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The Failures of TARP

Liberals would have us believe that government is more trustworthy and competent than the private sector to manage large sums of money. A gaping deficit, ham-handedness in reacting to natural disasters, and unsustainable entitlement problems tell us otherwise. Now we learn:

TARP bailouts are far from over, even though Treasury’s ability to invest more money in the program has expired, a new oversight report finds. The special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky, has prepared a report outlining problems, including rosy Treasury estimates for the program’s cost to taxpayers. …

The report criticizes TARP for failing to save enough struggling homeowners from foreclosure. The program has supported 207,000 permanent mortgage modifications intended to keep people in their homes. But 1.7 million homes have been foreclosed on since January 2009.

“The most specific of TARP’s Main Street goals, “preserving homeownership,” has so far fallen woefully short,” the report said.

The report also hit TARP for failing to increase lending for small businesses, going after the administration’s auto team for advocating to speed the rate of shuttering car dealerships in order to save General Motors.

As for Obama’s occasional claims that we have gotten our money back, the IG says it just isn’t so. At every turn we learn and relearn again that the government has no special expertise — in fact has no expertise — when it comes to running banks or car companies. It is no wonder that skepticism about government has grown. As it takes on more, spends more, and performs less well, voters get the idea that we should start taking responsibilities away from the government. We can start with ObamaCare. Imagine what an IG report on that would look like five or 10 years from now.


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