I heard this on the radio earlier, but until Dan reminded me, I had forgotten about the story.
It would seem that a bank in California has, after accepting assistance from the Federal government, decided to host a corporate party that included some rather extravagant entertainment—The band Chicago being the biggest one that I remember offhand. Congress, of course, is morally outraged at this insult, and is demanding that the bank return the funds used to pay for the party back to the Government's coffers.
Can you guess what said Bank did next?
Yep, you guessed it—They told the Congress that the money did not come from bailout funds, and that the government could go screw.
And you know what? It makes perfect sense.
Think about it:—For at least the past 40 years, our government has treated accounting as an elaborate shell game. For example, we here in Virginia went through the moral angst of creating a State lottery system, with the intent that the funds that went into the system would go "to the schools." This was, in fact, the only way that it would be passed at all, much like in other states. The lottery was hailed by legislators and weeping commercials alike as being "the" solution to education funding problems; as being "the" way that we can help... the children.
When the first year of funds was transferred from the Lottery system into the State budget, you can probably guess what happened next:—The lottery provided millions of dollars to the State, and immediately afterwards, the General Assembly proceeded to reduce the Education budget by the same general amount. (See here.)
Thus, the funds which were intended to go "to education" did exactly that, even though they didn't do that at all.
It was once said that people get the government they deserve.
If that's even remotely true, then what does that say about us?