick one or the other. You can’t have both. They are mutually exclusive.

deegee

July 21st, 2009
10:27 am

JF McNamara, Surely you don’t expect people to read an entire news article all the way to the end. We have CNN Headline News, USA Today, political sound bites, and now the ubiquitous News Crawl at the bottom of the screen. The American people drink widely from the well but seldom do they drink deeply.

I read the article yesterday after seeing the sensational $23 trillion headline on the Drudge page. What is more disturbing about the Barofsky report is the refusal of the banks to disclose to the Treasury what they are doing with the money they have received. The banks said that it is too difficult to track because the money flows into the bank like water flows into the ocean. Is there still any lingering doubt as to who really runs this country?

howard

July 21st, 2009
10:31 am

It just goes to show you what a really horrible mess Bush made of things and how much it is going to cost us to get America back on track. Let us hope we never go “bush league” again when it comes to selecting our leadership. We simply can’t AFFORD another compassionate conservative who goes to war without provocation ruining our image in the world, while trampling on civil liberties at home,lets Wall Street run a muck and spends like there is no tomorrow without regard to how you pay for it with no real benefit to average Americans. What a mess Bush made of things.

Gordon

July 21st, 2009
10:33 am

Copyleft,

Does Keynesian economics, the kind you claim is the only one that has been proven to work, say anything about running up debt that is a multiple of the entire GDP? No one is asking you to become a republican, but how long are you going to defend the indefensible? Is there anything the federal government can’t afford in your mind? We are a bankrupt nation in more ways than one.

Munch

July 21st, 2009
10:34 am

“Conservatives are either rich or stupid. Pick one or the other. You can’t have both. They are mutually exclusive.”

Alas, no.

One of the central tenets of the conservative program is the continuity of family wealth down the generations. This leads to many obvious examples of the stupid-and-wealthy that ‘98 claims cannot exist. Sen John Ensign, for example, who is wealthy by virtue of his family’s gambling fortune, and who is clearly as dumb as a rock.

Conservatives decry the unfairness of the estate tax, despite the fact that the preponderance of estates do not get hit with a tax due to inadequate size. What they really mean, and what their rube followers fail to understand, is that they intend to preserve the aristocracy.

Conservatives love the aristocracy. Liberals support a meritocracy. Only in a nation as devolved as this one would the masses of people confuse the two.

Class of '98

July 21st, 2009
10:38 am

Howard, did I actually read that Bush “spent like there is no tomorrow without regard to how you pay for it with no real benefit to average Americans”?

Wow. Bush spent more than I would have liked, but it was peanuts… no that’s not good enough… peanut SHELLS compared to what Obama is spending. It’s not even close bud.

And “no provocation” for going to war? The congress (democrats included) passed a resolution to go war based on the intel we had at the time.

But “let Wall St run a muck (sic)?” Ask Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama (all dems) how their “everyone deserves to own a home through Fannie and Freddie” idea worked out. (p.s. the word is “amok”)

Keep believing everything Jon Stewart, Colbert, and Maher tell you. They know the TRUTH, by gosh!!

AtlE

July 21st, 2009
10:38 am

These are Mr. Wootens neighbors and golfing buddies so he has to continue to defend the nonsense that has been going on for decades but really got bad under Clinton and W. But the big problem and will continue to drag down the economy is real estate and the credit markets. They no longer have the little mans money to play with and distribute among themselves and until they come up with the next great American scam and sell it as the great American dream, they’ll continue to use the one common denominator, fear. America will be alright, the guys on top just have to realize that the people gathering the ingrediants and baking the pie, want their fair share too!

Dan

July 21st, 2009
10:42 am

Keynesian economics (the only kind that are proven to work)??
Sure digging a hole and filling it up again will help the economy.
Actually buying into his theories would result in a more feudal system. As far as proven to work you are right, they work spectacularly as an example of what not to do if your goal is a robust economy that improves the lives of everyone.

