Romney: It was Bush and Hank Paulson, not Obama, who saved the economy with TARP

posted at 7:10 pm on March 21, 2012 by Allahpundit

Is it really “news” that he’s saying this? I’m going to argue yes, but purely for what it signals about the state of the race.

Hours after he secured the endorsement of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney credited his brother, President George W. Bush, with keeping the country from a great depression in 2008.

“I keep hearing the president say he’s responsible for keeping the country out of a Great Depression,” Romney said at a town hall in Arbutus, Maryland. “No, no, no, that was President George W. Bush and [then-Treasury Secretary] Hank Paulson.”

He’s been making that point for ages. It’s even in his book. From Time’s piece on Romney’s “No Apology” back in March 2010:

The Harvard MBA and venture capitalist is sharper when it comes to the economy, a topic squarely in his wheelhouse. The best way for government to stimulate the economy, he argues, is to promote a favorable climate for innovation and then get out of its way. But he’s not an absolutist when it comes to government meddling in the markets. Though he denounces the bailout of Detroit carmakers, Romney is a backer of TARP, though he couches his position with a caveat that protects his right flank. “Secretary Paulson’s TARP prevented a systemic collapse of the national financial system,” he writes. “Secretary Geithner’s TARP became an opaque, heavy-handed, expensive slush fund. It should be shut down.”

The DNC accused him of flip-flopping on TARP late last year and PolitiFact, after researching, gave him a clean bill of health — a bit of consistency worth noting on Etch-a-Sketch Day in the blogosphere. If you don’t believe them, believe your own eyes. Embedded below you’ll find Romney defending TARP at a GOP candidate roundtable in October. He praises Bush and Paulson at around 1:15. His position on this has, as far as I can tell, always been that (a) TARP was imperfectly designed, (b) it should have been ended long ago after it became a slush fund, (c) he doesn’t support bailing out any individual bank simply because its managers made dumb decisions, but (d) in the extraordinary scenario where you’re looking at a systemic collapse of the entire financial system, with one bank dragging down another and then another in a catastrophic domino effect, then you have to act. I’ve always been sympathetic to that argument even though it makes conservatives bristle and amounts to rank heresy among libertarians, so perhaps my view of what he said today is skewed but I don’t see what the big deal here is. He was on record about TARP over and over again before the first votes were cast in Iowa and he’s got the nomination all but cinched three months later. Obviously it’s not disqualifying for most Republicans.

What is a big deal, though, is that he feels safe running through this again even though it’s Etch-a-Sketch Day. Clearly he thinks he’s in a strong enough position electorally that he doesn’t have to worry about hitting the occasional conservative nerve with his rhetoric, even at a moment when grassroots righties are perked up about him lurching towards the center in the general. (This is also a pat on the back for the Bush family on the day he finally landed Jeb’s endorsement, of course.) More significantly, this might be his way of starting to pivot from a “the economy’s a hopeless disaster under Obama” message to a more daring “yeah, okay, the economy’s starting to come back — thanks to Bush” message. If so, that seems exceedingly unwise; I’ve written many times about polls showing that voters continue to blame Bush, not The One, for the recession. Just last month, a Quinnipiac survey indicated that 51 percent still blame Bush for the current condition of the economy compared to just 35 percent who blame O. Dubya’s numbers have barely budged on that in more than two years. Sustained Republican messaging will move the needle a bit but if we’re banking on spinning away a recovery by rehabilitating George W. Bush(!) and TARP(!!), we’re in for a long election night, my friends.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Cue the endless posts of Romney-hatred.

Esoteric on March 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

A TARPedo to the economy, that is.

leftnomore on March 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Please make the Finish dish detergent ads stop autoplaying. Thanks.

Brad G on March 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

but if we’re banking on spinning away a recovery by rehabilitating George W. Bush(!) and TARP(!!), we’re in for a long election night, my friends.

Romney is a loser, and the presidency in 2012 is a lost cause.

Let’s concentrate on taking the Senate in 2012 and then a conservative nominee in 2016.

Norwegian on March 21, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Just last month, a Quinnipiac survey indicated that 51 percent still blame Bush for the current condition of the economy compared to just 35 percent who blame O.

We 35% need our own country. I’m tired of being punished by low information voters. Second look at the moon colony thing?

Kataklysmic on March 21, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Romney is a do-do bird.

