As the 2010 campaign heats up, a lot of blame has been directed towards the Democrats and, in particular, President Obama for the billions of tax dollars given away to corporations in the form of bailouts.
The facts tell a different story. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, all amounts in 2008 U.S dollars: President Richard Nixon bailed out Penn Central Railroad in 1970 for $3.2 billion, Lockheed in 1971 for $1.4 billion and Franklin National Bank in 1974 for $7.8 billion. President Gerald Ford bailed out New York City in 1975 for $9.4 billion. President Jimmy Carter bailed out Chrysler Motors in 1980 for $4 billion. President Ronald Reagan bailed out Continental Illinois National Bank in 1984 for $9.5 billion. President George H. Bush bailed out the savings and loans industry in 1989 for $293.3 billion.
In 2001, President George W. Bush bailed out: the airline industry for $18.6 billion; in 2008, Bear Stearns for $30 billion; Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac for $400 billion; AIG for $180 billion, including $40 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (T.A.R.P.); the automobile industry for $25 billion; Citigroup for $280 billion, with $45 billion from T.A.R.P.; and established T.A.R.P. for $700 billion, of which $85 billion was already counted above. President Barack Obama in 2009 bailed out Bank of America for $142.2 billion, with $45 billion from T.A.R.P..
Many of us forget that the bailouts attributed to Obama were initiated during the last four months of Bush's term. In October 2008, recognizing the need for avoiding total collapse of the financial system, both presidential candidates -- Sens. John McCain and Obama -- voted for the bailouts. But the economy had already tanked under Bush, and the deregulation orgy, which allowed Wall Street to gamble and lose trillions, went on for 10 years before Obama took office.
Portions or all of several of the above bailouts have been repaid, and some even generated a profit for the government; we do not have space to provide the details here.
As for the totals, Republican presidents are responsible for 13 of 15 bailouts and $1.87 trillion, while Democratic presidents for only two bailouts and $146.2 billion. It's yet another proof of the campaign of falsehoods and misinformation carried out by those that would like to see this administration, and the Democrats fail…at any cost.
For how long will they be insulting the intelligence of the American people? And the media would allow them to get away with it? Why should we give back the keys to those who drove us into the ditch?