After supporting TARP, several Republicans have lost elections largely because of their votes. For many Americans, TARP is more than a vote; it is a symbol of big government at its worst, intervening in private markets with taxpayers’ billions to save Wall Street plutocrats while average Americans struggle through the recession those financiers spawned.The TARP plan passed with a bunch of govt officials told us that we were headed into another Great Depression unless we spent $700B to buy toxic assets from banks. The plan was a failure from the start. The money was never even used to buy the toxic assets.
Fewer than three in 10 Americans say they believe the program was necessary “to prevent the financial industry from failing and drastically hurting the U.S. economy,” according to a poll in July for Bloomberg News. ...
The Treasury never tapped the full $700 billion. It committed $470 billion and has disbursed $387 billion, mostly to hundreds of banks and later to A.I.G., the car industry — Chrysler, General Motors, the G.M. financing company and suppliers — and to what is, so far, a failed effort to help homeowners avoid foreclosures.
Yes, those who voted for TARP ought to be kicked out of office. We need leaders who are not so easily conned.