The hits just keep on coming: today HuffPo reports that, as bad as the bonuses are, 13 bailed out companies owe even more in back-taxes.

Obvious moral outrage aside, I find the following of particular interest:

Banks and other firms receiving federal money were required to sign contracts stating they had no unpaid taxes, Lewis said. But he said the Treasury Department did not ask them to turn over their tax records.

Combined with the still-unfolding (and even more slowly untangling) tale of Chris Dodd’s role in this nightmare, and I’m beginning to get a sense that, as outrageous as this kind of corporate stupidity is, it may be playing second fiddle to a federal response that enabled these things. Congress, Treasury, and the White House each appear to have little to no idea what the others are doing, and the peicemeal response has allowed this kind of mischeif to slip through the cracks. It doesn’t help that even congressional democrats are turning on the administration’s economic team. The feds need to get their act together and compose a comprehensive, unified approach to monitoring the bailout money and the companies that receive it, because if these stories keep coming for much longer there’s going to be ten kinds of hell to pay.

Meanwhile, Obama wins points simply for being the only one willing take responsibility for anything.

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