Were we fooled?

You will recall that the two auto companies that were significantly bailed out by your tax dollars have triumphantly proclaimed that they have paid back their loans.

Were we fooled? Almost all of the bailout was a gift; a small part of it was a loan. I think we also got some stock, which “we” sold at a loss. Claiming to have paid back in full is a bit much, eh?

You will note that the Obama administration was unwilling to let the Bush tax cuts, mostly for the rich, expire. That seems to be because those cuts included small tax cuts for middle America.

Were we fooled? Did the Bush administration generously put in small cuts for the middle class, or was it a ploy to make the expiration of all the cuts less politically palatable?

The strategy in the two cases is similar.

There are other instances of bundling one thing with another, apparently to mislead the public.

I have a bad memory about the ? 787 billion dollars in the first bailout of the US finance industry. My bad memory is about the number of earmarks that were attached to the legislation enabling the payout. I believe the number of earmarks was some 900, which is more than two per congressman.

Were the American taxpayers fooled? Did every jurisdiction, pretty much, get a bonus supplied by its representative, in the form of a spending project in his electoral district? As part of an emergency bailout of bankers who would, shortly after the recovery, bonus themselves generously again?

Were we fooled?

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