- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 17, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As the government begins to phase out many of its financial bailout programs, it seems appropriate to assess the cumulative effect that the massive expenditures have had on the economy (“Fed winds down rescues,” Business, Friday). After spending $12.7 trillion to stabilize the financial market, bail out dying companies and restore the confidence of the American people in their financial system, one should expect the economy to be humming along. This obviously has not happened.

The fed’s phaseout does not mean the spending is necessarily over; it simply is taking a new form. The government now plans to step up its plan, launched in February, to buy up bad bank assets in its continuing efforts to spend its way out of the problem.

What the vast array of bailouts has bought is an economy increasingly reliant on the government, an environment where the government wields more decision-making power than it has ever held in our nation’s history. Nine out of 10 mortgages are backed by taxpayer dollars; our largest bank (Bank of America Corp.) and one of our biggest companies (General Motors Corp.) are essentially now owned by the government. Consumer confidence is still low, and loans still are not being made. Where is the return on our investment?

MATTHEW GLANS

Legislative specialist, Insurance and Finance

The Heartland Institute

Chicago

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