Spending vast sums of money to end the recession didn’t work the first time with TARP, or the second time with the Stimulus. But perhaps the third time’s the charm. Today President Obama announced his plan to use up to $200 billion in repaid TARP funds to create jobs instead of pay down the enormous deficit.
He [the President] called for more government spending on infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and water projects and for new tax breaks for consumers who invest in energy-efficient retrofits in their homes. This could be what some administration officials have called a “Cash for Caulkers” program modeled on the now-expired Cash for Clunkers program of tax rebates for people who turned in old cars for more fuel-efficient models.
While he didn’t put a price tag on his brilliant scheme to use taxpayer dollars to fund home weatherization and other crony-related projects, he did admit to looking for ways to also tap into a portion of the unused stimulus money (a.k.a. Obama’s Personal Bribery Slush Fund).
The administration also is eyeing ways to get money still not spent in the $787 billion stimulus bill passed last winter into projects more quickly.
Obama claims his new plan “will generate the greatest number of jobs while generating the greatest value for our economy.” Right. Where have we heard that before? And where’s Dave Ramsey when you need him?