- President George W. Bush, December 16, 2008 on CNN
Most conservatives just slapped their heads and groaned in consternation over the above statement; and probably also wanted to slap silly the president they’ve otherwise supported and defended for the last nigh 8 years in office.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program was heavily criticized by many conservatives. In light of the stimulus spendings and expansion of government under the current PotUS, some Americans even forget that TARP was initiated under Bush and Paulson’s leadership, not Obama’s (although he did support it, as a U.S. senator).
2 years later, in handling the 2008 financial crisis in the twilight of his presidency, was Bush right?
When the bill was being voted upon 2 years ago, I nervously and unconfidently wrote this:
Republicans who stand opposed do so for ideological reasons: Let the free market run its course, and those who made bad decisions suffer the consequences of having made bad decisions. Democrats oppose the bill for ideological reasons as well, thinking this is a bail-out for Wall Street. Caught in the cross-fire of this mess, is all of the rest of us. If we simply stand aside and allow financial institutions to fail on free market principle, we will all suffer together for the mistakes of others.
“Two years after it began, the controversial TARP program—the bailout of the financial system—concludes operations with much-better-than expected results. Most money invested in the rescue has been repaid, often with interest: of the $700 billion originally authorized, taxpayers remain on the hook for less than $66 billion, according to the Treasury Department.
This shows the Bush Bailout starkly contrasting with Obama’s Stimulus, which authorized $864 billion in spending, with no pay back. The stimulus permanently shifted money from private sector to government, while TARP temporarily transferred funds from public to private sector. TARP was also bipartisan: most Congressional Republicans supported it, while the stimulus drew united GOP opposition from 214 of 217 Republicans then in Congress.
Short term loans to save private businesses may be debatable but long-term explosions of spending to grow government are always disastrous.”
Latest bailout loss estimate: $29 billion.
The U.S. government’s bailout of financial firms through the Troubled Asset Relief Program provided taxpayers with higher returns than yields paid on 30- year Treasury bonds — enough money to fund the Securities and Exchange Commission for the next two decades.
The government has earned $25.2 billion on its investment of $309 billion in banks and insurance companies, an 8.2 percent return over two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That beat U.S. Treasuries, high-yield savings accounts, money- market funds and certificates of deposit. Investing in the stock market or gold would have paid off better.
When the government first announced its intention to plow funds into the nation’s banks in October 2008 to resuscitate the financial system, many expected it to lose hundreds of billions of dollars. Two years later TARP’s bank and insurance investments have made money, and about two-thirds of the funds have been paid back.