Wednesday, September 24, 2008

$700,000,000,000 grant request

Fred Clark at Slacktivist is outraged at Treasury Secretary Paulson's request for lots of money + lots of discretion - any oversight at all. Well, many people are, but I especially enjoyed Clark's slant on the issue:

I'm not usually in a position to say that I have more experience, knowledge and know-how than Ben Bernanke, but he really should've talked to somebody like me before heading to Capitol Hill yesterday to help Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson present a three-page memo asking for $700,000,000,000 of the public's money.

Three pages. Seriously.

... snip ...

[W]e wrote a lot of grants. And the thing is that every one of those grants was longer, more detailed and better documented than the sorry excuse for a memo that Paulson threw together to request $700 billion from the public coffers. It means your $15,000 grant application gets turned down. Why? Because $15,000 is a lot of money, and if you're going to ask someone to hand over that kind of cash, then you're going to have to do your homework. You're going to have to explain, in detail, what the money is for, where and when it's going to be spent. You're going to have to explain how you intend to report back, with detailed documentation, after the money is spent. And you're probably going to have to describe a detailed plan ensuring that you won't need to come back six months later to ask for another $15,000 for exactly the same thing.

Fail to provide that kind of documentation and detail and your grant application will be rejected. Not only that, but you'll be lucky if you're ever allowed to come back and re-apply with the same foundation.

Clark helpfully provides this link:

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