Obama's "invisible" hand in TARP

This is for SouthSideGT, who apparently hangs on my every word. In a previous post, I reminded Obama and Biden that in trying to get "every cent" back in TARP money from the banks, that they had originally sent "our" money there. 

SouthSideGT's response to the posting was a disingenuous attempt to fix the blame on former President George W. Bush, without acknowledging Obama's important role in this fiasco. I don't know why I should have expected better, but the truth is that while Bush and his administration pushed hard for the program, Democrats supported it and many conservatives opposed it. 

Let's review the history:
Obama wasted no time dodging and weaving responsibility for TARP soon after entering office, as demonstrated in this New York Times interview:

I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn't under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. It wasn't on my watch..

Well, I just think it's clear by the time we got here, there already had been an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system. And the thing I constantly try to emphasize to people if that coming in, the market was doing fine, nobody would be happier than me to stay out of it. I have more than enough to do without having to worry the financial system. The fact that we've had to take these extraordinary measures and intervene is not an indication of my ideological preference, but an indication of the degree to which lax regulation and extravagant risk taking has precipitated a crisis.

Obama would have us believe that he was dragged along by a Bush program that he had been handed through no fault of his own and now was stuck with. No surprise there, either.

But Obama's surrogate, Sen. John Kerry well summarized Obama's position in favor of TARP in this interview months before the election:

KERRY: Well, it's very important -- well, these -- the four principal components of this deal, Chris, represent the exact four principles that Senator Obama laid out two weeks ago. They represent the exact principles that we put forward and almost agreed on last Thursday before politics entered into this.

Now, I agree with Lindsey. Let's go beyond that now. It is important to have everybody there. But those principles are number one. We wanted to protect the taxpayers.

We were not going to turn billions of dollars over to any institution connected with Wall Street, given the experience of what had happened without protecting taxpayers. We have done that in this.

Secondly, we were going to limit executive compensation. We weren't going to turn money over and have millions of dollars paid out to executives. That's been done.

Thirdly, there's a very important concept here about helping homeowners. There had been no talk about the homeowners. We want to keep people in their homes. This specifically helps to keep them there.

And finally, oversight. The administration came and said, "Just give us $800 billion." And we said, "No, not given this experience," so we're going to give first the 250. There'll then be a letter from the president requesting another 100, and then there's another 350, depending on how it goes.

So I think we have accountability. We have the principles that Senator Obama offered leadership on.

After Obama got into office he worked hard to get all of the TARP funds released, as this story explains, declaring the action to be the president's victory.

The full story is that Obama was up to his neck in TARP. That truth, however, isn't enough to stop his supporters from pretending that he wasn't. Nice try though, SouthSideGT, whomever you are.
What's the difference between Bush's TARP and Obama's TARP? Not much. Watch this video.



Leave a comment
  • Dennis. Hi. No. I was not attempting to fix the blame on Bush but I was pointing out that you (like a loyal Republican) seemed to forget Bush's role in the bank bailouts. Understand that I am no fan of the Wall Streeter's currently in the Obama Administration who must shoulder a great deal of the blame for the fiasco we currently find ourselves in. But Obama is not responsible for the thirty years of bank deregulation and deregulation of Wall Street that led us up to this point. Blame for that would be affixed to Reagan and Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton (and his advisor Robert Rubin who is a godfather of sorts to Larry Summers who is a godfather of sorts to Tim Geithner) and Bush Jr. all of whom made sure that banks and Wall Street took our money and burned our economic house down with it. It is my hope that Obama wises up and shows them the door. But to blame Obama after only a year in office is disingenuous on your part.

  • In reply to SouthSideGT:

    "What we've got here is failure to communicate." -- Paul Newman as "Cool Hand Luke," mocking Captain, Road Prison 36, before getting drilled with one between the eyes.

    It appears we're saying the same thing, from different angles. Obviously, both presidents were up to their eyeballs in the bailouts, TARPs, etc. We both don't like it when one side or the other acts as if it's all the other guy's fault.

    Thanks for reading, and peace.

  • In reply to SouthSideGT:

    Fair enough, sir.

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