My Big, Fat, Greek Bailout

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Ind., might call it America’s big, fat, Greek bailout.

Pence, third-ranking House Republican, criticized the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $140 billion rescue package to assist the floundering European country. Pence notes that the U.S. is the IMF’s largest contributor and ponies up 17 percent of its funds. He fears that U.S. taxpayers will be on the hook for Greece, too.

“For people in Muncie (IN) who thought it was a bad decision to spend $700 billion to bail out Wall Street are sure to think its (twice) as wrong to pay off bad decisions in Athens,” Pence said, referring to the 2008 law that crafted a parachute for the U.S. economy. “When the American people figure this out, they are going to be shocked.”

Pence was careful not to criticize the IMF itself. But he questioned how the Obama Administration concluded that the U.S. was solvent enough to help fund the aid package.

“Is Greece too big to fail?” Pence asked. “There is a pathway to fiscal sanity for Greece and the European Union.”

President Obama told a Russian interviewer late last week he’s “very concerned about what’s happening in Europe. “If we can stabilize Europe that will be good for the United States,” Obama said.

Greece is struggling with staggering unemployment and overspending. However, the IMF applauded the Greek government’s move to slash its budget and raise taxes.

World economists are concerned that if Greece’s problems could spur a European “contagion” that could shock the value of the Euro had the IMF not intervened.