THE SCHOCK FILE - Web site to track bailout funds

Aaron Schock
Aaron Schock (R) is the U.S. Rep. for the 18th Congressional District.

Schock Amendment Adopted on Website for Bailout Funds

Without question almost every American household is better at managing their finances than the federal government. 

For instance, when Americans shop for groceries, they know what they spent, what they got for their money and how their purchases will help feed their family. It’s my belief that the American taxpayer deserves to know the same information when the government is using their money to bailout the financial markets.

While the decision over whether or not to use taxpayer money to bailout our financial markets was controversial, one thing everyone can agree on is the need for oversight and transparency of these funds.  For that very reason, I worked in a bipartisan fashion to pass an amendment establishing a user-friendly website where the American people can quickly and accurately see where their money is going.

I hope that an online database will provide a helpful tool in establishing more oversight, more transparency and more control over the flow of these taxpayer dollars.  In essence, my amendment would create a “Google” for these bailout funds.

This website will clearly display who is using the money, for what purposes and how the dollars will ultimately cycle back into the pockets of Americans. This website will be easily searchable and contain information on both specific payments and the aggregate amounts received by each receiving entity.  This amendment is about accurate accounting, openness, fair government, transparency and hopefully one day balancing our nation’s budget.

Currently, the Treasury department provides limited balance sheets listing complex purchases on their website.  The target audience of this website is those applying for bailout funds, not those who are looking to see how their money is spent.

Well the majority of Americans are not high-powered New York City investment bankers and while they have not been part of this problem, they are being asked to foot the bill.  It’s my belief they have the right to know where their money is going, for what program it is being used, and how it will benefit them in the long run.  This is the essential reason for my amendment.

As the federal government continues its efforts to stabilize the market, funds will begin to cross over multiple government agencies to the point where anyone wanting to track the flow of money would have to visit multiple websites with a mouse in one hand and calculator in the other.

A person shouldn’t need to be a forensic accountant to decipher where their tax dollars are being spent.

Taxpayers deserve no less than complete transparency.  I’ve continually advocated using internet resources to provide up-to-date information to the American people.  As a State Representative, I sponsored legislation ultimately signed into law which placed information online regarding what academic credits were transferable from one college to the next.  This information has helped thousands of Illinois students, colleges and universities save an enormous amount of time and expense.

The bottom line is, while you can’t put a price on good government, American’s certainly have the right to see what price they’re paying to bailout our economy.