Friday, November 14, 2008

Zero Accountability = Zero Effectiveness

I should have posted this yesterday. WaPo reports that our leaders are not exercising oversight of the bailout package:

Along the way, the Bush administration has committed $290 billion of the $700 billion rescue package.

Yet for all this activity, no formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste. Nor has the first monitoring report required by lawmakers been completed, though the initial deadline has passed.

This lack of accountability has no doubt emboldended the Treasury Secretary to completely change the direction of TARP:

The original plan was to use the money in the Troubled Assets Relief Program to purchase, as the name suggests, troubled assets, especially mortgage-backed securities. Well, not anymore, Paulson revealed. Instead, the administration decided that buying troubled assets of financial institutions at the current time was "not the most effective way" to use the bailout package.

I am not the least bit surprised that TARP has rapidly evolved into a colossal boondoggle. We get what we pay for.