The best accounting to date of the federal government’s bailout of the failed private sector was done by the non-partisan Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.
The report details how the federal government (taxpayers) bailed out the failed private sector to more than $29 trillion. The entire national debt is only $16 trillion. I wouldn’t say the federal government has failed as miserably as the private sector, but the recent fiscal cliff debacle shows that the federal government has serious budget problems. What needs to be done now is for the federal government to say to the private sector, “Hey look, when you were in trouble, the taxpayers came to your aid. Now the federal government that saved you is having trouble and we are going to ask that you repay just one half of what taxpayers gave you with minimal interest.”
This repayment from the private sector corporations that received bailout money would easily be enough to pay off the $16 trillion national debt. But make it a mandatory part of the deal that, after paying off the national debt, Congress must pass a balanced-budget amendment so that the country can never again spend more than it takes in.
The national debt and deficit dilemmas would be solved permanently in a fair manner.
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