On Sunday, the CBS News website reported that some $1.6 Billion of the October bailout money was spent on bonuses, stock options, and country club memberships. Some information on this disgusting abuse of taxpayer dollars straight from the article:
The rewards came even at banks where poor results last year foretold the economic crisis that sent them to Washington for a government rescue. Some trimmed their executive compensation due to lagging bank performance, but still forked over multimillion-dollar executive pay packages.
Benefits included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships and professional money management, the AP review of federal securities documents found.
The total amount given to nearly 600 executives would cover bailout costs for many of the 116 banks that have so far accepted tax dollars to boost their bottom lines.
Seriously, is anyone surprised by this information? A few months ago I suggested that the bailout would be doomed. Anyone could have seen this coming. Who in their right mind would trust the government with such a gigantic dollar amount? It’s insane. Did everyone forget that this is the government?!
The better way to have used that bailout money would have been to give each American a stipend a la the Bush stimulus check from last spring. Why would this have been a better use of the money? Because regular citizens know where they need financial assistance and how best to spend their tax dollars. When you leave the doling out of $350 billion (only half of the $700 billion bailout has been deployed) to the government, you’re essentially asking for the whole thing to go to shit.
And it has. Great!