Meet the taxpayers’ $3 trillion watchdog

Mother Jones
by Andy Kroll

09/30/09

When a haggard-looking Hank Paulson, Jr., then Secretary of the Treasury, assured the American people last fall that the government’s multibillion-dollar Troubled Asset Relief Program wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime, he sounded confident. ‘This is an investment, not an expenditure, and there is no reason to expect this program will cost taxpayers anything,’ he said at the time. Well, that was then. Last week Neil Barofsky, one of the leading TARP watchdogs on Capitol Hill (and a dead ringer for a young Richard Nixon), offered a far less rosy assessment of the largest bailout of its kind in American history. ‘It is extremely unlikely that the taxpayer will see a full return on its TARP investment,’ Barofsky testified to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Barofsky’s thorny review comes as little surprise. As the bailout’s one-year anniversary looms, no one on Capitol Hill has put more pressure on the Treasury to beef up its oversight of the labyrinthine, taxpayer-funded TARP and ensure that taxpayer dollars went to good use...

//tinyurl.com/yelaon3


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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