Creep. As politicians were selling the TARP fund to Americans, they frequently let us know the hand outs were not hand outs at all, more of a loan that would be paid back. If we agreed with the grand plan – that needed to be approved today – there was a good chance the American people would actually make money on their investment! Hogwash.
I know – and most of you know – that if the we made a return on our investment, we’d never see one dime of that money. Did you really expect the federal government would send you a dividend check? Well that’s how they sold it; the “profits” were destined to go towards paying off government debt.
Well Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), never one to just let a couple of billion go to waste, wants to immediately redirect any “profits” toward currently unfunded pet projects.
Byron York in the Washington Examiner has the details.
Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has come up with a proposal to spend any TARP profits before they can be returned to the taxpayers. Last Friday, Frank introduced the “TARP for Main Street Act of 2009,” a bill that would take profits from the program and immediately redirect them toward housing proposals favored by Frank and some fellow Democrats.
In exchange for receiving TARP money, financial institutions were required to hand over shares of preferred stock that paid a dividend for the government. In theory, if a financial institution paid the dividend faithfully, and then repaid the TARP money, then the government would turn a profit. Last month, the General Accountability Office (GAO) reported that, through June 12, 2009, the government had received $6.2 billion in dividend payments. The original TARP legislation required that money made from the program “shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.”
So, any so-called profits from the investment, that was originally required to be directed to pay off the public debt, is headed to one of Frank’s welfare entitlement programs if he can get away with it.
We’re talking billions of dollars here. Where does he get off proposing this crap?
So all in all, it’s a win-win-win for the Washington politicians. They are now owners and operators of car companies with union-loving employees as partners, majority stakeholders in financial institutions with good friends as business partners, and have the ability to spend billions in profits – from a select few of those ventures who actually pay off their debt – on entitlement programs for voters who are, or soon will be, dependent on the government for everything.
The actual investors – the half of American workers who actually pay federal income tax – are getting nothing from their investment. Not. One. Dime.
You really didn’t expect a dividend check did you?