Too Important to Fail

September 29th, 2008 by Rick Drain

Even before the $700 billion (at least) extortion request to save the entire financial world as we know it, we (USA taxpayers) were already on the hook for more than $300 billion1 to save for-profit companies that were deemed “Too Important to Fail.”

Try to remain calm as you think about that. テつ “Too Important to Fail.”

What about US public education?テつ The entire combined State, Federal, and local budgets are the same order of magnitude as $300 billion per year.2テつ Many politicians all over the spectrum agree that many schools are failing.テつ That’s the word they use, “fail.”テつ Why is US public education notテつ “Too Important to Fail?”

What about FEMA?3テつ They seem to have done better with Ike in Texas, but for Katrina in Louisiana they damn near said “let the private sector handle it” until the outrage was deafening.テつ Why is FEMA notテつ “Too Important to Fail?”テつ Why is New Orleans not “Too Important to Fail?”

What about health care?テつ $300B would just about cover buying health care for the USA’s uninsured for a year.4テつ Why is health care for America’s working poor not “Too Important to Fail?”

That’s enough.テつ I’m sure you get the picture.

1 SUM($30B for Bear, $200B for Fannie & Freddie, $85B for AIG) not counting FDIC for “normal” failed banks.

2 For 2004-5, US Dept. of Education estimate is $536B <http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/10facts/index.html>.

3 Base budget around $55B for2005.テつ <http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/02/20040202-7.html>.

4 Estimate: $7500 per capita average health spending times 40 million uninsured.