Audit: Taxpayers Lost $61 Billion on Bailouts
Byline: Daniel Wagner Associated Press
WASHINGTON u The Treasury Department is acknowledging for the first time that it lost $61 billion on two key programs designed to stabilize the economy after the largest financial crisis in decades.
The government is losing more than $30 billion on lifelines extended to insurance giant American International Group Inc., according to Treasury data released Wednesday in an audit by the Government Accountability Office. It also is losing more than $30 billion on rescues of struggling automakers Chrysler and General Motors.
Treasury says the losses are offset in part by profits earned from bank bailouts. It says the bank bailouts will net taxpayers $19.5 billion.
Over all, the bailouts are projected to cost taxpayers $41.5 billion.
Also Thursday, the Obama administration has extended the $700 billion financial bailout program until October, setting up a struggle between Democrats who favor using some of the leftover money to help generate jobs and Republicans who say it should be used to shrink soaring budget deficits.
The administration insists the bailout fund is still needed to prevent further turmoil in the banking system. …