Thursday, December 2, 2010

Biggest single transfer of tax dollars to corporations in history

That's how Eliot Spitzer described the Federal Reserve's emergency lending programs -- you can call them "bailouts" -- between 2007-10. We learned yesterday that the Fed's loans dwarf the amount of money the government lent the banks in the TARP. And that American taxpayers' dollars went to bail out foreign banks.

Spitzer was commenting on CNN last night with Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. It was Sanders' idea to make the secretive Federal Reserve reveal which banks and corporations it was lending to -- and how much. You can link to the video here.

Americans are angry, Sanders said, because they got nowhere near the kind of help the banks got -- and the banks have done little to help working families. He said,

The average American is sitting at home, his standard of living is declining, can’t afford to send his kid to college, may have lost their home....The American people are saying what is the government doing for me? Do they allow me to keep my house, my job, my savings?
What you have now, he said, is
...large financial institutions who are now doing very, very well, sitting on top of huge amounts of cash, but small businesses in Vermont and all over this country can’t get affordable loans in order to create jobs...
...You got credit card companies that were substantially helped by the bailout saying, ‘oh thank you very much for helping us out, now we're gonna charge you 25 or 30 percent interest rates'...