Munch

July 21st, 2009
10:42 am

Gordon decries the mountain of debt while ignoring the purpose of the spending. I doubt he showed much concern over the mountain of debt incurred by Dubya, whose his pointless and ineffectual tax cut cost more over ten years than the projected healthcare reform would without a public option component. Nor do I expect Gordo was concerned about the money down the Iraq-Afghanistan rathole. Nor the giveaway to big pharma under the Medicaid prescription reform.

Government spending, targeted at areas of the economy that are productive and stimulative, is the core concept of Keyne’s theories. Copyleft is correct that it has been proven effective time and again (despite what the re-writers of Depression history would have you think). And that kind of spending comes back to government through the multiplier effect, as each dollar of targeted spending generates multiples of spending as it moves through the economy. Not so with pallets of greenbacks delivered to Afghan warlords, for instance.

The GOP always cries that government does not work, and whenever it takes the levers of power, sets out to prove its own prophecy through arrogance, stupidity, and corruption. But at least they love Jesus and Real Americans, or some such shyte as that.

Munch

July 21st, 2009
10:47 am

Again, and slowly so the wingtards will undertand…

Keyensian stimulative spending is not about “digging a hole and filling it in”. It is about building roads and bridges, funding education, investing in scientific and technology research. This is why we have an interstate highway system, the Internet, advances in telecommunications, etc. Because of stimulative government spending.

Digging-and-filling is the way the Haliburtons of our world make their money. It is the system that allows Perdue to get rich from real estate ‘investments’ that his official duties enable him to make profitable. But to the wingtards, that is just good ole American entrepreneurial gumption.

booger

July 21st, 2009
10:49 am

Copyleft,

So how does Keynesian economics explain all those recessions which ended without a stimulus. I’ll go with the Congressional budjet Office who says this recovery will take place about as quickly with or without a stimulus.

Sam

July 21st, 2009
10:52 am

Dave: Actually, according to Keynesian economics (the only kind that are proven to work), federal spending IS necessary to make up for drops in consumer spending, especially when interest rates have already bottomed out.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA Keynesian economics proven to work HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Works at getting us into a killing debt load and manipulating markets and creating crippling inefficiencies and manufacturing epic booms and busts and then prolonging them.

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money is economic gibberish. Read some Henry Hazlitt if you want to know the bone-headed truth of Keynesian economics. It’s all about government control of the economy. Bunch of evil-doing good-doers.

Therefore, Copyleft condones funding the warfare-welfare state and giving the government just what it needs to live and breathe and fester – dominion over the sheeple. Copyleft is so indoctrinated it thinks that Roosevelt’s New Deal and WW2 saved the country from the Great Depression.

In reality, the government finally got the hell out of the way after WW2 and people saved – YES SAVED – their money during it, unlike what we are commanded and coerced to do today by our benevolent leadership.

Copyleft thinks the government should conjure up more “money”, have farmers destroy their crops to keep prices up, implement price and wage controls and keep them artificially high, and build tanks and bombs to boost economic output.

Copyleft thinks Bernanke’s doing a hell of a job – like Brownie did. Afterall, he’s a great scholar of the Great Depression. Just look how much he knows – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ79Pt2GNJo

Copyleft – the delusional, sad n’ sorry epitome of modern American ignorance and arrogance. And always showing up somewhere.

Munch

July 21st, 2009
10:57 am

Sam closes his spittle-laced screed with “the delusional, sad n’ sorry epitome of modern American ignorance and arrogance. And always showing up somewhere.”

This is what educated people call “projection”. Whadda rube.

booger

July 21st, 2009
10:59 am

Munch,

Liberals love meritocracy? This is the absolute bane of the liberal dogma. Conservatives have always owned the concepts of individualism and meritocracy.

Chris

July 21st, 2009
11:04 am

The ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa of California is quite obviously mathematically retarded. Spending 1 billion per day, it would take just a shade under 65 years to reach 23.7 trillion dollars. If the “ranking Repug” is that incompetent with numbers, it’s no wonder the economy is in the sh*thouse.