Monday, October 25, 2010

The evil stepchildren that are TARP and the Stimulus, and why Bush would do it again

Two very good Op-ed pieces today from the New York Times.  The first from Nobel Prize winning Economist Paul Krugman, countering charges from Republicans that the Stimulus was too big, it spent too much, and didn't deliver, is a bunch of baloney.  As Kruman explains,

"If Democrats do as badly as expected in next week’s elections, pundits will rush to interpret the results as a referendum on ideology. President Obama moved too far to the left, most will say, even though his actual program — a health care plan very similar to past Republican proposals, a fiscal stimulus that consisted mainly of tax cuts, help for the unemployed and aid to hard-pressed states — was more conservative than his election platform."
Krugman continues to charge that the much hated Stimulus package was way too small to have the effect needed to pull the economy out of the ditch created by the Wall Street meltdown.  

The next piece comes from New York Times Op-Ed Columnist, Ross Douthat, about the red-in-the-face anger at having to bail out Wall Street, better known as TARP.  Douthat writes,

"The question is whether the program’s extraordinary unpopularity is justified. Few elected officials may be willing to argue for the bailout, but plenty of policy wonks will make the case (from the safety of their think tanks) that the Wall Street rescue package is actually “one of the most unfairly maligned policy initiatives of all time,” as the Center for American Progress’s Matthew Yglesias recently put it.

This case was strengthened by the news that the bailout might actually end up costing the taxpayer less than $50 billion over all, rather than the $700 billion originally set aside to pay for it. Moreover, it’s the auto bailout, which the TARP funds eventually underwrote as well, that’s likely to end up being responsible for the bulk of these losses. As it stands, the federal government may actually end up turning a modest profit on the money injected into Wall Street’s failing banks.

Given what seemed to be at stake in the fall of ’08, TARP’s defenders argue, that doesn’t seem like such a bad bargain: the bailout may have averted a Great Depression, and it didn’t end up costing very much at all."
It all comes back to what were the alternatives to either?  For all the anger of the Tea Party Movement, and the jabbering of the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage, O'Reilly, and all these financial and economic experts of their ilk, still no viable alternative economic plan from the Libertarian wing of the Republican Party,... except for LET THEM FAIL and more TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY.  That's what would have saved our economy and prevented a "socialist government takeover" led by Obama-Pelosi-Reid. 

And then there's this from former President George W. Bush, coming out of seclusion, to give a speech in Tyler, TX.  As reported by the Associated Press and reported by Politico,

Bush said that when the markets crashed in the fall of 2008, he recognized that if his administration didn’t do “something significant,” a “depression greater than the Great Depression” could occur.

The former president said the choice to backstop many of the country’s leading financial institutions “wasn’t that hard for me.”
That says it all.  It was that bad. 

No comments:

Post a Comment