Debt Wish: Reality Check

January 29, 2013

Debt Wish: Reality Check

Yesterday, Sen. Mary Landrieu defended discretionary spending, claiming it “is not out of control…” despite a report earlier in the day that the Treasury Department had approved six-figure raises for executives at companies that received TARP funds. If Sen. Landrieu doesn’t consider that “out of control,” how bad does it have to get before she does?

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA): “I am not going to keep cutting the discretionary budget–which, by the way, is not out of control despite what we hear on Fox News.” (Congressional Record, p. S322, 1/28/13)

  • A 2010 Congressional Research Service report included the Troubled Asset Relief Program as discretionary spending. (Congressional Research Service, Trends In Discretionary Spending, 9/10/10)

The Treasury Department Approved Six-Figure Raises For Executives At Companies That Received Taxpayer Bailouts. “The U.S. Treasury Department disregarded its own guidelines by allowing large pay increases for executives at three firms bailed out during the financial crisis, a report released Monday says. The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program said Treasury approved all 18 requests it received for executive raises at American International Group Inc., General Motors Corp. and Ally Financial Inc. Of those requests, 14 were for $100,000 or more. One raise, for the CEO of a division at AIG, was for $1 million.” (Marcy Gordon, “Treasury Approved Excessive Raises At Bailed-Out Firms, Watchdog Finds,” The Associated Press, 1/28/13)

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