The grave threat of the next TARP is that it will set in motion a downward spiral, beginning with government-imposed conditions diminishing corporate profitability, which in turn could necessitate another injection of taxpayer money, along with further government conditions. This, on top of the vast sums of nonstimulative spending just enacted, will be a drag on economic growth. It’s a slippery slope that Republicans must oppose from the outset.
If unable to stop this threat, Republicans can work toward two goals. First, add workable provisions that allow financial institutions benefiting from TARP funds to work themselves off the government’s ledgers — and out from under any political conditions imposed on them over Republican objections.
Second, we need to insist that any conditions imposed on financial institutions are limited to only those companies benefiting from TARP funds.