December 17th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today condemned members of the House of Representatives for voting in favor of what Wilson called “$154 billion bankrupt state boondoggle that is nothing more than a political slush fund for public sector unions.”
“The House has abandoned all sense of decency. No sooner than the banks pay back the TARP does Congress just take the money shell it out to bankrupt states and union bosses,” said Wilson.
“These are not loans to the states and public sector unions. They are Christmas gifts,” Wilson noted. “They will never be paid back. That $154 billion is gone. So much for TARP ‘paying for itself’—Congress has just poured it down the sewer of insolvency.”
The final vote in the House was 217-212 in favor of the $154 billion bailout.
Yesterday, in a letter Wilson urged members of the House to reject the bailout of state governments with taxpayer funds paid back by banks through the TARP.
Wrote Wilson, “Bailing states out of their own reckless decisions is as irresponsible as bailing out poor decisions by investment firms, or GSE’s like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I urge you to vote no on this legislation, which will raid TARP funds in a kickback to public sector unions that donated generously to your campaign coffers.”
This new $154 billion bill includes $48.3 billion in funds for highway construction unions and other infrastructure spending and another $23 billion for public education unions.
The $789 billion “stimulus” bill also contained $53.6 billion to bail out state and local governments.
Speaking on December 3rd in Washington, Barack Obama announced the plan: “Next year we’re going to still have some of those challenges because usually state and local government revenues lag the recovery as a whole. They may need some more help from the federal government.”
Obama indicated the federal government had a responsibility to engage in deficit-spending on behalf of revenue-strapped states. “Frankly, because state and local governments generally don’t have the capacity to engage in deficit spending, some of that obligation falls on the federal government,” said Obama.
“Transferring bailout funds to public sector unions in bankrupt states is the final insult for American taxpayers, who are being straddled with an insane $12 trillion debt that cannot possibly be paid back,” Wilson said, concluding, “Never have the American people been so poorly represented by Congress.”