The Corner

The Alchemy of TARP

Of Obama’s desire for a new stimulus package, the editors wrote that:

He faces political headwinds: A solid majority of Americans — 62 percent, according to the latest NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll — favors keeping the deficit under control over taking further steps to boost the economy.

This is where the TARP repayments come in. The money coming back to Treasury has led it to downgrade estimated losses on the program, which in turn has led the administration to downgrade its estimate of this year’s deficit by $200 billion (from $1.5 trillion to $1.3 trillion). The Democrats would fund their new stimulus bill out of these “savings.” The bill would not, they claim, “add to the deficit.” This bit of gimmickry requires no further elucidation: To state it plainly is to illuminate its absurdity.

True enough. But if you still can’t see it, Keith Hennessey shines a 500-watt flood light on the mendacity at work here. With pictures!

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