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Sticking Up for TARP

July 13th, 2010 at 11:10 pm | 19 Comments |

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It may be because he isn’t running for re-election, but Senator Judd Gregg became one of the first Republicans to vocally defend his TARP vote unapologetically today. Speaking on MSNBC, the GOP’s ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee responded to a question about the critics of TARP in the bluntest of terms, stating simply “Well, they’re wrong.”

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Voting in favor of TARP was the beginning of the end for a number of Republicans.  Minnesota’s Norm Coleman lost in the general election in part due to a depressed conservative voter turnout resulting from anger about the bank bailout. Most recently, Senator Bob Bennett and Rep. Bob Inglis both lost their primaries to candidates who railed against TARP while offering few ideas for what they might have done differently besides simply voting no (and destroying the economy in the process).

Judd Gregg later observed that “TARP did what it was supposed to do — it basically saved the financial system on Main Street, too.”

More Republicans like Judd Gregg need to come forward and challenge their opponents in the Tea Party crowd to elaborate on their opposition to TARP. Too many candidates are getting off easy on this question. If they wish to oppose TARP, fine, but what would they have done instead? If their answer is simply “I would have voted no and let the system work itself out,” that person ought not be given the power to vote in Congress.

Follow Jeb Golinkin on Twitter: @Jgolinkin

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19 Comments so far ↓

  • TAZ

    I am still torn with the TARP issue to this day. 99% of me believes we should have let sinking Banks sink.

    But, the other 1% of me knows that had that spiraled into a domino effect it could have indeed been a great depression.

    So I give a pass to all who voted for TARP.

    I guess the most I could hope for is a law identifying those banks still deemed too big to fail and an automatic trigger to break them up when identified.

    TARP was a hard pill to swallow, but I am kinda happy I never got to see the alternative.

  • Chris

    I’m with TAZ, though I felt a lot more confident that a no-TARP vote would have ushered in an era of financial hurt far beyond what most of us could even imagine. My problem with this is not TARP (how much of this was paid back anyway?) but the failure to write legislation effectively assuring that it wouldn’t happen again.

  • ggore

    More Republicans need to be brave enough to stand up to the Tea Party loonies on the subject of TARP. Part of the problem with the idea is they would also have to admit to being the cause of the problem by deregulating banks in the first place, which led to the whole problem that almost wrecked the financial system of the entire planet.

    The same goes in standing up to the Tea Partyers who are against all bailouts. I guess they wold be happier if all the car companies had been allowed to go bankrupt, putting all the auto workers out of a job, all their suppliers out of jobs, all the related workers in communities where there are car plants out of a job, etc making the unemployment rate 30-40% instead of the milder 10% maximum it got to.

    If the Tea Party people had been in power when all this happened we would be in a hell of a lot worse shape than we are now.

  • rbottoms

    The same goes in standing up to the Tea Partyers who are against all bailouts. I guess they wold be happier if all the car companies had been allowed to go bankrupt, putting all the auto workers out of a job, all their suppliers out of jobs, all the related workers in communities where there are car plants out of a job, etc making the unemployment rate 30-40% instead of the milder 10% maximum it got to.

    Yes, all those lost Republican votes from angry out of work auto workers. Oh well, at least we can keep those whose unemployment has run out hostage for another week or so.

  • Stewardship

    The demagoguery within conservative talk radio and tea party circles on TARP is absurd. I believe the underlying issue causing so much anger is how TARP was approved. With just weeks before the general election, Congress lived in collective fear that voters would send them home in November if no action on the economy was signed, sealed, and delivered before the polls opened. No one wanted to look like John McCain who infamously said, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

    So, without much forethought, they rammed through the biggest budget buster in our history. Within months, they were all running away from that vote. The message tea partiers need to send to Congress is this: Always vote for the national interest, not your own political career’s interest.

  • Oldskool

    Sorry Judd but it’s been your party who encourages the loonies to the point you’re now cowered by them. You’ll have to circle the wagons and dump Limbaugh and Fox News before you can hope to find your way back from Crazytown.

  • littlejohn

    Sounds like taz likes to swallow. I prefer to vote anyone and everyone who voted for the poor trouble assets and to give them some relief out of office. You will be voted out of office. It is unavoidable it is inevitable.

