Just a quick comment on President Obama’s plan to use surplus TARP money to fund various job creation measures. I think it’s a bad idea. First, TARP funds were appropriated for one purpose and I think it’s a bad idea to use them as some sort of slush fund even if the goal is worthwhile. Second, as I explained in my last Forbes column, I think there is enough stimulus in the pipeline and we should let it work before trying to pump more money into the economy. Third, I think it is better to use TRAP funds for deficit reduction; failure to do so will call into question the administration’s commitment to allowing stimulus spending to expire on schedule. Finally, if Congress believes that targeted jobs programs are still justified, they should be funded through the appropriations process.
Bruce Bartlett is a columnist for Forbes.com, the online side of Forbes, the nation’s premier financial magazine.
He served for many years in prominent governmental positions including executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Deputy Assistant Secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department during the George H.W. Bush Administration, and as a senior policy analyst in the White House for Ronald Reagan.
Bruce is the author of seven books, including the New York Times best-selling Impostor: How George W. Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, and thousands of articles in national publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, Fortune and many others. He appears frequently on CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN and Fox News, and has been a guest on both the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report.
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