Pragmatic on March 21, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I’m having such a great day – this doesn’t even bother me :)

gophergirl on March 21, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Etch a schetch TARP

Rusty Allen on March 21, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I’m not so into tarp, turned into a slush fund for bo, just like all the debt limit increase with no budget. We need ACCOUNTABILITY.

tim c on March 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

but if we’re banking on spinning away a recovery by rehabilitating George W. Bush(!) and TARP(!!), we’re in for a long election night, my friends.
Romney is a loser, and the presidency in 2012 is a lost cause.

Let’s concentrate on taking the Senate in 2012 and then a conservative nominee in 2016.

Norwegian on March 21, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Norwegian is right again!

Pragmatic on March 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I am so tired of Romney and his weak volleys.

Pragmatic on March 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Get ADBLOCK and away go those detergent ads! I would never consider browsing the web without it.

leftnomore on March 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Romney endorses tarp.

Waiting for him to endorse everything else

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Cue the endless posts of Romney-hatredRino ass-licking defenders who “know” he is the only inevitable electable one.

Esoteric on March 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Alllll fixed !

cableguy615 on March 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

I hear Romney drowns kittens and shoots puppies….

sandee on March 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Most of the TARP money that Bush distributed has come back already, with interest. For Obama, not so much.

RBMN on March 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Cue the endless posts of Romney-hatred.

Esoteric on March 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I can’t tell a lib comment from a conservative comment these days. The guy is the nominee; I like him way better than Obama. I am not piling on.

msmveritas on March 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

I’m amazed at posters here 20/20 hindsight.

I don’t know if tarp was necessary but based on what we knew at the time we had no choice.

gerrym51 on March 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Just man has zero core. What does he really stand for?

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I don’t know if tarp was necessary but based on what we knew at the time we had no choice.

gerrym51 on March 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Sure we did.

lorien1973 on March 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I hear Romney drowns kittens and shoots puppies….

He also takes candy from babies and kicks old ladies down the stairs.

LOL

gerry-mittbot

gerrym51 on March 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

That’s right, genius, make your campaign about defending TARP. Fool

TARP was an unmitigated disaster, the worst aspect of the disastrous GWB second term.

james23 on March 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Just man has zero core. What does he really stand for?

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Say what?

sandee on March 21, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I don’t know if tarp was necessary but based on what we knew at the time we had no choice.

gerrym51 on March 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

No because

1 the money was used to buy control of banks, not for mortgages, ie, it was a lie….
2 The above makes it a fact that the banks were not really going to fail, if the feds wanted to control them, rather than shore them up.

rightwingyahooo on March 21, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Just man has zero core. What does he really stand for?

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Well, he’s not that passionate about bringing Marxism to America so he’s got that going for him. One of the fringe benefits of having no core I suppose.

Kataklysmic on March 21, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Who says Mitt can’t throw “RED MEAT” at the base.

he’s thrown plenty today but it’s meat the base doesn’t like.

LOL

gerry-mittbot-part of the MODERATE BASE

gerrym51 on March 21, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Sure we did.

lorien1973 on March 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

You’re right! We could have had a complete collapse of our economy and institutions. Darn it, why didn’t we choose that route?/

Buy Danish on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Well, he’s not that passionate about bringing Marxism to America so he’s got that going for him. One of the fringe benefits of having no core I suppose.

Kataklysmic on March 21, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Willard is one step away from embracing bailouts.

So let me get this straight. He likes tarp but hates bailouts lol

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Why doesn’t Mittens go after those who caused the collapse in the first place…?

Seven Percent Solution on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Cue the endless posts of Romney-hatred.

Esoteric on March 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

No, no Romney hatred here.

But Hank Poulson is an effing criminal who should be in jail.

Right Mover on March 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Willard is one step away from embracing bailouts.

So let me get this straight. He likes tarp but hates bailouts lol

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Mitt is highly nuanced. Just like the last multimillionaire postus candidate from MA.

Kataklysmic on March 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Mitt: I want to take you back to the good old days of Fall, 2008, when GWB and Hank Paulson were at the wheel.

Obowmao: exactly, lets revisit those days, shall we?

james23 on March 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Just man has zero core. What does he really stand for?

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

In your mothers liquor cabinet this evening?

JPeterman on March 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I was against TARP but it isn’t a deal breaker for me since I was in a distinct minority. What do I know? Isn’t there a picture of The Won and Sen. McCain in a meeting with Pres. Bush and Sec. Paulson about TARP looking annoyed and wishing he was someplace where he understood what the heck people were talking about?

