Ronald Reagan’s famous saying that “government programs, once launched, never disappear” couldn’t be more true, as Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is finding out in his investigation of the Nevada Hardest Hit Fund. As part of the Obama Administration’s waste-plagued bailout program known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the Hardest Hit Fund continues to wreak havoc on American taxpayers years after the 2008 financial crisis, with no end in sight.
The watchdog group Judicial Watch is reporting that the federal housing program in Nevada has blown $8.1 million on employee outings, parties, lunches, and gifts. While the intent was to help families hit by the housing crisis, almost half of the TARP dollars given to the Nevada state agency were used on outrageous expenditures such “a fancy car for a supervisor and severance pay for a top official.”
The Nevada fraud continues unabated since the Treasury Department is refusing to recover any more than 1% of the money requested by Senator Grassley and the TARP Inspector General. Grassley called the Treasury’s explanation of the minuscule amount “inadequate and unconvincing.”
Apparently, in the eyes of the Treasury, the recovery of expenditures used for car allowances, free parking, bonuses, parties, unemployment payments, severances, and other perks is “not warranted.”
More than $9 billion is being contributed to the HHF until the end of 2020 thanks to a cash flow that has grown over the years with virtually no oversight. As a result, the TARP Inspector General has accumulated an ever-growing 93-page report detailing HHF transgressions.
While the HHF was intended for foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization, Nevada continues to rank as one of the top five states nationally with the highest rate of foreclosures, almost 10 years after the program was initiated.