Your TARP Money at work - Pork for Barney Frank

We have been told we are in a horrible financial crisis that might bring down the banking system in America. Worse than the 1980 recession, worse than the post war recession - almost as bad as the depression of the 1930's we are told time and time again.

This kind of scare mongering, not surprisingly, has the American people clamoring for government to DO SOMETHING! Hence, bailout after bailout where we, the taxpayer, have hardly a clue as to where the money is going and for what purpose.

Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that we have finally tracked down where some of the money is actually being spent.

The bad news is that Barney Frank who is playing politics as usual, porked $12 million in an earmark to some banking cronies in his home district:

Troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston didn't look much like a candidate for aid from the Treasury Department's bank bailout fund last fall.

The Treasury had said it would give money only to healthy banks, to jump-start lending. But OneUnited had seen most of its capital evaporate. Moreover, it was under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use.

Nonetheless, in December OneUnited got a $12 million injection from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. One apparent factor: the intercession of Rep. Barney Frank, the powerful head of the House Financial Services Committee.

Mr. Frank, by his own account, wrote into the TARP bill a provision specifically aimed at helping this particular home-state bank. And later, he acknowledges, he spoke to regulators urging that OneUnited be considered for a cash injection.

Ed Lasky adds:

Not satisfied with being one of the people responsible for our financial crisis, he worsens the problem by working to use his position to get government money sent to a bank in his district.

Sounds like a mini-auto industry bailout - giving money to a failing company not to help the local economy so much as for political purposes.

To say that this news breeds cynicism among taxpayers about the financial crisis - and we are in a crisis - is an understatement. For Frank and the rest of the Democrats, it shows that crisis or no crisis, nothing will stay them from playing pork barrel politics with taxpayer money.

There is no chance Barney Frank will suffer any consequences for this nauseating personal intercesion on behalf of OneUnited. And I'm sure as time goes on, we will be able to fill a lengthy book with all the examples of waste and abuse of the program that George Bush and Hank Paulsen stuffed down our throats.

Politicians will be politicians whether we are in the worst crisis since the depression or not.
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