04 December 2009

CITIZENS BEWARE: CONGRESS IS STILL IN SESSION

For so long as any Congress is in session, especially the current one, the wallets of the American people are in danger. No one loves to spend someone else’s money like a member of Congress. Nothing gets their juices going like a big pot of our money that they can lavish on folks other than the people who earned the money and paid it in taxes.

The latest case in point is the Troubled Asset Recovery Program.

TARP, as it is known, was created to remedy the serious problems created by Chris Dodd, Barney Franks, and others of their ilk. Playing the racial prejudice game so beloved by liberals, they forced through a series of laws that mandated that banks must make mortgage loans to people who could never qualify for those loans. When questions were raised, Barney, Chris and others claimed that the objectors were simply prejudiced against poor people of color.

As a result, lenders soon held huge blocks of bad paper. As the housing market tumbled, there was no way that the properties that served as collateral for the loans could cover the value of those loans. Without some help, the holders of these “troubled assets” were likely to fail. Starting in October, 2008, and continuing through the change in administrations, the complex plan was designed to keep lending institutions afloat and to encourage lenders to continue to offer credit necessary to move the economy.

Well, it appears to have worked. Lender after lender has begun to repay the loans to the Treasury, i.e., to us, the taxpayers whose taxes were the source of the loans. Mission accomplished.

“But wait a minute,” says the Congress. “You mean that there is going to be hundreds of billions of dollars just laying around?” They are grinning like a kid at Christmas. Never mind that the whole idea of TARP was to make loans and then recover the money to repay the loans. They now want to use this “windfall” to fund “job creation” programs. Just because the money was meant for one specific program will not stop these profligates from spending it on their pet causes.

When they rail against the deficit, they are lying. If they were really interested in the deficit, they now have hundreds of billions of dollars to pay it down. Don’t hold your breath.

But there had better not be any suggestion that we have to impose a new tax to “pay” for Afghan operations. They have plenty of extra cash laying around.