Taxpayers bilked out of $700 Billion could enjoy at least a tiny bit of catharsis yesterday as an appropriately guilty-looking Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson sat before an appropriately angry House Financial Services Committee, which questioned him on the bail-out for, well, that’s part of what they were questioning.
Defending his bait-and-switch sales job of telling Congress and the American people that the Troubled Asset Relief Program would buy, duh, “troubled assets” and then unilaterally changing its approach to “inject capital” into banks, Secretary Paulson insisted, “There is no playbook for responding to turmoil we have never faced.”
Um, ever heard of the Constitution? It’s very clear on what the federal government should do to bail out industries: Nothing.
But perhaps Mr. Paulson is familiar with the document that specifically enumerates federal powers. “Even if you don’t have the authorities — and frankly I didn’t have the authorities for anything — if you take charge, people will follow,” he told the Washington Post.