Cindy Munford on March 21, 2012 at 7:31 PM

And the great pile-on continues.

I thought Romney always took the politically expedient course? It would seem, if he’s defending TARP (and Bush’s role) that’s not so much the case. But, of course, that’s not the angle here.

changer1701 on March 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I was against TARP but it isn’t a deal breaker for me since I was in a distinct minority. What do I know? Isn’t there a picture of The Won and Sen. McCain in a meeting with Pres. Bush and Sec. Paulson about TARP looking annoyed and wishing he was someplace where he understood what the heck people were talking about?

Cindy Munford on March 21, 2012 at 7:31 PM

So you you support tarp but don’t like the bailouts?

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I hear Romney drowns kittens and shoots puppies….

sandee on March 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

He doesn’t shoot puppies. He just cages ‘em and roofs ‘em.

Right Mover on March 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

So what is it: The Economy IS ruined OR The Economy has been saved by Bush?

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 21, 2012 at 7:34 PM

There is a difference between saving a car maker and the whole financial system. Just as there is a difference between Peugeot that failed and had little overall impact and Greece failing and threatening to drag down the whole financial structure in EU.

galtani on March 21, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Cue the endless posts of Romney-hatred.

Esoteric on March 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I can’t tell a lib comment from a conservative comment these days. The guy is the nominee; I like him way better than Obama. I am not piling on.

msmveritas on March 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Nowdays, the Romney hatin’ nutballs are just background noise.

What I don’t miss are the sycophantic Romney fluffin’ nutballs. Some are still here, but I guess they got a clue.

cozmo on March 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Clearly he thinks he’s in a strong enough position electorally that he doesn’t have to worry about hitting the occasional conservative nerve with his rhetoric…

Why should he worry? All the TruCons have made it eminently clear that for hate’s sake they spit their last breath at Romney, so he no longer has anything to lose with that group. He could release a viral video of him and his sons lined up like the cast of Riverdance doing a jig on top of Reagan’s grave while burning a Gadsden flag, and it wouldn’t cost him any support.

Fabozz on March 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I’m amazed at posters here 20/20 hindsight.

I don’t know if tarp was necessary but based on what we knew at the time we had no choice.

gerrym51 on March 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

“What we knew at the time” was whatever scaremongering drivel Hank Paulson was peddling. It became obvious it was oversold when after the funds were granted, they were mostly sat upon, not used to buy the toxic assets designated as the primary purpose, and then used as a slush fund. Paulson is contemptible, not admirable.

theperfecteconomist on March 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

No, no Romney hatred here.

But Hank Poulson is an effing criminal who should be in jail.

Right Mover on March 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Agreed!! Romney is wrong that it became a slush fund after Obama took it over. It was always a slush fund. Bush using it to hand the auto companies another bailout in Dec. 2008 is proof of it.

Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

So let me get this straight. He likes tarp but hates bailouts lol
liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

A loan is not the same thing as a gift. This is something which annoys me to no end about liberals and conservatives. TARP was a loan and most of it has been repaid.

On the other hand, robbing Senior creditors to pay off the UAW was a “bailout”; Welfare payments, sorry, “Making Work Pay” transfers of income from one segment to the population to another under the guise of a “tax credit” is more like a “bailout” because it’s a gift, not a loan.

Buy Danish on March 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

No, Darlin, I was against TARP and definitely against the bail outs of the auto industry. We already have bankruptcy laws on the books that are a whole lot more fair that that mess that The Won imposed.

Cindy Munford on March 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

No, no Romney hatred here.

But Hank Poulson is an effing criminal who should be in jail.

Right Mover on March 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

That is the first thing that came to my mind.

Why isn’t Hank Paulson in Prision? He violated the American constitution by bailing out all those companies. Hank paulson is a criminal who should not be praised!

social-justice on March 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Not going to bother reading why Paulson should be in jail but I like Romney’s take on the matter. TARP was a CF but what can you do. It’s more true that porkulus and Geithner turned trillions of dollars into a slushfund for SCOAMF.

I feel better knowing that Romney can verbalize the almost unsupportable position supporting TARP. What can you do?

joeindc44 on March 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Bush using it to hand the auto companies another bailout in Dec. 2008 is proof of it.
Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Romney opposed that particular misuse of TARP and the wasted gazillions spent propping them up when they should have gone directly into bankruptcy (and re-emerged stronger and leaner).

