The Democrats’ proposal to use part of the $700 billion TARP program as funding for job creation is a brilliant political move.
Bloomberg: “Investments that we have in jobs should be paid for by TARP funds,” said Pelosi, a California Democrat. These include helping communities employ police officers, firefighters and teachers and help revive lending to small businesses, she said.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today the administration is “actively looking at” ways to use TARP funds to spur job creation.
It’s brilliant because it takes spending that the public perceives as ‘bailout money for the bankers’ and ostensibly gives it to the unemployed and working class. Never mind the fact that the TARP doesn’t represent money we actually have. Every dollar of TARP means another dollar of additional government debt.
While in reality using TARP to fund job creation is essentially having all Americans take out a loan (via government debt) to fund even more government stimulus programs, it is likely to rather be perceived by the public as the Democrats ‘taking from the bankers’ and ‘giving to the working class.’ The fact that bankers don’t even want TARP funds these days won’t even be noticed.
This idea will work wonders for the Obama administration, by helping separate themselves from the notion that they are currently in bed with Wall Street. It also puts the Republicans in the peculiar position of bemoaning high unemployment while opposing spending to alleviate it.