I was thinking of all this while reading Matt Taibbi’s excellent piece in the recent issue of Rolling Stone “The Real Housewives of Wall Street.” Taibbi writes about the “secret” budget maintained by the Federal Reserve (cue Ron Paul – maybe he isn’t so crazy after all!):
What they (the public) don't know is that there is another budget of roughly equal heft, traditionally maintained in complete secrecy. After the financial crash of 2008, it grew to monstrous dimensions, as the government attempted to unfreeze the credit markets by handing out trillions to banks and hedge funds. And thanks to a whole galaxy of obscure, acronym-laden bailout programs, it eventually rivaled the "official" budget in size — a huge roaring river of cash flowing out of the Federal Reserve to destinations neither chosen by the president nor reviewed by Congress, but instead handed out by fiat by unelected Fed officials using a seemingly nonsensical and apparently unknowable methodology.
Now, following an act of Congress that has forced the Fed to open its books from the bailout era, this unofficial budget is for the first time becoming at least partially a matter of public record. Staffers in the Senate and the House, whose queries about Fed spending have been rebuffed for nearly a century, are now poring over 21,000 transactions and discovering a host of outrages and lunacies in the "other" budget. It is as though someone sat down and made a list of every individual on earth who actually did not need emergency financial assistance from the United States government, and then handed them the keys to the public treasure. The Fed sent billions in bailout aid to banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses. "Our jaws are literally dropping as we're reading this," says Warren Gunnels, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. "Every one of these transactions is outrageous."
With the media overrun with stories about public anger over unions, public employees & their pensions, the NEA, Planned Parenthood and other idiotic nonsense we have Cretans such as Tim “nobody ever told me about self-employment taxes!” Geithner, Ben “I know a lot about the Great Depression” Bernanke, and Larry “the markets are completely self-regulating” Summers printing up money at will, and handing it out to anyone they want to with NO oversight and NO accountability (including millions to off shore “companies” in the Caymen Islands – that’s right, publically funded tax evaders). Couple this with the fact that 26.3% of our tax dollars went to the defense of our country when we have no real formal “enemies” that require this level of traditional warfare and hardware and all I could think of is the great Walt Kelly quote “we have met the enemy and he is us.”
In response to calculating my “Federal Tax Receipt” this year I would ask the President one question; is any chance that some of the 26.3% going to defense could be reallocated to protecting us from our elected (and unelected) officials?