The Rising Cost of Bailing Out the U.S. Economy

From individuals to cities, many want billions more in bailout cash.

Nov. 14, 2008 — -- Following the leads of Wall Street and the auto industry, several companies and even cities have come to the federal government with their hands out, asking for financial assistance that could cost taxpayers up to $150 billion.

Next week, Congress will debate whether or not three major U.S. carmakers, hit especially hard by the current economic recession, should receive a $25 billion to $50 billion emergency loan.

Hot on their heels is the U.S. auto industry's home, the Motor City of Detroit.

The city is asking for $10 billion. And today, the mayor of Philadelphia is taking his case directly to Washington where he will join the mayors of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago to ask for a combined $50 billion.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has requested $40 billion to help homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages.

Even American Express has said it "can't leave home" without $3.5 billion.

If the government agrees to the various pleas, the cumulative cost of bailing everyone out could climb to $150 billion -- a bill that could land in the lap of taxpayers on top of the $213 billion that has already been committed.

"We've spent more money this year than any time since World War II on government spending," Steve Moore, author of "The End of Prosperity," told "Good Morning America." "There's no evidence that these bailouts have worked."

Though no decision has been made as to whether or not to pass these bailouts, the line of companies, people and cities with their hands out that is forming on the steps of Congress is only expected to lengthen.

Robert Reich, part of President-elect Obama's transition team, said some of these bailouts are necessary.

"With regard to cities and states, they are now in deep trouble because a lot of their federal money has dried up," Reich said. "Services are being curtailed."