Romney’s Government Handout, Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 31 2012 @ 11:02am

Kevin Roose puts the Bain bailout in a better light:

Bain's debt negotiation was nothing like the taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts of 2008 and 2009. In fact, it wasn't funded by taxpayers at all.

It's confusing, because the FDIC is a government agency. And government agencies tend to be funded by taxpayers. But the FDIC is a special case. Essentially, it's a bank guarantor that is funded by the banks it guarantees. Every year, banks write a proverbial check to the FDIC for the equivalent of life insurance, and in return, the FDIC promises to backstop them if they're ever about to go out of business. The agency gets no funding — as in, zero dollars — from the government's coffers.

So while Romney's deal may have been unseemly (Dickinson points out that the FDIC chairman at the time was an adviser to George Romney during his 1968 run for president), it didn't screw taxpayers, at least directly.

Earlier coverage here and here.