President Barack Obama has congressional approval to spend the second half of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money. But before Americans are asked to spend another $350 billion, it is up to government to account for the massive spending that has already occurred. The question at stake: Where exactly is the money?
While both Bloomberg and the Fox Business Network have filed suit to force the government to tell where this money has gone, the rest of the news media have remained largely indifferent to the answer. Journalists have failed to investigate what may be the most extravagant federal spending in our nation's history and at a time when taxpayers can least afford wasteful government programs. With a separate $825-billion stimulus plan in the works, government transparency is essential. Yet the government has provided zero accountability to track the billions of dollars and whether the money will stimulate the economy and create the jobs promised.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said it is up to rest of the media to do their jobs. "Other news outlets need to follow the lead of Fox Business and Bloomberg and ask the hard questions here. They must hold the Obama administration accountable for how $350 billion was spent before Americans have to come up with another $350 billion."
Even new Treasury chief Tim Geithner admits ‘oversight and transparency requirements in the original proposal were inadequate.' Taxpayers want to know where their money went and journalists should report on what happened before more money is thrown away.