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.
Does anybody remember the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY?Yeah… It was a nifty little thing invented during theCarter Administration?
Somebody…? Anybody…? Anything? No?
It was very simple really, and at the time (like now, with the bailouts and the list of companies who want some multiplying like bacteria in a moist, heated petrie dish) everybody thought it the perfect solution to a growing problem.
The Department of Energy was instituted on August 4th in the Year of Carter… 1977. It’s purpose… To reduce our dependence on foreign oil. What a concept, ey?
Okay… fast forward…
On February 6th of 2006, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman announced President Bush’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Budget for the Department of Energy, which requested the budget rise to $23.6 billion… a $124 million increase over the previous request… all said to be necessary to improve America’s energy security while protecting our environment. These additional funds were to “directly advance the goals of the Advanced Energy Initiative, which aims to break America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy; and the American Competitiveness Initiative, which encourages innovation to strengthen our nation’s ability to compete in the global economy” and blah, blah, blahblahblah.
In 1980 the budget for the DOEwas $8,422,000.001985 = $12,815,0001990 = $14,991,000and in 1995 the budget had risen to $18,453,000.00
It is now 2008, 31 years later.
The Budget for the DOE is now AT $24.3 Billion a Year.
With a $24 billion budget, approximately 115,000 employees… Why are the problems they were supposed to resolve getting bigger?As far as I can see… we have a whole bunch of people screaming about (and threatening to tax the hell out of us for) Global Warming, we are even more dependent on foreign oil than we were 30 years ago and not one viable alternative energy source has even been discovered let alone developed into a useful state…
In spite of the utter failure of the DOE, this embarrassment of an idea was voted one of “The Best Places to Work in The Federal Government” in 2007
Yeah… This is where you smack yourself on the forehead and ask why in God’s name we would even THINK of turning over the Banking system over to the same people in charge of the DOE.
… and don’t even get me started on Healthcare…