Goldman Sachs chief financial officer David Viniar said returning the TARP funds is duty. But most people probably have no idea what happens when that duty is performed and TARP funds are returned.
We’re pretty sure that many Americans probably assume that returned TARP funds will go to repay debt taken on by the government to create the financial bailout.
Sadly, they’re wrong.
Instead, returned TARP funds will essentially get double counted by the government in a way that will allow it to spend more money on government programs while also increasing the amount available to bailout other financial disasters, such as insurance companies.
You see, returned TARP funds become part of the general revenue of the federal government. The money is treated just like money paid by taxpayers. It simply becomes part of the income of the government that will be spent by politicians and bureaucrats. There’s no lockbox or segregated fund. It works just like Social Security taxes: the income just gets spent for whatever the government decides to spent money on.
In this case, however, the returned money actually has the potential to result in more spending. That’s because the $700 billion budgeted by Congress for TARP is the maximum amount that can be outstanding at any one time. When TARP funds are repaid, the amount available goes up.
Right now about $134.5 billion remains out of the original $700 billion. When Goldman repays the its $10 billion TARP funding, that amount will grow to $144.5 billion. This, however, is an unfunded spending allowance. The repayment just allows the government to increase its TARP spending.