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All Da King's Men

Obama's TARP Magic

By Da King Published: December 9, 2009

There is something unseemly about a President who is as unceasingly partisan as is Barack Obama. I don't think I've ever heard this President give a speech where he wasn't shifting blame away from himself and his party, even when it flies directly in the face of the facts. That's one reason many speak of Obama as being in permanent campaign mode (another reason is that Obama IS in permanent campaign mode). Obama has changed the presidential motto from 'the buck stops here' to 'pass the buck.' The President's recent comments about the TARP program serve as a perfect example. Speaking of using the $200 billion in leftover TARP funds for job creation, Obama said this:

"There are those who claim we have to choose between paying down our deficits on the one hand, and investing in job creation and economic growth on the other, but this is a false choice."

By "there are those," of course, Obama means Republicans, but that bit of partisanship isn't even the point. There is no "choice" regarding what to do with leftover TARP funds, much less a "false" one. By law, unused TARP funds must be used to pay down the deficit. All Republicans are doing is pointing that out. Obama knows this, but he is engaging in some sleight of hand (TARP magic) to make it appear otherwise. There are no actual savings associated with the leftover TARP funds, because those funds were never spent in the first place, not to mention that all TARP funds came from borrowed or newly printed money. The ONLY thing Obama is doing here is spending nearly $70 billion more for his jobs program. That can be weighed on it's own merits. The President can spare us all the partisan smoke and mirrors.

Next up on the Obama Disingenuous Hit Parade is this statement about TARP from the same speech:

" We were forced to take those steps largely without the help of an opposition party which, unfortunately, after having presided over the decision-making that led to the crisis, decided to hand it over to others to solve."

First of all, The Obama administration didn't take the steps to pass TARP. The Bush Administration passed it. As I remember it, Bush was a member of the "opposition party." Bush's Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, was the driving force in getting TARP passed. More Republicans in Congress voted for TARP than voted against it, so there was some "help" from them too. Also, the Democrats controlled Congress for nearly two years before the financial crisis happened, so I'd really like to know what "decision-making that led to this crisis" the Democrats were against, including Obama himself, who was in the Senate at the time. Finally, when Obama says Bush "decided to hand it over to others to solve," did Bush have some other choice ? What was he supposed to do, "decide" that Obama couldn't takeover the presidency until after Bush solved the crisis ? I don't think so. And if Obama was so unhappy with the "decision-making that led to the crisis," why did he appoint Tim Geithner as Secretary of the Treausry and leave Ben Bernanke as the Federal Reserve Chairman ? Those two were instrumental in that decision-making. In summary, Obama's statement is complete partisan garbage.

Later in that same speech, Obama contradicted his own words by admitting that TARP was "launched hastily under the last administration," and argued the policy was flawed (even though Obama repeatedly says Obama saved the financial system with that same policy). If you recall, Obama "hastily" voted FOR the "flawed" TARP bill while he was in the Senate. Obama is some piece of work.

As even the Associated Press is beginning to point out, Obama likes to take both sides of the argument, claiming credit for things he did not do, while at the same time blaming others for things of which Obama approved. This is commonly known as nonsense, and we should expect something better from our President.

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