"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," Obama said. "But this is a false choice."
To be sure, governments spend money during recessions to prime the economy, and they must be wary not to pull back too soon or to spend too long. But TARP returns are required by law to be used for deficit reduction. Yet if banks can help lower the deficit through one program, Congress can bump it up elsewhere.
What's more, even under Obama's rosier expectations the $700 billion TARP would still add $141 billion to the deficit.
It wasn't the president's only attempt at having his cake and eating it, too, in his speech.
OBAMA: "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," he said, describing his administration's infusions of money to banks and the auto industry.
Later, however, he conceded that the TARP program was "launched hastily under the last administration," and argued the policy was flawed.
With Obama's approval rating at an all time low
it's no wonder we are seeing more discussion about his decisions. This article (linked below) illustrates, at least in my mind, why some people are so upset with Obama. He's trying to play both sides and be a popular president. What's interesting in this piece is how much blame he's spreading around about the bail out, which I think we can all agree hasn't done any real good, unless you make cars.
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