Quick hits on the Bailout

Summary and Text: Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008

Is preventing foreclosure really “victory”?

The 10 Most Controversial Provisions of the Housing Bill – It seems that in addition to bailing out anybody and everybody, the bill is quite the privacy annihilator as well. A few of my favorite snips (bolding mine) –

The bailout’s Estimated to cost $25 billion in over the next two years, but there’s no way to predict the future and estimates on this are really just wild guesses. Peter Orszag, Congressional Budget Office director, admits the actual cost is uncertain and could be as much as $100 billion.

6. Credit Card Tracking – Here’s another provision that will collect a huge amount of private information for the government. Deep inside the bill is a program requiring banks to to track, aggregate, and report information on all credit and debit card transactions to the IRS. FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey had this to say about it: “This is a provision with astonishing reach, and it was slipped into the bill just this week. Not only does it affect nearly every credit card transaction in America, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express, but the bill specifically targets payment systems like eBay’s PayPal, Amazon, and Google Checkout that are used by many small online businesses. The privacy implications for America’s small businesses are breathtaking.”

9. Raising the Debt Ceiling – Going right to the central question of how much the government is willing to spend on bailing out the mortgage industry is a provision to increase the national debt ceiling by $800 billion. As Jim Quinn wrote on Nolan Chart, “this is like giving a spendaholic an increase on their Amex credit line. Give Congress the ability to spend $10.8 trillion and they will.”

Outstanding article and discussion at Rain City Guide – The Housing Crisis is like Hurricane Katrina

Learn with me, won’t you?

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  1. Scott R July 28, 2008 at 07:33

    I’ve not had the time to peruse the entire bill – I was relying on the commenters on Calculated Risk for the juicy tidbits, but yes, this is a horrific invasion of our privacy. Sadly, most Americans are oblivious to the fact that this kind of information has been privately collected for ages, and has been extensively sought by Law Enforcement and the rest of the Government forever. It will take a few unpleasant high profile instances of abuse before the public reacts. Databases really are powerful abuse enablers.

  2. peter July 28, 2008 at 08:44

    shocking invasion of privacy

  3. foreclosurefish July 28, 2008 at 11:32

    Great, another invasion of privacy and more power seized by the federal government. And with the debt ceiling raised, all of us get to finance more spying on ourselves! So now maybe the government will be able to tell from my debit card statement how much more money I’m spending on gas and food this year, so that they can tell me in a few months that prices have fallen. Tax dollars at work…

  4. Julie Emery July 28, 2008 at 15:23

    Great, another reason to move to all cash and move to an underground economy. You’ve just fed my husband’s paranoia; only it’s starting to feel like maybe he isn’t so crazy!

  5. Larry July 28, 2008 at 21:12

    Info about your purchasing or dining habits, your medical needs and appointments, your tire changes, your lingerie wants, your movie viewing habits, etc., is collected by your bank and by retailers every time you use your debit or credit card.

    Have you ever had a return at Target, but didn’t have a receipt? They swipe your credit or debit card and can verify the refund this way.

    They can also reproduce the entire receipt just by swiping.

    I’m with Julia on the cash issue. Besides, all the popular financial advisors say that using cash makes you more aware of spending your resources–and more likely to think twice before doing so.

  6. Jim Duncan August 1, 2008 at 05:56

    The bill is so massive I wonder if anyone actually read the thing in its entirety.


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