August 14th, 2009
09:07 AM ET
12 years ago

How Obama's transparency promise holds up

NEW YORK ( - The Obama administration pledged unprecedented transparency in its accounting of the $700 billion bank and auto bailouts (TARP) and the $787.2 billion Recovery Act. A lot of information has been made public but there are some key details where the transparency falls far short.

Here's what we still don't know:
1. How are banks using TARP funds?
2. Who are bailed out banks lending to?
3. What is the value of the assets that Treasury has accumulated as a result of TARP?
4. Where are stimulus funds ultimately going?

They're important questions: We want the government to ensure it is spending our money wisely, and experts want to know why the Obama administration won't provide the answers.

Full Story

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Buster

    Transparency??? How do you have transparency when BHO has lied about everything? Taxes have already gone up for those making less than $250,000 (smoking tax), shovel ready jobs don't exist, 33 czars that are NOT accountable to anyone. This is the biggest liar in the history of the world.

    August 14, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. lila

    Last one is because of the bureaucracy. Hardly any of the money has been spent because the programs have to go through a vetting process. Not all of them are going to make the grade. So, it's going to take 16 months before we know which programs get the funding.

    Banks are not lending to many. My husband is a c3 pay grade at Dell and got turned down. He has been at Dell for 8 years. He is as stable as they come... but we have a couple unpaid hospital bills. (long story, but we refuse to pay them) We are in luck that the DOW has recovered to a healthy level. We were able to cash out some stock and do some needed home repairs.

    August 14, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. Tami in CO

    And he complained about the Bush Administration keeping the American people in the dark? Seems like he is no better in this regard.

    August 14, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Thurman

    You people will not rest until you have your own set of keys to the white house. This man has revealed more information and has made himself available to the media and public more than any president in the last 25 years(i.e. George W. Bush)! If you don't believe it, please tell me who has done more? What else do you want???? Other than the fact that he is a great president working with a sub-par Congress and House of Representatives, he doing fine. Check out the Whitehouse website where you can ask questions. I sent in a question and quess what???? I got an answer!!! You people are weird!!!

    August 14, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    TARP under Bush = Wasted money

    TARP under Obama = Well invested money

    August 14, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Susan

    They can't know what the financial institutions aren't telling them, can they? Since the first bailout was Bush's, and since it required NO accountability, this is going to be hard to do.
    As far as the stimulus money, it IS being used here in Michigan. There are several projects, roads and new plants, that are using that money and actually creating some jobs. It is amazing that people are screaming for accountability after a few months, when not ONCE was Bush called to account for the wasted Iraq billions (I guess if you purposefully leave it out of your budget, it's just magic money anyway, huh?) The current President is being held to much tougher standards than Bush ever was, rightly or wrongly. I think Obama will deliver, but give the guy a chance to catch his stride. (And by the way, I do not remember anyone holding signs calling for Bush's murder, as I have seen all week concerning Obama.)

    August 14, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Mason

    Gee I wonder why they won't tell how they WASTED our money? Its a joke. He promised transparency and turned out to be a typical politician and did not deliver. Obama seems like a nice man as was Bush, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton but that sure as hell does not make him a good President. He was over-hyped and underqualified.

    August 14, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Kevin in Ohio

    Its time to admit it.... Obama is as corrupt and NON-transparent as they come.

    August 14, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    If anyone hasn't noticed, the first 6 months of this administration have been taken up doing all of the easy stuff: spending, promising, blaming, spending and more promising. I hope this all eventually leads to some of the difficult stuff like jobs creation, economic growth and real progress. So far it all looks like more spending, promising and blaming. ( Oh...those republicans are baaaad people....)

    August 14, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. tee

    Its funny.....never cared how the government spent money before.....$600 hammers purchased........millions slated for Iraq lost....perks for the washington senators and congress persons.....over spending with contractors.......imagine if the wasteful spending of tax payers dollars had been scutinize in the past....we would have enough money to cover healthcare.

    August 14, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. makesUwonder

    The Obama administration won't provide the answers because they know they ARE NOT spending our money wisely. Thank goodness more and more of the American people are waking up and seeing this.

    August 14, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Angus McDugan

    Get ready for the libs to jump in a say something along the lines of "he is so much better than Bush." I have news for the libs... Bush will never be the president again (in case you did not know). Therefore, lets focus on the current and future. Let's see what we can ask Obama to do better and stop the comparisons to Bush. I wish I was always comparied to someone that was very unpoular. That would make my job a walk in the park.

    August 14, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Janet

    Here come the excuses:

    "He is busy"
    "He has a lot on his plate"
    "He will do it"

    He has yet to fulfill his promise of 3 million new jobs by the end of summer too. Story coming on that whopper too?

    August 14, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. jp,michigan

    From day one of his Presidency Obama has NOT practiced what he preached. In other words it was all RHETORIC given to the American people to vote him into office. So far he has not proven to be a good President!

    August 14, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Sarah "death panel" palin=Osama bin ladden, they both use their influence to fuel extremism

    CNN keep with your anti obama campaign. No wonder MSNBC is getting better rating these days.

    August 14, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Angus McDugan

    Maybe the transparency he refers to is his resume that is so thin that you can call it transparent.

    August 14, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. S Callahan

    Good questions....and probably won't get an answer until the health debate is would just add to the ire!

    August 14, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. FL for Change

    Hey, idiot, the first three quesitons deal w/TARP...that was given to us by the most honorable George W. Bush before he bolted to Texas. Again, President Obama is still trying to clean up the mess he left us. You said it yourself that "a lot of information has been made public," so at least he's not hiding anything. Get a grip and a life.

    August 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. John

    This is my problem with Obama. And I voted for him. I'm not going to pretend we'd be better off with McCain/Palin, but he has fallen far short of what he promised, as far as I'm concerned. I don't expect him to know everything or have all the answers, but I was hopeful that he would be honest and up front with us. Seems to be working the spin just like every other politician. Sometimes I think we elected Hilary.

    August 14, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. Welcome to The BoBo Show

    HAHAA......This administration is about as transparent as a cement wall. The biggest con artist to ever assume the office

    August 14, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. Jim Vogh

    Surely putting $787 billion into the economy will help one way or another. The question here, as stated in the column, is "the fair markey value for the shares". No one will ever know for sure.

    August 14, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Johnny DC

    His transparency promise also pertained to allowing the American public to view bills and legislation proposals. Not only are they not providing these to the American people via the internet, CONGRESS isn't even reading the legislation before voting it into law.

    This administration and Congress took flight with the utmost confidence of the American people, and they have trounced it entirely.

    August 14, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. bozo the obama

    6 months and this is the only time he has been transparent ? on every thing else it's been a flat out lie-a-day with obama.

    August 14, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Were still looking for the bag money,700 billion,that Bush and Cheney gave Henry Paulson to hide in Swiss and offshoe the end of his 8 yrs in office.

    August 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Val, NYC

    May have fallen short, but his level on transparency is far MORE than any president we've ever had.

    If the GOP takes over again, you can wish all the transparency you've just seen goodbye. Remember Bush and Nixon's sense of transparency-there was none.

    August 14, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
1 2 3