Buy Danish on March 21, 2012 at 7:41 PM

I was against TARP but it isn’t a deal breaker for me since I was in a distinct minority. What do I know? Isn’t there a picture of The Won and Sen. McCain in a meeting with Pres. Bush and Sec. Paulson about TARP looking annoyed and wishing he was someplace where he understood what the heck people were talking about?

Cindy Munford on March 21, 2012 at 7:31 PM

So you you support tarp but don’t like the bailouts?

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

???

d1carter on March 21, 2012 at 7:41 PM

You’re right! We could have had a complete collapse of our economy and institutions. Darn it, why didn’t we choose that route?/

Buy Danish on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

It’s still going to happen. Only now, it’s going to be a lot worse.

Farenht451 on March 21, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Taking GOP ownership of the bailouts is just plain stupid. I guess he really doesn’t want conservative votes.

voiceofreason on March 21, 2012 at 7:42 PM

It was Bush and Paulson that set up the too big to fail mem and actually destroyed the economy. They set up the a trillion here a trillion there and eventually you are talking about real money meme. They set up the precedent of bailing out private firms. They basically made the Obama presidency possible. Without Bush and Paulson Barrack Obama’s presidency would effectively been about 1/8 as destructive as it has been, as Bush and Paulson crossed almost all the bridges for him in advance and set it up for his abuse.

astonerii on March 21, 2012 at 7:43 PM

A loan is not the same thing as a gift. This is something which annoys me to no end about liberals and conservatives. TARP was a loan and most of it has been repaid.

On the other hand, robbing Senior creditors to pay off the UAW was a “bailout”; Welfare payments, sorry, “Making Work Pay” transfers of income from one segment to the population to another under the guise of a “tax credit” is more like a “bailout” because it’s a gift, not a loan.

Buy Danish on March 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

The federal government has no business giving loans, picking winners and losers. Is either everyone gets the loan or no one gets it.

All these companies should have gone the way of Lehman brothers. The idea that you would defend the government meddling in the private economy tells me all I need to know

social-justice on March 21, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Agreed!! Romney is wrong that it became a slush fund after Obama took it over. It was always a slush fund. Bush using it to hand the auto companies another bailout in Dec. 2008 is proof of it.

Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Que Willard to claim Bush saved the auto companies as well. Kinda looks like zero is going run against Bush after all, with a little help from Mittens.

Lost in Jersey on March 21, 2012 at 7:43 PM

McCain: I was misled into supporting TARP
posted at 3:32 pm on February 22, 2010 by Allahpundit

ITguy on March 21, 2012 at 7:44 PM

He was on record about TARP over and over again before the first votes were cast in Iowa and he’s got the nomination all but cinched three months later. Obviously it’s not disqualifying for most Republicans.

It was not brought up by the moderators in the debates or by the other candidates like it should have been. That was a huge mistake on their part.

It’s also significant that several of his top ten contributors were beneficiaries of TARP. So Romney is using your tax dollars to fund his campaign. How’s that for grass roots support?

iwasbornwithit on March 21, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Obviously I’m not an economist but considering where we are now my gut feeling is that it was still wrong. It doesn’t make any difference now, it is what it is.

Cindy Munford on March 21, 2012 at 7:45 PM

It is entertaining seeing all the Romney haters talk about how terrible he is while he methodically beats the candidates they support. Bitter much?

The Opinionator on March 21, 2012 at 7:45 PM

It was Bush and Paulson that set up the too big to fail mem and actually destroyed the economy. They set up the a trillion here a trillion there and eventually you are talking about real money meme. They set up the precedent of bailing out private firms. They basically made the Obama presidency possible. Without Bush and Paulson Barrack Obama’s presidency would effectively been about 1/8 as destructive as it has been, as Bush and Paulson crossed almost all the bridges for him in advance and set it up for his abuse.

astonerii on March 21, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Only place Paulson belongs is jail. He is a criminal for what he did to our economy

social-justice on March 21, 2012 at 7:45 PM

if we’re banking on spinning away a recovery by rehabilitating George W. Bush(!) and TARP(!!), we’re in for a long election night, my friends.

Melt that bunny.

