Yesterday, the Senate voted 42-52 to not block the release of the second half of the $700 billion bailout (the Troubled Asset Relief Program [TARP] money). Within hours of that vote, the Department of the Treasury announced that $118 billion of the $350 billion would be spent on bailing out Bank of America by investing in it and guaranteeing loans.
President-Elect Obama told reporters, “We can’t just spend our way out of the problem. At some point credit has to flow effectively. … Banks now are fully caught up in a downward spiral where they have now affected the real economy, the real economy is now affecting their balance sheets. And so we’re going to have to intelligently and strategically infuse some additional capital into the financial system.”
He went on to say, “[This] wasn’t an easy vote … because of the frustration so many of us share,” referring to how President Bush handled the release of the first $350 billion. He continued, “Restoring the economy requires that we maintain the flow of credit to families and businesses. So I’m gratified that a majority of the U.S. Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, voted today to give me the authority to implement the rest of the financial rescue plan in a new and responsible way.”
This bill, Senate Joint Resolution 5 (sponsored by David Vitter [R-LA]) was kinda backwards, in that the vote against the Joint Resolution actually meant that the Senate supported the release of more money. The vote fell pretty much along party lines, with a few dissenters on both sides.
I think you all know how I feel – this was absolutely terrible. The Bush Administration and Treasury Secretary Paulson mishandled the release of the first $350 billion, and I really don’t think the Obama Administration will do much better. Even if they released the money absolutely “perfectly” (according to how they planned it to go), I STILL think that it will harm the economy and just waste government/taxpayer money.
These bailouts have got to stop!
Tags: Bailout, Bank, Bank of America, Barack Obama, David Vitter, Democrat, Democrats, Department of the Treasury, Economic Crisis, Financial Bailout, George Bush, George W. Bush, Henry Paulson, Loan, Louisiana, Politics, Republican, Republicans, Secretary of the Treasury, Senate, Senate Joint Resolution 5, TARP, Treasury Secretary, Troubled Asset Relief Program