A Question About What Obama Could Have Done
Immediately upon taking office, Obama could have sought to link the bailout and recovery of Wall Street banks and financial institutions to the bailout and recovery of the unemployed, and financially stressed, workers, homeowners, and taxpayers on Main Street….
TARP fell short of the mark because the plan did not address the issues and concerns of the common folk in the wake and aftermath of the meltdown of the financial market place….
Ironically the blueprint was in place and available…
Obama had majorities in both the House and Senate..
Linking Main Street recovery to Wall Street recovery should have been a slam dunk…
Healthcare could have been made part of the recovery in the same way that FDR made Social Security an element of his recovery plan and effort…
FDR’s Works Progress Administration
Roosevelt nationalized unemployment relief through the Works Progress Administration(WPA), headed by close friend Harry Hopkins. Roosevelt had insisted that the projects had to be costly in terms of labor, long-term beneficial and the WPA was forbidden to compete with private enterprises—therefore the workers had to be paid smaller wages.The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created to return the unemployed to the work force. The WPA financed a variety of projects such as hospitals, schools and roads, and employed more than 8.5 million workers who built 650,000 miles of highways and roads, 125,000 public buildings as well as bridges, reservoirs, irrigation systems, parks, playgrounds and so on.
Prominent projects were the Lincoln Tunnel, the Triborough Bridge, the LaGuardia Airport, the Overseas Highway and the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. The Rural Electrification Administration used co-ops to bring electricity to rural areas, many of which still operate. The National Youth Administration was another the semi-autonomous WPA program for youth. Its Texas director, Lyndon B. Johnson, later used the NYA as a model for some of his Great Society programs in the 1960s. The WPA was organized by states, but New York City had its own branch Federal One, which created jobs for writers, musicians, artists and theater personnel. It became a hunting ground for conservatives searching for communist employees.[93
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is a program of the United States government to purchase toxic assets and equity from financial institutions to strengthen its financial sector that was passed by a Democratic Party controlled Congress and signed into law by Republican Party President George W. Bushon October 3, 2008. It was a component of the government’s measures in 2008 to address the subprime mortgage crisis.
The TARP program originally authorized expenditures of $700 billion. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 created the TARP program. The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law in 2010, reduced the amount authorized to $475 billion. By October 11, 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that total disbursements would be $431 billion, and estimated the total cost, including grants for mortgage programs that have not yet been made, would be $24 billion.
On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Treasury sold its remaining holdings of Ally Financial, essentially ending the program. TARP recovered funds totalling $441.7 billion from $426.4 billion invested, earning a $15.3 billion profit or an annualized rate of return of 0.6% and perhaps a loss when adjusted for inflation.[3
Even though TARP had been signed into law during the waning months of Bush’s Republican administration, the legislation was revisited and adjusted several times during the early period of Obama’s administration…
So, here’s the question:
Why didn’t Obama seek to link TARP and an FDR style recovery plan which could have included provisions for health care?
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