Call it a Washington pile-on.
A normal taxpayer might think that since the Treasury Department has just committed the government to spending an unknown (but possibly very large) amount taking over Fannie Mae (nyse: FNM – news – people ) and Freddie Mac (nyse: FRE – news – people ), Congress would be in a tightfisted mood.
But that’s not the way some Washington lobbyists and politicians think. Instead, they’re viewing the bailout as an invitation to push through other taxpayer-financed bailouts and aid in the few weeks that Congress will work before members break to campaign full time for the November elections.
“We’re talking about the next New Deal,” enthuses William McNary, president of USAction, a national coalition of grass-roots community organizers. He wants more money from Congress for everything from food stamps to inspecting and fixing bridges and roads.
U.S. automakers General Motors (nyse: GM – news – people ), Ford Motor (nyse: F – news – people ) and Chrysler, for their part, are pushing Congress to appropriate by the end of this month $3.75 billion of $25 billion in loans authorized last December to help the money-bleeding companies overhaul their plants so they can build more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Of course, that’s not all. Democrats are hot on the trail of another “stimulus” package to be sent out to the states for “infrastructure” projects. I wonder what qualifies as infrastructure?