Perhaps you have been wondering about where the TARP money went? It’s also known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or, more familiarly, Bank Bailout. We found a relatively politics-free analysis written back in 2010, just after the November elections.
Author Ray Link, an accountant, reported that “of the $700 billion available just $365 billion was allotted. The bulk went to banks and brokerage firms, in fact several hundred banks, with the largest getting up to $25 billion. General Motors and Chrysler each received funding with GM getting about $52 billion. AIG, the large insurer who underwrote the banks’ bad mortgage bets got over $69 billion.”
Link notes that the bill was signed in 2008 by then-Pres. Geo. Bush after it had been passed by huge majorities in House and Senate, including Sens. Obama and McCain. While he and others say the government “made money” on this deal, it looks as if the AIG and GM loans will be BIG losses.
Remember this is our money – either from having it taxed or inflated away from us.
The next big money bill was the $787 billion Stimulus, named American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ARRA. Signed in 2009 by Pres. Obama, after passage by both Houses.
Many people got those two confused and didn’t realize these were two separate bills. At www.recovery.gov you will get a breakdown of disbursements after reading this shocking little paragraph, tucked away in the upper left hand corner of the page:
“Estimated [ARRA] tax, entitlement, and contract, grant, and loan expenditures have been increased from $787B to $840B to be consistent with the President’s 2012 budget and with scoring changes made by the Congressional Budget Office since the enactment of the Recovery Act in February 2009. “
No one is meeting goals set by Congress and the President. “The Recovery Act requires the Government Accountability Office(GAO) to review the use of Recovery funds by states and localities every two months. Its reports are below:
April 7, 2011 Recovery Act: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Recipients Face Challenges Meeting Legislative and Program Goals and Requirements. [“Face challenges” means the goals and requirements aren’t being met. Can you say Solyndra? But that was back in April last year, long before the Solyndra scandal broke.]
The previous report came out in Sept. 2010, the one before that in May 2010 and March 2010. Not exactly every two months, eh?
This is just one of the reasons S&P downgraded U.S. debt. It is one reason we have HUGE, unsustainable deficits and debt. It is irresponsible.
Remember in November! Don’t cave in to “moderates” – go for the skinflints.