Here’s a shocker from the NY Times: “The once-unthinkable possibility that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program could end up costing far less, or even nothing, became more likely on Thursday with the news that the government had negotiated a plan with the American International Group to begin repaying taxpayers.”
To be honest, I don’t really subscribe to the major media’s repeated underestimation of the TARP, taxpayer-funded bailout. As The Nation magazine reported in September of 2009, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to drive a country further into debt, considering the bailout of the financial sector really adds up to much more than 700 billion.
Unfortunately, though, we’re stuck with what the establishment reports. With that in mind, we might as well work with the seemingly positive news and make the best of it. So the executive branch thinks there may be cause for some optimism and that taxpayers may turn a profit? Give us one good reason why the money left over shouldn’t be put toward an extension of unemployment compensation.
Anyone that keeps up with the news of the day has heard countless assessments from economic experts who’ve asserted that the stimulus package was too small. No doubt the Obama administration has heard their criticisms, as have Democratic representatives which have cited the same points.
After all, what do we have to lose? Most Americans hated the idea of bailing out the reckless banks in the first place. We might as well take the little that may be left over from the TARP funds and throw it toward Americans that are hurting, and put the profits toward our massive national debt (when I checked the clock at 10:43 AM Eastern Time, I alone owed $43,572.30).
And let us not forget the recently proposed Infrastructure stimulus that stood at a wobbly $50 billion dollars. The Americans this proposal aims to impact could collectively sneeze and see this relatively short sum of money be washed away offshore like all the jobs Americans used to have. As Paul Krugman so concisely put it:
“1. It’s a good idea 2. It’s much too small 3. It won’t pass anyway – which makes you wonder why the administration didn’t propose a bigger plan, so as to at least make the point that the other party is standing in the way of much needed repair to our roads, ports, sewers, and more- not to mention creating jobs.”
Maybe it’s much too early to quarrel with the Obama administration’s intentions, or lack thereof, in regards to what they plan to do with the anticipated savings and profits from the TARP funds, but millions of Americans could use a break from waiting for things to turn around in the economy, myself included.