The Corner

Presto: Another $750 Billion

Because we really haven’t spent enough already, President Obama committed more of our tax dollars to increase International Monetary Fund resources. What’s more, he didn’t bother asking permission from Congress, didn’t plan how we would pay for it, and didn’t check before committing the money that it was even needed. According to the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. and Europe were widely expected to clash at the G-20 summit in London last month over how to address the global financial crisis. Voila, in just two days the problem was solved with a joint promise to increase International Monetary Fund resources by $750 billion to a total of $1 trillion.

The U.S. portion of this new commitment is more than $140 billion. Yet Congress has debated neither the amount nor the proposed use of the funds. Instead, President Obama and his fellow leaders simply waved their hands, like a Star Trek captain, and said make it so.

And:

Now Mr. Obama has overruled Congress and blessed an [Special Drawing Right] SDR increase — not twice the existing number, but eight times. As Juergen Stark, a member of the European Central Bank Executive Board, told the German daily Handelsblatt, “It was never examined whether there indeed is a global need for additional liquidity,” adding that “one used to take a lot of time to check something like this.” He also called it “helicopter money for the globe.” If Mr. Stark keeps this up, his G-20 dining privileges will be revoked.

Conclusion:

The upshot for U.S. taxpayers is that neither the $40 billion-plus in new SDRs nor the $100 billion for the NAB will get much democratic scrutiny. Yet they amount to a massive expansion in U.S. foreign aid. We can see why the G-20 applauded. But this is the opposite of the “transparency” this Administration has promised, and someone on Capitol Hill should blow the whistle.

The Journal also explains how the IMF has strayed away from its original mission — for the worse. Read the whole thing here and hold on tight to your wallet because this is just the beginning.

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