J-Paul00 on March 21, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Seven Percent Solution on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

He has. Sometimes you have to see what he says that’s not highlighted on Hot Air. You might try his web site.

bluealice on March 21, 2012 at 7:46 PM

yeah, TARP sucked and was a complete waste of money, but you can bet if a GOP ran on that, during the debates, the moderator will look reasonably confused and ask, gee, are you sure, the consensus is is that tarp saved the world. And the past is done, just as long as we kill the slush fund.

joeindc44 on March 21, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Paulson is contemptible, not admirable.

theperfecteconomist on March 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

+10000

Right Mover on March 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

as ace has said: some of you guys – the self identifying “very conservatives” – want to defeat mitt more than you want to defeat obama.

besides:

career politicians newt and rick are no more principled than mitt – i’d say a good deal less, in every way.

rick endorsed arlen.

newt endorsed pelosi.FAIAP.

while tt was the first to support rubio and ayotte and haley.

i wish you guys would wake the eff up and keep your eyes on the prize.

reliapundit on March 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

TARP and bailouts are losing issues. Romney better stay away from those. Obama must be defeated

social-justice on March 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Why should he worry? All the TruCons have made it eminently clear that for hate’s sake they spit their last breath at Romney, so he no longer has anything to lose with that group. He could release a viral video of him and his sons lined up like the cast of Riverdance doing a jig on top of Reagan’s grave while burning a Gadsden flag, and it wouldn’t cost him any support.

I think your wrong. this would losse hime the Irish american vote.

LOL

gerrym51 on March 21, 2012 at 7:48 PM

The economy didn’t need saving. It needed less government interference.

Dante on March 21, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Gee, maybe 51% of the electorate still blame Bush for the economy because we never had any Republicans getting out front and defending some of the things that went on in that period. Obama’s cheerleaders, (and the media) have managed to whitewash all the hideously bad decisions that Obama has done to further destroy it- I think it’ll be quite welcome to have someone who knows what he’s talking about in regards to the economy.

BettyRuth on March 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM

September 23, 2008
Bailing On Our Principles
by Mike Huckabee

Frankly, I’m disappointed and disgusted with my own Republican party as I watch them attempt to strong-arm a bailout of some of America’s biggest corporations by asking the taxpayers to suck up the staggering results of the hubris, greed, and arrogance of those who sought to make a quick buck by throwing the dice. They lost, but want the rest of us to cover their bets so they won’t be effected in their lavish lifestyles as they figure out how to spend their tens of millions and in some cases, hundreds of millions in bonuses and compensation which was their reward for not only sinking their companies, but basically doing the same to the entire American economy.

It’s especially disconcerting to see the very people who pilloried me during the Presidential campaign for being a “populist” and not “understanding Wall Street” to now line up like thirsty dogs at the Washington, D. C. water dish, otherwise known as Congress, and plead for help. I thought these guys were the smartest people in America! I thought that taxpayers like you and I were similar to the people at the U. N. who have no translator speaking into their headset – that we just needed to trust those that I called the power bunch in the “Wall Street to Washington axis of power.”

The idea of a government bailout in which we’d entrust $700 billion to one man without Congressional oversight or accountability is absurd. My party or not, that is insanity and I believe unconstitutional.

Will there be far-reaching consequences without some intervention? Probably, but we honestly don’t know since we’ve really never seen this level of greed and stupidity all rolled into one massive move. But may I suggest that letting “Uncle Sugar” step in and bail out the billionaires who made the mess will be far worse and will start a long line of companies and individuals who will demand the same of the government—which last time I checked means that they will be demanding it out of YOU and ME. This is not money that Congress is risking from THEIR pockets or future, but ours. Many if not most of us have already experienced lost value on our homes, retirement accounts, and pensions. Now they’d like for us to assume some further risks so they won’t have to.

What happened to the “free market” idea? Is that only our view when we WIN and when we LOSE, we ask the government to come in and take away the pain?

If you are a small business owner, is this the way it works at your place? When you have a bad month, a bad year, or face having to close, can you go up to Congress and get them to write YOU a fat check to take away your risk?

Some of what contributed to this disaster is too much government in the form of Sarbanes/Oxley. Some is due to the tax structure that created the hunger for companies to “game” the system. Some is the common sense that was ignored like loaning money to people who can’t pay it back.

Wall Street has become Las Vegas east, but at least in Vegas, people KNOW they are gambling and they don’t expect the government to cover their losses at the tables. In Wall Street, they do. And the American taxpayer burdens the responsibility.

