Friday, October 01, 2010

Economic accomplishments that can't be touted

The program expires this weekend, but hated as it was, the TARP bailout might see a profit. Seems more likely it will cost at least the $50 billion lowball Treasury estimate but outside of the miserably failed HAMP program, it was a success. It did save the big banks and they're the ones who paid their loans and the government made a profit on when they sold their collateral. Seems it's the small banks who are in default and/or holding onto their money.

I have some mixed feelings about this. Not sure I think it's so great that the big banks are coming out on top but it's good that it won't cost as much as the dire predictions of hundreds of billions down the drain.

In related news, stimulus spending under the Recovery Act met its Congressionally mandated deadlines and "with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse." I have to agree with Atrios, who regularly suggests the money wasn't spent enough on direct hiring of low skilled workers for environmental upgrades to the infrastructure. But, they did put a lot of money into roads.

Most of the major thoroughfares and a fair number of smaller ones are newly paved in my little city with stimulus funding. I can see that money coursing through the local economy from my own crummy little job. Recovery Act didn't work well enough, but it worked well for what it was, and it was certainly better than nothing.

The irony is, the GOPers, thanks to a compliant he said/she said media, succeeded so well in poisoning the public perception of the programs, that the Democrats can't use their small success in rescuing us from the Republicans' recklessness in their campaigns.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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