Darrell Issa: Corrupt Obama Earmarks – TARP Obamas Walking Around Cash

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)  is the incoming chair of the House Committee on Oversight. Today on the Sunday news shows he said the Obama administration has had “a corrupting effect” using TARP funds as presidential “earmarks” and “walking around money.” See the video below.

Presidential Walking Around Money

Issa plans real oversight and believes he may be able to save the U.S. taxpayer about $200 billion.


“When you hand out $1 trillion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus, that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect,” Issa said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“All of that would not have been possible if Congress had done its job,” Issa told CNN Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry. “Instead what happened was we gave President Bush (the money and) President Obama inherited $800 billion worth of walking-around money with no guidelines.”

Remember at the time, Congress gave Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson the unprecedented authority to act as a “super -legislature.” While TARP funds were authorized by Congress to purchase troubled assest from financial institutions, the auto industry was not a “financial institution.” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) introduced a Bill in the House to give the President Constitutional authority for the bailouts, BUT HE COULDN’T GET THE VOTES. The legislation died.

Obama was never given the needed authority from Congress to bailout the auto industry. There was and is no constitutionally-mandated Congressional oversight for Obama’s walking-around money.

This from the CATO Institute:

Indeed, the bailout quite clearly violates the Constitution’s separation-of-powers principle-in particular, what has become known as the nondelegation doctrine, which states that Congress may not delegate its legislative power to any other entity, including the Cabinet departments of the executive branch….A plain reading of that text shows that lawmaking is for the legislative branch, which does not include the Treasury Department. Yet when Congress authorized the bailout package, it gave Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. unprecedented power to act as a super-legislature….

John Locke got it right in his Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690): The separation-of-powers principle means that “the legislative [branch] cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands.” The legislative power, wrote Locke, is “to make laws, and not to make legislators.”

Despite that sound advice, the Treasury secretary is now the one calling the shots as he partially nationalizes a significant sector of our economy.

Perhaps no Congresses, ever, has abdicated their constitutional duties to the extent of the 110th and 111th.

Back to Issa and his weekend remarks.

The Washington Post (click the link to view the video)

“All of that would not have been possible if Congress had done its job,” Issa told CNN Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry. “Instead what happened was we gave President Bush (the money and) President Obama inherited $800 billion worth of walking-around money with no guidelines.”

“It’s more of an accounting function than legal function,” Issa said. “It’s more about the inspector generals than it is about lawyers in the White House. And the sooner the administration figures out that the enemy is the bureaucracy and the wasteful spending, not the other party, the better off we’ll be.”

Issa said he believes he can save $125 billion simply by not handing out money to fraudulent Medicare recipients for procedures that didn’t happen. $125 BILLION! Surely this has gone on for years.

“These are real dollars. Ten percent of the deficit goes out in wasted money – money that doesn’t get one person health care in Medicare.”

The congressman sounds about as fed up with Eric Holder as the rest of us.Talking about the lack of investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into WikiLeaks, he said Eric Holder is hurting the administration:

“He’s hurting this administration,” Issa said of Holder. “If you’re hurting the administration, either stop hurting the administration or leave.”

WaPo heard a lot of “fiery rhetoric” from Issa, but I heard an elected representative of the people, preparing to represent the people.

In the video linked above, Issa talks about an “activist Federal Reserve,” which is taking on obligations without appropriations.  About Czars, Congress will look at Czars, “unelected but trying to run things in government.”

I say, let’s bring it all on.

About that TARP money. I believe it is correct to say that Obama still has a lot of that “walking-around money” in his stash – maybe to be spent on lawyers?

October 29, 2010:

In the final six months in which it could spend money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Treasury set aside $243 million for new contracts for law firms, accountants and money managers to help run what’s left of the bailouts — on top of the $529 million already spent on work by staff, private companies and other agencies. Many of the contracts last until 2019, and there’s nothing to stop the government from hiring even more help if it’s needed to chase down the remaining bailout money.

Treasury’s authority to spend more from the $700 billion fund expired on Oct. 3. The law requires officials to recoup as much as possible of the $185 billion still in the hands of shaky private companies. After all collections are made, the government expects to be out about $51 billion, mostly from housing programs.

How much of the TARP that should have been repaid, has not been repaid? And if it is repaid, how do we keep it out of the stash that has become Obama’s walking around money?

Darrell Issa on Corrupt Presidential Earmarks and Corrupt DOJ (video)

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  • too much corruption MAG! HAPPY NEW YEAR MY FRIEND!!..xxoo

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  • Fightin’ words. I like it.

    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

    • Liberty at Stake: Just noticed that I posted this comment to “Lib:” Note that I fixed it quickly 🙂

      I liked it to. It wasn’t gratuitous. Just a fact as he sees it. I see it the same way.

  • It’s about time someone started calling the Democrats on their spending plans. I hope Darrell Issa sticks to his guns.

    • LD, I’m praying for him and others. We must make headway to clean up both Democrat and Republican damage.

  • If anyone in government had a real job they would fall from the sky. Too much government takeover and corruption in every direction that will never untangle. Happy New Year anyway to all earthlings that work for a living.
    The saying still goes: “You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.”

    • ljcarolyne, hello and Happy New Year! I hope it will be a wonderful for you. I praying that it will be better in Congress.

      • I pray the same. Thank God we don’t have to look at Pelosi’s Botox face anymore with her hammer, that I wished I could have grabbed and #@$%^.
        “If I had a hammer, I’d hammer our a warning, I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out justice all over this land.”

  • liberaldude

    See the idiots on the right love to perpetuate old lies Issa himself has retracted his ‘corrupt’ comment since everyone with half a brain knows TARP was created by Bush and it was indeed a giveaway. At least Obama got them to pay it back.

    A line was removed from this comment by the blog owner.

    • liberaldude: When Issa retracted months ago he said he meant to say the administration was corrupt rather than the president was corrupt. In this video, Issa says the administration has a corrupting effect.

      Bush allowed TARP. Obama spent it. With no proper legislation to do so.

      The auto bailouts have not been paid back, and I don’t believe Obama has used any of the paybacks to pay down the deficit.

      Keep the foul language out of your comments here.

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