“The total potential federal government support could reach up to $23.7 trillion,” said Neil Barofsky this week. He’s the special inspector general for the TARP -- one of the government’s many bailout programs dumping billions upon billions. Say again… this whole mess could put U.S. taxpayers on the hook for just under $24 trillion.
Barosfky’s report was self-admittedly an overblown worst-case scenario… for example, it assumes that every mortgage loan on Fannie and Freddie’s books will go bad and that every government-aided bank will go bust. (Heh, we like this guy).
But we see why he bothered crunching all the numbers for a scenario that will never happen (or if it were to happen, no one would really care what the exact cost would be). This is what your government is willing to do in order to maintain the status quo. Votes for this year’s election are worth $24 trillion for tomorrow’s generation.
So when Congress asked, hey Neil, what’s your real guess? $3 trillion, he responded. Phew, what a relief!