Morning Bell: Dodd Bill Creates Permanent TARP and You Can Quote That

Morning Bell: Dodd Bill Creates Permanent TARP and You Can Quote That

Posted By Conn Carroll On March 26, 2010 @ 9:24 am In Enterprise and Free Markets | No Comments

The Dodd-Obama Permanent TARP [1]

In mid-October 2008, at the height of the Presidential campaign, Heritage Foundation analyst Rea Hederman began receiving emails [2] alerting him that he was a star in a new multimillion-dollar ad campaign for then-candidate Barack Obama. The ads claimed that Hederman believed the middle class would be better off under the Obama tax plan. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, Hederman’s analysis of the Obama tax plan [3] found the exact opposite: that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) tax plan would produce twice as many jobs as then-candidate Obama’s plan and leave middle-class families with, on average, $1,500 more in after-tax disposable income.

Now President Obama’s minions are at again, blatantly misquoting Heritage Foundation analysts in a desperate attempt to make their far left big government agenda appear to be centrist. This time the culprit is Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin, who told [4] a U.S. Chamber of Commerce summit this week:

On Monday evening, we took an important step towards final enactment of financial reform. The Senate Banking Committee has now voted out a comprehensive bill. Along with the bill passed by the House last December, it represents a strong foundation on which to build a safer financial system.

This should not be a partisan or ideological debate. As David John of the Heritage Foundation has said, “Taxpayers should never again be forced repeatedly to bail out financial services firms like AIG because a company poses a risk to the entire financial system and regulators lack the necessary tools to close the company safely.”

The quote is accurate; [5] The Heritage Foundation does believe that we need financial reform that will ensure taxpayers never again have to bail out Wall Street, but it is 100% false to insinuate that Heritage believes the bill written by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and passed out of committee this week is the solution to that problem.

Here is, in fact, what John has written [6] about the Dodd bill:

The Senate Banking bill proposes to create a new $50 billion fund to be used in “emergencies” to close or restructure failing financial institutions or those perceived as being in danger of default. This fund is certain to be used for bailing out any politically significant financial institution and is nothing less than a permanent TARP program.

Despite rhetoric about using bankruptcy for most failures, the draft makes it clear that this is to be handled through a bureaucracy subject to political pressures, since the bill also does not include language adapting the bankruptcy process to the special needs of complex international financial institutions.

In other words, not only does the Dodd bill not prevent future taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts, it virtually guarantees them forever. Just as the original $700 billion TARP fund quickly devolved into President Obama’s personal slush fund [7], the Dodd bill empowers the Treasury Secretary to take over and liquidate any financial firm at any time, and no one can stop him. The Independent Institute’s Peter Klein adds [8]:

Perish the thought, but suppose a secretary of the Treasury has a crony who really wants to buy an investment bank on the cheap—and will provide some future quid pro quo. Pick a time when equities are down and you could make a case that a financial company is wobbly. Voila, it gets liquidated in a fire sale.

And so it is business as usual in the Obama White House. The empowerment of big government, the enrichment of cronies, all justified by phony bi-partisanship and centrist rhetoric. Don’t be fooled. The Dodd bill and the Obama agenda take the worst of our current financial system and puts it on steroids.

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