The White House arbitrarily cut the projected long-term cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) by $200 billion, but rather than leave that money unspent, the administration wants to use it for a jobs bill. "TARP has turned out to be much cheaper than we had expected, although not cheap," Obama said. "It means that some of that money can be devoted to deficit reduction. And the question is: Are there selective approaches that are consistent with the original goals of TARP -- for example, making sure that small businesses are still getting lending -- that would be appropriate in accelerating job growth?" Rep. Barney Frank (D-Fannie Mae), on the other hand, wants TARP cash for more mortgage aid. Either proposal would likely require legislation changing the purpose of TARP.
In rebuttal, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) argued, "TARP is not the Democrats' personal bank account and was never intended to be a $700 billion perpetual slush fund. This is a perfect example of the hazards of taxpayer-funded bailouts." Actually, Democrats had that in mind all along.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton still owed $6 million to her pollster Mark Penn after her 2008 presidential fizzled out. Fortunately for Clinton and Penn, there was the Recovery Act. According to The Hill, "Federal records show that a contract worth $5.97 million, part of the $787 billion stimulus Congress passed this year, helped preserve three jobs at Burson-Marsteller, the global public-relations and communications firm headed by Penn." Naturally, Penn's firm denied the report, calling it "fundamentally inaccurate."