Monday, February 9, 2009

Bail Out, Part 2

I strongly supported the first bailout bill. Without some way of shoring up the banks, the economic system was certain to fail.

The problem was that we the taxpayers cut a blank check for $750 billion - and we got just what we deserved for such idiocy. Treasury does an about-face on whether the funds would be used for purchasing troubled mortgage assets, but, what's worse, the banks were, quite literally, told by Assistant Secretary Kashkari that it was their "patriotic duty" to take TARP funds. Some banks stepped up and took the money. Now, they're finding out that they really stepped in it with the new strings like limits on executive pay

TARP II is even worse. Rather than directing the funds to avoiding an outright economic collapse, the program is just throwing money at anything that will take it. It's a congressional free-for-all with pet projects galore. Congressional leaders on both sides are right in more closely taking a look at this version. As the saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you . . . "

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