If Congress wants to do something, here are some suggestions:

1. Eliminate ALL capital gains taxes and taxes on savings and dividends right now. Free up the capital and encourage investment. This is the kind of economic stimulus the Fair Tax would bring and if Congress is going to lose money, let them lose it with lower taxes, not with public dollar bailouts of private market mistakes.

2. Repeal Sarbanes/Oxley. It has failed. It was supposed to prevent this. It didn’t. Kill it.

3. Demand that the executives who steered their ships into the ground be forced to pay back the losses of their companies. Of course, they can’t, so let them work and give back to the government and they can live like the people they put on the streets or kept there. It makes no sense to put them in jail—that’s just more they will cost you and me. I’d rather them go out and earn money—just not get to keep so much of it this time. I’m not talking about limiting CEO salaries—just those of the people who now are up in Washington begging for help because they ruined their companies.

Attempts by Democrats and Republicans to blame each other is nonsense. They are both guilty and ought to own up and admit it. They all lived off big campaign contributions and the swill of the lobbyists who strong armed them into permission to steal. Enough of blame. Fix it!

This would be a start. If we don’t hold these guys responsible, we are all finished.

ITguy on March 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Tone deaf choad = Romney

Valiant on March 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

I agree with AP, right up to the point where he starts speculating on Romney’s campaign intentions.

Of course Santorum and Gingrich are going to seize on anything that makes Romney look inconsistent with great glee. They’ve been both singing that song since they entered the race. (And the DNC is singing backup, and the media cranks up the amplifiers.) Romney can’t say anything at all without someone trying spin it to look bad.

Confutus on March 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

December 15, 2008
Mike Huckabee Discusses The Bailouts

ITguy on March 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Willard is unacceptable.

Many of you have trashed McCain for suspending his campaign to support the big bailout and TARP. And with good reason.

Now here is Willard defending fascist economics again. This is inexcusable. When you take risks in business, and they didn’t pan out, then you fail. That’s capitalism. But that’s not Willard’s peculiar country-club vision of economics, where Americans exist to pay inetrest to, and to bail out, the banks.

Willard is defending the right of plutocrats to have their bad investments magically bailed out.

Any chance that I had of supporting Willard against Obama, miniscule as it was, just went to zero.

Emperor Norton on March 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

This is something which annoys me to no end about liberals and conservatives. TARP was a loan and most of it has been repaid.

TARP wasn’t your average loan, it was a high-risk loan with no interest attached and no reward to the taxpayers who accepted the risk. It was a give-away to the banks and banking executives that brought about the crisis in the first place. Why didn’t the government require stock warrants or other equity in exchange for saving a corrupt and broken industry? The banks were saved and protected- and in the face of rampant and widespread loan fraud, no one was ever held accountable.

TARP might have been necessary to prevent another depression, along with extraordinary intervention from the Fed to keep the wholesale credit markets from total collapse. But TARP should NOT have been structured as a give-away.

Only place Paulson belongs is jail. He is a criminal for what he did to our economy

social-justice on March 21, 2012 at 7:45 PM

You really have no idea what was going on at the time… and obviously never know anyone inside the financial industry close to the destruction. It’s funny that people actually believe that our country’s financial system is some kind of indestructible force. It’s nothing more than an edifice, built on trust, and could have easily collapsed in totality.

bayam on March 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Romney/Palin 2012

Fire up the base……….cause Rubio is NOT going to do it.

PappyD61 on March 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Any chance that I had of supporting Willard against Obama, miniscule as it was, just went to zero.

Emperor Norton on March 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Folks like y’all really are looking forward to four more years of Obama. Just come out of the closet already.

cozmo on March 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

They didn’t save anything, they bought a bit of time at the price of an even more massive eventual collapse.

ebrawer on March 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Love the stimulus? Credit Bush, not Obama.

Hate the stimulus? Blame Bush, and Obama.

It’s a smart play. So is portraying TARP as a necessary evil, but one was that became wholly perverted once Obama got involved with directing stimulus dollars to his political cronies.

The Resolute Desk on March 21, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Romney endorses tarp.

Waiting for him to endorse everything else

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Just man has zero core. What does he really stand for?

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Willard is one step away from embracing bailouts.

