Thursday, November 13, 2008


Oversight... O V E R S I G H T

Oversight - Watchful care or management; supervision.

I just want to make sure people understand what the word means, and how to spell it, because I am absolutely sure that the Bush Administration has no clue what it means or even how to spell it.

When Congress approved the Treasury's massive bailout of financial firms they mandated all kinds of oversight on the Bush administration

This shouldn't be a surprise. The Bush administration took years to provide any real oversight of the situation in Iraq. They have provided no oversight of the reconstruction of New Orleans. There was no oversight of the economy as it slipped into a financial crisis. Basically for the last 8 years there has been no oversight of the country. So, it should not come as a surprise that there has been no oversight of the bailout:

In the six weeks since lawmakers approved the Treasury's massive bailout of financial firms, the government has poured money into the country's largest banks, recruited smaller banks into the program and repeatedly widened its scope to cover yet other types of businesses, from insurers to consumer lenders.

Along the way, the Bush administration has committed $290 billion of the $700 billion rescue package.

Yet for all this activity, no formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste. Nor has the first monitoring report required by lawmakers been completed, though the initial deadline has passed.

"It's a mess," said Eric M. Thorson, the Treasury Department's inspector general, who has been working to oversee the bailout program until the newly created position of special inspector general is filled.

"I don't think anyone understands right now how we're going to do proper oversight of this thing."

Congress put into law that there should be layers of oversight and scrutiny, including a special inspector general who was to be nominated by the White House and a congressional oversight panel to be named by lawmakers themselves. I understand there was an election, but it is time to get to work and get oversight of this process. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is proving that this job is beyond him (though to be fair it is probably beyond pretty much everyone), and we as a nation are spending a lot of money, there needs to be oversight of this. The special inspector general's position needs to be filled, and nominations need to be made for the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel. Time is passing us by, and billions are being wasted.

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