  • LFC

    It’s a classic right-wing M.O. They want to rant and rant about TARP, a program that TAZ described well. But when it comes to standing up and ranting against the deregulation, failure to regulate, and failure to ENFORCE existing regulations, not a peep. They still just don’t know how to take responsibility for anything, and they still don’t grasp the need to respond to reality.

  • Watusie

    “The demagoguery within conservative talk radio and tea party circles on TARP is absurd. I believe the underlying issue causing so much anger is how TARP was approved. ”

    I think it it is because it is an example of the government doing something that worked – i.e. staved off utter disaster. If your operating philosophy is that government is the problem, not the solution, this sort of blows your mind.

    On an unrelated note, can someone share with me the trick for putting copied text in a quote block?

  • LFC

    On an unrelated note, can someone share with me the trick for putting copied text in a quote block?

    Yes. Simply surround it with blockquote tags. Let me see if I can make it show up the same way you’d type it. Hang on…
    <blockquote> This is the quoted text you’d like to have pulled out. </blockquote>

    That becomes this…
    This is the quoted text you’d like to have pulled out.

  • LFC

    ACK! I had a typo and the modify capability went and re-interpreted all my HTML! Let’s try to repair this:

    BTW, some other HTML tags you can use will give you <i>italicized text</i> or <b>bold text</b>. It looks like this…

    BTW, some other HTML tags you can use will give you italicized text or bold text.

    You can even nest the two to get <i><b>italicized and bold text</b></i>. It looks like this…

    You can even nest the two to get italicized and bold text.

    The next lesson is embedding links, if you dare…

  • Watusie

    Thank you LFC .

  • TerryF98

    Is there any way to embed links to pictures. I would like on occasion to show a chart here but have found it impossible.

  • forkboy1965

    It sounds a bit self-serving to me. Look how many Republicans who are either not again running for office or who lost in elections are coming out against the Tea Party or saying things about how the GOP has swung too far to the right.

    Where were they last year? And the year before? And before that? I guess as long as they were in office and content with the status quo there was little to no reason to criticize their own party.

  • LFC

    Yes. Links to pictures, articles, or anything else on the web are a little trickier, but not too terrible. You just need the link. (To get the link of just a picture, right click on it and select “Copy Link Location”. You can then paste it in when typing your comment.)

    To do a link to anything, you use an HTML anchor tag. For example, here is a how to set up a link to a picture of <a href=”http://www.dougsworld.com/zippy/yow.gif”> Zippy the Pinhead</a>. The web link has to be in quotes, and the text “Zippy the Pinhead” will be what the user clicks on to see the picture. It comes out looking something like this:

    …here is a how to set up a link to a picture of Zippy the Pinhead.

    Hope that’s clear.

  • drtim

    If the market EVER works, it ALWAYS works!

    I don’t believe for a minute that NOT passing TARP would have hurt the economy any worse than prolonging this mess already has.

    Either Big Government works or it doesn’t. Republicans should decide. You can’t have it both ways and stay in power. Principle trumps politics EVERY time.

  • Ruminant

    drtim said:
    If the market EVER works, it ALWAYS works!
    I agree… but that doesn’t always mean the market is working for us. Sometimes the market works against society’s interests. Health care and health insurance are great examples. Were it not for government intervention, the market would deny many people their “inalienable” rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” simply because those people were unlucky enough to be born with or develop serious medical conditions. What Republicans need to remember is that the market is intended to benefit society, not the other way around. If the market cannot solve a problem, or if the market creates a problem, it is their responsibility to find a non-market solution.

    Either Big Government works or it doesn’t. Republicans should decide. You can’t have it both ways and stay in power. Principle trumps politics EVERY time.
    I think this is a dramatic oversimplification, although it’s hard to say when you use a vague word like “big government”. It’s perfectly believable that greater government involvement is beneficial in some areas and harmful in others, just like it’s perfectly believable that “the market” works for our interests in some cases and against our interests in others.

  • TAZ

    Every sensible economist I have seen, on both the left and right, say we were facing a situation we had never faced before, and may not have recovered from for a long, LONG time.

    Thats some pretty scary sh*t……….

    But, we will never know now will we?

  • JohnnyA

    (admin pls delete, was testing formatting)