NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

and

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

are taking some unneeded abuse in a

report on the banking bailout by Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky.

Barofsky's real target is the Bush administration, and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in particular, with both being blamed for undermining the credibility of taxpayer funded rescue.

Paulson and other regulators should never have claimed that the initial round of bailout money went to healthy institutions for the good of the economy, Barofsky's report concluded.

Public confidence in the government was soon damaged when Citigroup and Bank of America required billions more dollars in aid to stay afloat, according to the report.

Aside from stating the obvious -- and spending taxpayer funds to come to this momentous conclusion -- Barofsky is now pretty much doing the same thing he criticizes Paulson & Co. of doing.

To make a point about comments by other public officials that undermined confidence in the government's rescue of the banks, Barofsky is making comments that undermine public confidence in the banks themselves.

This is the kind of irony that is lost on the government. The inspector general's report is especially pointless considering that Barofsky determined that the government acted properly in its efforts to avert a financial collapse.

As if that wasn't enough, Barofsky took another swipe at BofA by stating in the report that the review found no evidence government officials forced Chief Executive Ken Lewis to keep quiet about massive losses at

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

as the takeover neared completion.

I'm not sure what Barofsky hoped to accomplish with this report, but as far as I am concerned, all he managed to do was further erode public confidence in the government.

--Written by Glenn Hall in New York.

Glenn Hall is the New York-based Editor in Chief of

TheStreet.com

. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at

The Orange County Register

and as a news manager at

Bloomberg News

in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at

The Journal-Gazette

in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including

The Wall Street Journal

,

The New York Times

and

International Herald Tribune

. Hall received a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and a certificate in project and program management from Boston University.