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The Fiscal Cliff: Debating in the Dark?

Why has the Treasury Department changed the date of a forthcoming economic report so that it will come out after Congress has debated the fiscal cliff? Will Congress be debating about the fiscal cliff in the dark? The fiscal cliff isn’t a cliff, but many people believe the impending improvement in the government’s fiscal situation [...]

The Week’s New Laws

With Congress continuing its spring break next week, let’s pause to look at the new laws President Obama signed last week, some consequential, some not. Public Law 112-103 is called “the HALE Scouts Act.” It conveys approximately 140 acres of land in the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma to the Indian Nations Council, Inc., of [...]

Sorting Out How They’re Trying to Sort Out the Economy

We’re overdue here to discuss the big announcement this past week about how the government plans to sort out the “toxic assets” that have been preventing new lending and slowing down the economy. Now, first things first: “toxic assets,” which were first referred to as “troubled assets,” will now be called “legacy assets.” See? Things [...]

Enjoying Those Girl Scout Cookies?

S. 451 would require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Mmmmm. Mint.

The Bailout Money is a Slush Fund

“[T]roubled assets from any financial institution.” That’s what the financial services bailout bill allowed the Treasury Department to buy: “troubled assets from any financial institution.” They were talking about bad mortgages. But then the money got used to buy pieces of financial institutions themselves. Some Members of Congress raised a stink when word circulated that [...]

Following the National Debt on Twitter

I’ve done a couple posts here on the national debt – the inability of the national debt clock in New York City to handle the rollover to $10,000,000,000,000.00, and the freezing of the Treasury Department’s online national debt clock, now resolved. The other day, through the WashingtonWatch.com Twitter feed, I discovered a service that will [...]

The Bailout Secrecy Game

The news on Friday and over the weekend was that the Treasury Department will not announce which banks are getting cash infusions in the next portion of its modified bailout program. The standard line is that Treasury announcements about our “investments” in the financial sector are being restricted because those announcements would label winners and [...]

Bailout Scandal: Undisclosed Sums Paid to NY Mellon Bank

Just two weeks after the passage of the bailout bill, and one day after a Treasury Department official declared, “we are committed to transparency and oversight in all aspects of the program,” the Treasury Department began covering up the amount it would pay to New York Mellon Bank to act as a financial agent in [...]

National Debt Clock – Broken!

On Saturday, I wrote here about how the National Debt Clock in New York City had run out of space. Things have taken a turn for the worse. The U.S. Treasury’s version of the national debt clock is broken! A visitor to this site emailed me today to point out that TreasuryDirect’s “Debt to the [...]

Bailout Bill in the House Rules Committee

Representative Spencer Bachus (R-AL) is before the House Rules Committee arguing that the Treasury Department can’t even use all of the $700 billion that the bailout legislation would authorize. At most, it could move $50 billion per month. Congress can allow Treasury some of the money, take a look later at a couple of months [...]