Thursday, November 13, 2008



Fully grasping all the fine points of the recently enacted Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) – signed into law by the President on October 3rd - would have been a full-time job and my already suffering fantasy football teams were an obvious higher priority. But from what I read, the program was passed so that the Federal Government would be purchasing “troubled assets” – hence the title, Troubled Asset Relief Program. Today, however, I read that:

“Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. announced a series of moves yesterday that redefine the federal government's $700 billion rescue plan for the financial industry…In recasting the program, the Treasury no longer plans to buy troubled assets from financial firms, the idea initially presented to the country, but instead will offer aid to banks and other firms that issue student, auto and credit card loans in part by jump-starting the market that provides financing for these companies.” Treasury Redefines Its Rescue Program -

Now this may very well be a better use of Treasury’s funds but it’s not what Congress voted for and it’s not what the President signed. And I didn’t see any provision for such a change in policy during my quick read of the law. (Please correct me if I’m wrong) Despite the chance it could interfere with holiday plans through January 20th, Congress (and the President) should remind Secretary Paulson that he only implements and enforces policy, not unilaterally sets it.

Once again Congress has failed to use its congressional oversight to protect the American people.

"Fool me once
Shame on you
Fool me twice
Shame on me."
--Chinese Proverb
again this may be a better strategy than the "troubled asset" purchases but Congress should at least OK it...thanks for the comment
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