And obviously, we dig it. ABC had a little chat with the TARP Inspector General (which you can listen to here), on the matter of that $23.7 trillion estimate. As you're aware, Barofsky said earlier this week that the total tab could be way higher than previously expected, which the government via Steve Liesman almost immediately shot down, claiming the numbers were inflated, had been pulled out of Barofsky's ass, and just generally got in a huff (without offering their own number. You're not going to box them into that, they'll do it on their own terms, pal). The General came back this morning to suggest that "perhaps their criticism is that we dare to do math," and, claws still dangling:
"I think that the Treasury Department ought to read the report before they make comments, at least the spokesperson's office...Our methodology is laid out in black and white in the report...As far as the numbers being inflated, where do you think we got the numbers from? We got it from the Treasury Department, we got it from the Federal Reserve...If these numbers are inflated, it's because they inflated them when they put them out in the public, not because of us."
"This recent attack on my report is really, in many ways, an attack on basic transparency -- of not wanting the American people in a certain way to see exactly what's going on in their government as included in our report...with respect to this program, they've not met their claims that this is going to be 'unprecedented transparency,' as President Obama suggested there would be."
Geithner/Liesman, your rebuttal?