22 February 2010

Transparency? Nah, Who Needs That?

Apparently having an Inspector General tasked with catching sticky little hands in the TARP cookie jar is too much government for the Obama Administration. At the end of January, the IG released its report on TARP, stating that it had failed to meet many objectives. Apparently that hit a little too close to home.
'While the administration has not yet finalized its legislative proposal for the $30 billion program, Allison indicated to Barofsky last week that his office would not have any oversight of the program. "I was surprised to learn from you Wednesday that Treasury is contemplating excluding SIGTARP from the oversight provisions of its legislative proposal concerning the Small Business Lending Fund, contrary to what you previously told us," Barofsky wrote in his letter to Allison. Only two weeks ago Allison had indicated to Barofsky that the watchdog would "expressly have jurisdiction over" the small business effort, but that all changed last week. The about-face, Barofsky said, was "a curious change". To exclude Barofsky's office from oversight, he warned, would be "contrary to the best interests of the taxpayer."'
This presents the same kind of Administrative thinking that allows the President to declare he wants an open, transparent, bipartisan dialogue on health care reform (live on Thursday), while simultaneously setting up to go the reconciliation route. One wonders how far the Congressional Democrats will let him go before refusing to be cannon fodder for a plan and way of thinking the public has rejected.
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