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Consider It Done

Reported by Ellen - February 13, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Dan

Fox Business' Brian Sullivan can throw a curve with the best of them.

In his recent post, Americans Deserve An (Income Tax) Holiday, he baldly asserts

Not only has the name changed from the TARP to the much-easier-to-sell-to-skeptical-Americans “Financial Stability Plan,” but the plan itself has changed as well. It has evolved into a pseudo-TARP and has grown to more than $2 trillion dollars. Plus another $830 billion for “stimulus.” The numbers are bigger if you go all-in on what’s been announced in the past few months. With TARP, TALF, bailouts, stimulus and what was announced today, we will clearly now be spending more than $10 trillion dollars.

Let me repeat that. Sullivan say, "We will clearly now be spending more than $10 trillion dollars."

Done deal, right? Lot of money, right?

But wait, as perhaps with all things FOX, there's a devil in the details. The article Mr. Sullivan cites, from Bloomberg News, states:
The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have lent or spent almost $3 trillion over the past two years and pledged up to $5.7 trillion more. The Senate is to vote this week on an economic-stimulus measure of at least $780 billion. It would need to be reconciled with an $819 billion plan the House approved last month. (the reconciliation happened last night


So the total includes money spent by the FDIC, the guys that insure that depositors won't lose the first $250,000 of deposits because a bank fails, and well over half involve pledges that may or may not ever occur.

Back to Bloomberg,
The pledges, amounting to almost two-thirds of the value of everything produced in the U.S. last year, are intended to rescue the financial system after the credit markets seized up about 18 months ago. The promises are composed of about $1 trillion in stimulus packages, around $3 trillion in lending and spending and $5.7 trillion in agreements to provide aid. The total already tapped has decreased about 1 percent since November, mostly because foreign central banks are using fewer dollars in currency-exchange agreements called swaps.

But Sullivan mentions none of this. He treats the entire amount as already spent and then complains about the price.

Is it that he doesn't know or doesn't he care that the facts don't support his case?