Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 4, 2009

USING TARP FUNDS.... Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) have been quietly working on a jobs bill, and to pay for the initiative, Durbin is eyeing unused TARP money. Speaker Pelosi has raised the prospect of doing the same thing. Whispers from the White House, however, have suggested that the administration was eyeing the TARP money for deficit reduction.

I'm pleased to see the president seems to recognize job one.

President Obama is likely to endorse using a portion of the government's $700 billion financial bailout for a new jobs creation program during a speech about the economy next week, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Friday morning.

"The president thinks we should and must do everything in our power to create an environment for job growth and job creation," Gibbs said. When asked whether Obama will talk about the use of TARP funds on Tuesday, Gibbs said, "I think that's likely."

About $139 billion of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, remains unallocated and available to the administration.

In light of the better-than-expected employment numbers, there was widespread concern that policymakers might feel complacent about addressing the struggling job market. That would be a serious mistake -- without additional investment, it's likely the unemployment rate will remain above 8% for several years.

The president's apparent support for a jobs bill, paid for with TARP funds, makes it far more likely that this effort will come together, hopefully quickly.

Update: The Hill seems to be responding correctly, too: "I think we're at a moment now where we're beginning to see the positive benefits of the stimulus, but if we take our foot off the accelerator, we could relapse into a very, very slow recovery," said Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) today.

Steve Benen 3:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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Comments

I got a better idea -- how using the 75% of the original stimulus fund that Obama hasn't yet seen fit to spend for job growth?

Posted by: Disputo on December 4, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

perhaps im wrong but that stimulus money is to be spent in 2010 and 2011. the bill was designed in such away as to boost the economy in coming years as well as to give it a shot in the short term.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on December 4, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

People with jobs pay TAXES. Taxes can be used for many things, including deficit reduction. . .

Tangentally off topic, this morning Nora O'Donell, in a throw-away line, said, "Taxes are the lowest in 75 years".

If true, why in the HELL isn't that the instant response from the D's whenever the R's talk about "cutting taxes"?

Posted by: DAY on December 4, 2009 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

There's $139 billion left in TARP money? Hmm.

There's roughly 15.4 million unemployed persons.

139,000,000,000 divided by 15,400,000...

Ooo, that comes out to roughly $9,025 per person, if they divided it out evenly. Damn. I was hoping it could have been around $15,000 per person, which would have been nicer to just pay out to us. Can't do that with $139 billion... maybe if they doubled it to $378 billion? Would that work? :)

Posted by: PaulW on December 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK
I got a better idea -- how using the 75% of the original stimulus fund that Obama hasn't yet seen fit to spend for job growth?

Um, isn't that 75 percent still allocated for programs for the next 1-3 years? The stimulus was designed in stages... The stimulus may yet affect the job market, but it's clearly more long-term. They're looking for something short-term, as in RIGHT NOW. Messing with the stimulus could disrupt the long-term employment market.

Posted by: PaulW on December 4, 2009 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

I vote for support for state and local governments to help them prevent lay-offs. And some mass transit.

Posted by: Amy on December 4, 2009 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Um, isn't that 75 percent still allocated for programs for the next 1-3 years?

Shut up, fanboy! Obama should have personally spent it by now! You guys are all fucking idiots. And despicable, too.

Posted by: Disdaino on December 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Considering we will be spending close to one million dollars PER soldier for the Afghanistan "surge," how much money PER person will the job stimulus be?

If you decide 30,000K is a good number, then ONE soldier is sucking up 33,000+ jobs.

Something doesn't add up.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on December 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

oops

I mean 3,300 jobs.

(guess my argument is now null and void just like Climategate!)

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on December 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Obama: We'll help the unemployed, but only after the bankers get theirs.

Posted by: RZ on December 4, 2009 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, RZ - Do you think that Cheney & his Band of Greedy War Pigs would let any of that go to the peons?

(crickets chirping)

Another concern troll bites

...the dust

Posted by: BuzzMon on December 4, 2009 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Now tell me again. This is all Monopoly money right?

Posted by: EC Sedgwick on December 4, 2009 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Mudwall Jackson and Paul W, and other mindless Obama apologists:

Do not attempt to bring calming facts into my orgy of warm, frothing bath of self-congratulatory superiority; you will not, repeat: NOT, be successful.

Posted by: Derisio on December 4, 2009 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Something I saw yesterday that should be spread widely among Democratic party leaders is that when normal people talk about reducing the deficit, they mean getting a job, reducing their own deficit. If people don't have adequate jobs, government deficit reduction doesn't mean anything to them.

Investing in job creation, as was already mentioned in a previous post (DAY), is one way, probably the best way, of bringing in more taxes later. It also is a way of having a healthy social structure since there will be fewer desperate people doing whatever they have to in order to survive. Job creation is without a doubt the major domestic need at the present time WHILE we get the health reform straightened out.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on December 4, 2009 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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