So let me get this straight. He likes tarp but hates bailouts lol

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

So you you support tarp but don’t like the bailouts?

liberal4life on March 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

…..lobotomy4life writes for Hallmark cards…and answers questions for the ‘stumped’ passengers on the “CASH CAB” program, on the Discovery Channel!

KOOLAID2 on March 21, 2012 at 8:00 PM

You’re right! We could have had a complete collapse of our economy and institutions. Darn it, why didn’t we choose that route?/

Buy Danish on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Not you, pretty please – just go away.

noeastern on March 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Romney opposed that particular misuse of TARP and the wasted gazillions spent propping them up when they should have gone directly into bankruptcy (and re-emerged stronger and leaner).

Buy Danish on March 21, 2012 at 7:41 PM

TARP was wrong, period. Nobody will ever convince me that the American financial system was on the verge of systemic collaspse and that injecting $350 billion (the original 1st round of TARP) miraculously avoided that. The original plan for TARP was that Paulson would buy up the toxic assets from the banks. Congress foolishly (no surprise) didn’t specify that and gave Paulson carte blanc to do what he felt necessary. He thought he could buy those toxic assets for pennies on the dollar but the banks (supposedly on the verge of collapse) weren’t selling for that. Since TARP had passed and Paulson needed to do something to keep the illusion alive, these loans became the next best option. I remember how the Dems wailed and moaned that Paulson wasn’t using the money to buy the bad mortgages (even though they failed to make the bill do exactly that). The whole thing was a charade. Romney’s support of any part of it is suspect in my book, even if he is consistent about his position.

Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

He’s not wrong about TARP, but it’s political uber-cluelessness to start invoing 43 in the middle of your messaging. Bad for him in the primary. Bad for him in the general. Man’s got a real tin ear.

Arnold Yabenson on March 21, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Meanwhile, Jay Carney engages in more civil discourse regarding Ryan’s proposal.
http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/wh-ryan-aggressively-and-deliberately-ignorant/439371

a capella on March 21, 2012 at 8:02 PM

It’s nice to see Romney set the record straight. There are a lot of morons in the media who have bought the b.s. that Obama saved the economy. And there are some geniuses on the far right who have 1/10 of 1% of Romney’s understanding of Finance but are nonetheless morally certain that TARP was not necessary.

Basilsbest on March 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Certain big banks would have gone under. But the financial system would have survived, just with fewer big players.

If there’s such a big need for banking services, then if several large institutions go under, new small banks will pop up overnight to take up the slack.

That’s capitalism–NOT crony capitalism.

Emperor Norton on March 21, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Hank Paulson was a Fluke’n Trojan Horse.
He was a Goldman Sachs Crony Capitalist Democrat in Republican clothing.

Bush nominated him at the “suggestion” of Senate Democrats after John Snow was smeared and forced out.

George W. Bush is a good man with a good heart, but he was naive in trusting Senate Democrats and Henry Paulson.

TARP was not necessary. It was a manufactured Chicken Little crisis designed to:

1) Hand the 2008 election to Obama and Congressional Democrats

2) “Spread the Wealth” of hundreds of Billions in taxpayer dollars (and remember, only about 50% of the population … i.e us … pays income taxes) to wealthy Democrat donors.

ITguy on March 21, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Nowdays, the Romney hatin’ nutballs are just background noise.

What I don’t miss are the sycophantic Romney fluffin’ nutballs. Some are still here, but I guess they got a clue.

cozmo on March 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Yeah loser? We’ll see how you feel Nov 2. You’re probably an Obama supporter anyway so F/U

noeastern on March 21, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Romney/Palin 2012

Fire up the base……….cause Rubio is NOT going to do it.

PappyD61 on March 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

I wish. Romney doesn’t have the stones for that idea.

Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Romney opposed that particular misuse of TARP and the wasted gazillions spent propping them up when they should have gone directly into bankruptcy (and re-emerged stronger and leaner).

Buy Danish on March 21, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Are you saying Romney was outraged that a government approved money was misused?

The government fails at almost everything. What makes you think Tarp will be any different?

In a real capitalist economy those who take risks should reap the consequences. Good or bad. Keep my tax money out of it.

You can’t be serious

social-justice on March 21, 2012 at 8:07 PM

bayam on March 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Do you know how much research went into Paulson’s “there will be tanks in the street” mantra?

Not one shred of research. Do you know how they came up with the dollar amount of tarp? It sounded like a big number.

