ProPublica’s Paul Kiel writes Your August bailout update: $393 billion outstanding.
Recent reports have drawn attention to the billions in revenue that the Treasury Department has collected from companies early in returning their TARP investments. While those returns have been encouraging, there’s no question that the taxpayer remains deep in the red.
In total, $392.6 billion remains outstanding to 641 recipients ($297 billion under the TARP and $95.6 billion that’s gone to Fannie and Freddie). That total excludes the 35 companies that have returned a total of $71.6 billion…
That said, money is flowing in as it’s flowing out. The TARP has two main sources of revenue: quarterly dividend or interest payments and warrant redemptions. Unlike returned money, which can be used again, the Treasury is obligated to use that revenue to pay down the national debt…
Put all that together, and you get a total of $12.4 billion in revenue. Compared to the $392.6 billion in bailout funds still outstanding, it’s reason for cooling any thoughts, at least for now, of the taxpayer pulling a profit.
The LA Times reports the U.S. to boost combat force in Afghanistan. “U.S. officials are planning to add as many as 14,000 combat troops to the American force in Afghanistan by sending home support units… The move would beef up the combat force in the country without increasing the overall number of U.S. troops, a contentious issue as public support for the war slips. But many of the noncombat jobs are likely be filled by private contractors”.
Already Civilian contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan, reports the NY Times.
Civilian contractors working for the Pentagon in Afghanistan not only outnumber the uniformed troops, according to a report by a Congressional research group, but also form the highest ratio of contractors to military personnel recorded in any war in the history of the United States…
As of March this year, contractors made up 57 percent of the Pentagon’s force in Afghanistan, and if the figure is averaged over the past two years, it is 65 percent, according to the report by the Congressional Research Service…
The 68,197 contractors – many of them Afghans – handle a variety of jobs, including cooking for the troops, serving as interpreters and even providing security, the report says.
The CS Monitor reports it is Bad timing for Obama on any troop buildup in Afghanistan. “The higher-profile casualties and a worry that US troops in Afghanistan are being asked to undertake an unclear or impossible task are feeding the nascent opposition to the war, some war analysts say.”
According to a new McClatchy/Ipsos poll Most Americans oppose more troops for Afghanistan. “54 percent of Americans think the U.S. isn’t winning the war… At the same time, 56 percent oppose sending any more combat troops to Afghanistan, while 35 percent support sending more troops.”
Meanwhile, the LA Times reports a Suicide bomber kills Afghan intelligence deputy at mosque. A suicide bomb attack in Mehtarlam “outside a mosque in Laghman province about 60 miles east of the capital, Kabul.” The attack killed Abdullah Laghmani, Afghanistan’s deputy intelligence chief and 22 other people.
The NY Times adds the Taliban claims responsibility for the attack. “We were looking for him for a long time, but today we succeeded,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Four at Four continues with unlawful human experimentation, A.Q. Khan, and Justice Stevens retirement rumors.