Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Question For The Anyone But Bennett Crowd

I realize that he voted for TARP, and that was a horrible idea, but would you still have cheered him out of office if it wasn't such a horrible idea?

But now, 19 months after Congress voted to spend $700 billion on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, we're starting to get a long-term sense of the effort's true cost, and its effect. And when you look at the amount of money that the government now stands to make back -- not to mention the widespread expert view that the bailout succeeded in its prime purpose of stabilizing the economy -- it could just be that we've been able to rescue our economy from the brink of a depression for a relatively low price. And so, an unlikely question arises: Was the bailout, far from being a disastrous, dishonest failure, really more like one of the most successful programs ever?
Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason and a libertarian, also was skeptical at first but has conceded that "yes, the bailouts were a good idea," adding that without them, "we would have had many more failed banks, very strong deflationary pressures, a stronger seize-up in credit markets than what we had, and a climate of sheer political and economic panic."
A libertarian who's also an economist even admits it was a good idea, leaving confused looks on the faces of a lot of people holding teabags. But now Utah won't have to worry about any more good ideas getting voted for, Lee or Bridgewater will make sure of that.


  1. My problem with Bennett wasn't so much TARP as that the conditions that lead it to happened on his watch while he sat on the committee responsible for making sure such things don't happen. It's like taking credit for putting out a fire that you yourself started... while acting as fire chief.

  2. oh i agree with that completely, you could even track it back to the clinton/gramm days and apply the same thing to everyone that was around at the time. but the tea party/9-12/anyone but bennett crowd wasn't mad about the things that lead to the problem (parts of that they want more of), but they were mad with the clean up.

    were mistakes made in the last decade to lead up to september 08, yes, and there should be blame for that, but unseating someone for trying to clean up the mess, especially when the opponents don't have tarp alternatives seems odd to me. and now that tarp is starting to look like it was indeed a good idea it seems like the delegates were going after bennett for the wrong reasons, or at least reasons other than what they were citing most.

  3. 86% of Congress is up for reelection in November, and as far as I am concerned, everyone that was there before 2008 needs to lose their job. I want a complete national reboot.

    Washington is arrogant and needs to know that the people give them power, and will take it away if they abuse it. We can have a bloodless revolution in one day.

  4. And the point of doing so would be...

    People are angry at the economy but a 'national reboot' as the anonymous teabagger above wants would actually work against economic recovery. We'd have a bunch of clueless newbies like Chaffetz stumbling around 'creating jobs' by sponsoring go-nowhere 'balanced budget' amendments to the constitution. Stupid.

  5. The people that are currently in Washington have driven us off a cliff. I would rather endure a bunch of clueless newbies learning on the job, than give the keys back to the group that drove us off the cliff.

  6. Anyone who fully believes what the New York Fed/ Federal Reserve is selling is fairly gullible. The St. Louis fed is the only branch with the guts to tell us something which better approaches reality. The Fed has been running a propaganda campaign long before they pushed TARP through. The campaign simply states, "The economy is great, move along," when in reality they offer subsidized loans and interest to big banks at everyone's expense, while they hope their house of cards doesn't collapse..

    The Bush administration pushed through 3 pieces of horrible, "emergency" legislation that needed to be passed or the world would end: the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (or TRAP. . . I mean TARP). The house recognized it was a bad bill and voted it down. The bankers crashed the market in return. The senators listened to their financial backers and passed a worse bill than the house's, and the powers that be used the manipulated markets to push the house back in line. Bennett's committee wrote a bad bill which made bailouts law, and empowered the Fed to buy us the inflated market we have today. Few democrats would disagree with me that policies of the last couple decades brought on the crash and the sustained unemployment hurting the nation.

    Bennett got over $2 million dollars from large bailed out companies for his support over the years. As far as I'm concerned, it looks like dirty money, which makes Bennett look dirty. Bennett's actions make it look like he listens to Wall street before he listens to Utah. Utahns don't like being told what to do, and with almost 80% out of state campaign donations, Bennett looks like he's asking us to help him follow their marching orders.

    Bennett's integrity has already been called into question by his activities and associations in the last few years. Bennett got $110k from Fannie and Freddie, and his son got a plum job at Fannie. A man of character could have earned my vote by giving the money back when they failed at taxpayer expense, rather than using the money to buy my vote. Members of Utah's congressional delegation have complained that Bennett sabotaged bills to rein in Fannie and Freddie which would have moderated the real estate bubble, Chinese held GSE debt (unsecured, but paid anyway) and national unemployment problems that we face now.

    As for your economist/libertarian, I don't believe him. All the libertarians I know hate bailouts on principle, and wanted the market to sort itself out. Forcing Goldman Sachs to take losses on their Credit Default Swaps when they pushed AIG over the edge would have done more to curtail the market than any legislation that will actually get passed. Accounting tricks may make TARP appear profitable, but they ignore losses from Fannie and Freddie, market inflation from obscenely low interest rates, and all the trash assets the Fed has taken in collateral for those loans.

    Bennett's work on the banking committee looks more like the corrupt fire marshal taking bribes to overlook fire hazards. When people die in the ensuing fire, it's perfectly reasonable to fire the overseer. We may not have a say in his replacement, but we had the guts to hold him responsible.

    Oh, and I know you love to rile people up using the offensive teabag term to describe people you disagree with, but that sort of behavior encourages extremism on both sides rather than compromise and workable solutions.

  7. i just meant people like holding a bag containing tea, if you find that offensive there are sections of grocery stores you should avoid. but after viewing some photos of tea parties i did see a lot of tea bags, people were holding them, waving them, some had even attached them to their old timey hats. you should inform them that you find this offensive asap.

    taking it backwards, yes libertarians disagree with bail outs in theory, but your assumption that goldman and aig would have 'done more to curtail the market' is just that, and the downside of being wrong would be, well, what the libertarian economist said. also where's the evidence of inflation, yes low interest rates can lead to inflationary pressures, but none have appeared thus far.

    as to bennett's money, that wasn't mentioned much in the run up to the convention, nor, as i commented above, was the actions leading up to sept of 08 (and you can take it back past bush to the clinton era). if you disagree with those and voted against him for that, then good job, i'm not talking to you in this post. if you just heard about a bailout and got mad, well, you're misinformed.

    and to the annon above, i'm not sure how you define driven off the cliff, try it your way and see if things get better, or if the newbies act any differently than those there now. my bet is you won't see both at the same time.

  8. To be clear, I think a federal backstop for the dollar, liquidity assistance and AIG counter party assistance for banks on the edge were all probably necessary. The blank check written into TARP and the suspicious protection given to Paulson's old home at Goldman Sachs were not necessary.

  9. The lack of oversight in TARP was a GOP contribution to the bill. So will you be voting for Democrats in response? Probably not. That's what makes the "anger" over all of this so incredible.