No sale here. Paulson and his cronies were responsible for the meltdown and stood the most to gain from tarp. That is how tarp came to be.

voiceofreason on March 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Romney: It was Bush and Hank Paulson, not Obama, who saved the made the eventual collapse of the economy even worse with TARP

Fixed it for ya mittens.

LegendHasIt on March 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Folks like y’all really are looking forward to four more years of Obama. Just come out of the closet already.

cozmo on March 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Exsqueeze me? Looking forward to four more years of Obama is not the same thing as thinking that we deserve it. I think it’s fair to draw that distinction.

gryphon202 on March 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

George W. Bush is a good man with a good heart, but he was naive in trusting Senate Democrats and Henry Paulson.

This.

Right Mover on March 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Willard is defending the right of plutocrats to have their bad investments magically bailed out.

Any chance that I had of supporting Willard against Obama, miniscule as it was, just went to zero.

Emperor Norton on March 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Actually, the White House did evaluate a path that would have allowed the largest, most unstable banks to fail. It would have required the government to nationalize those banks (too big to fail meant too large for normal FDIC stewardship), and then hold auctions to sell off the bank assets – divisions to private equity firms or other banks. At the end of the day, the plan was shelved as politically infeasible- too many on the right would have started screaming about a socialist take-over of the banking sector.

bayam on March 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Obama/Romney, for the instant and total healing of the land, in bipartisan, or middle-of-the-road non-partisan fashion

Schadenfreude on March 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Those “Too Big to Fail” back then are even bigger now…so there’s that.

d1carter on March 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

TARP as it was initially billed, was absolutely necessary. As it was used, though, was horrible. Bush use the first half of the funding to inject capital reserves into the banks to keep them from going under. Obama wasted the second half on crony capitalism.

For example: Adjustable rate mortgages that were underwater and in default simply because either the rate had adjusted upward out of the reach of the homeowner to pay or because it had expired and the homeowner could not find refinance funding should have been taken over by the Treasury. These should have been refinanced at fixed rates at a payment the homeowner could afford and after some period of time of the homeowner making the payments (paying back the government for their purchase of the loan) the loans should have been sold back to private industry.

This would have saved a large number of homes from foreclosure and prevented the market from tanking as badly as it did and thereby prevented other mortgages going under water. But no. The money was wasted buying General Motors and Chrysler for the UAW.

Mind the door on your way out, Barry.

crosspatch on March 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

“I felt that it would be irresponsible for me, with the first $350 billion already spent, to enter into the administration without any potential ammunition should there be some sort of emergency or weakening of the financial system.”

- Barack Hussein Obama II
January 13, 2009
U.S. Seeks Rest of Bailout Cash

Got that? Even though he said, “it would be irresponsible for me…” it was one of the few times that he wasn’t actually talking about himself. Obama doesn’t criticise himself.

When he said, “it would be irresponsible for me … to enter into the administration without any potential ammunition” he was really saying “it would be irresponsible for President Bush to leave the administration without giving me the other $350 Billion!”

So Obama got to have his cake and eat it, too!

Obama got the $350 Billion from Bush, and Obama got to blame Bush for the increase to our debt under Bush’s tenure!

Bush got all of the blame, Obama got half the money (to the tune of $350 BILLION to spend as he saw fit). Combine that $350 Billion with the $700+ Billion of the “Stimulus”, and Obama got over $1 TRILLION just in his first three months in office, to spend on things like ACORN, etc.

ITguy on March 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I think Mitt has a good point and it’s something we should harp on. All Obama does is blame his predecessor – it needs to be pointed out that his very few successes were because he inherited tarp and navy seals that could execute an Osama raid. He’s also trying to take credit for oil production that Bush put in the pipeline.

lymond on March 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Folks like y’all really are looking forward to four more years of Obama. Just come out of the closet already.

cozmo on March 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Not really, Folks like us are willing to sacrifice for 4 years in order to have a better future beyond that 4 years. People like you are willing to not suffer today at the expense of those in the future. There are lots of you out there, so do not feel alone. The people who refuse to give up Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, think 99 week unemployment benefits must go on because it might cause someone some discomfort for a little while as the finally get themselves to job interviews and away from their video game addiction. Cannot imagine a world where people who say “I do” actually follow through on their vows and are not granted a very easy divorce. Think that having a baby is a punishment. I know your kind.

astonerii on March 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

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