Right-wing harmony: BP escrow account is "a slush fund"

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Right-wing media figures have responded to the decision by BP and the Obama administration to establish an escrow account funded by BP to pay claims arising from the Gulf oil spill by calling the account a "slush fund." Conservative commentators have habitually labeled progressive initiatives "a slush fund."

Right-wing choir sings: BP escrow account is "a slush fund"

Limbaugh: "[T]his is going to be used as a little miniature slush fund." On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed, "When we last heard from the leader of the regime, he said that an independent, third-party person will be handling the $20 billion payout to people in the Gulf of Mexico." After noting that Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation Kenneth Feinberg would oversee the escrow fund, Limbaugh said, "The guy works for Obama, he's a czar, but somehow this thing is going to be sloughed off as some sort of independent agency he's going to head up? How stupid do they think we are, folks?" Limbaugh later added:

Look, the government's in charge of this. I want to know who's going to get it. Who's going to get this money? Union activists? ACORN people? Who's going to get this money? Let's keep a sharp eye on who Feinberg gives this money to, because I'm telling you, this is another bailout fund called something else, and we'll see who gets it. If Obama's past is prologue -- and it is -- then this is going to be used as a little miniature slush fund. [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/16/10]

Hannity and Varney are "going to call it a political slush fund." On Sean Hannity's Fox News show, Stuart Varney complained that Obama was "going to force BP to put, what, $20 billion into this fund." Varney subsequently said, "I'm going to call it a political slush fund." Hannity later added, "I agree with you on the slush fund." [Hannity, 6/15/10]

Oliver North: "This is a $20 billion slush fund." Discussing the escrow account on Hannity, Fox News contributor Oliver North stated, "This is a $20 billion slush fund. That's to start out. Second of all, we've had Eric Holder remind the American people as recently as just five days ago, they're not going to pay one dime for this." North went on to "predict" that "the federal government, having promised to do all of this, is going to have penitence coming to them literally for the rest of my lifetime asking them to pay up." [Hannity, 6/16/10]

Same old song: Media conservatives regularly attack progressive initiatives as slush funds

Beck: "Fannie Mae is a slush fund now" for "Crime Inc." On his syndicated radio show, Glenn Beck discussed his intricate conspiracy theory he calls "Crime Inc." and said, "Fannie Mae is a slush fund now. See, remember that was the problem with TARP. They said we don't want it to become a slush fund. Fannie Mae is. It is a slush fund for Crime Inc.'s progressive programs and agenda. Fannie Mae is the perfect place to stash money and all of the secrets." [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/14/10]

Gasparino: Financial services liquidation fund is "a slush fund." Discussing financial regulatory reform on Hannity, Fox Business' Charles Gasparino cited a provision in the bill that would help pay for the liquidation of failing financial firms -- a provision conservatives falsely portrayed as a bailout fund. Gasparino said, "Well, I will say this that Wall Street, based on talking people in the executive suites, they are behind like 80 percent of this bill. The big thing they are behind is obviously the aspect of "Too Big to Fail." The fact that there is really a slush fund in here that if you get in trouble, there's 50 billion dollars to bail you out." [Hannity, 4/22/10]

Limbaugh: Shortage of rent vouchers in New York City proves stimulus was a "slush fund." Discussing reports that New York City housing officials might revoke rent assistance vouchers, Limbaugh asked, "Where did all this stimulus money go? Does this not prove, ladies and gentlemen, it wasn't a stimulus to anything. It's a slush fund." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 4/7/10]

Beck: The stimulus is "a slush fund that the president can spend the money any way he wants." On his radio show, Beck stated, "Why is it you have almost three-quarters of the stimulus money still available, and you're going into other funds?" Beck hypothesized that stimulus money was being withheld to "expand" Obama's power and "do whatever it is he seems fit." Beck continued: "Don't worry, we now have a slush fund. We now have a slush fund that the president can spend the money any way he wants." [The Glenn Beck Program, 12/8/09]

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