It looks like the cost of avoiding another Great Depression will be about $51 billion — a lot less than originally thought. Turn off the TV, sit in a quiet corner and think about that for a minute.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program cost taxpayers a lot of money, but it was a cheap price for avoiding bread lines and 25 percent unemployment. It’s a price every taxpayer should be thankful for, but many are too angry to be thankful.
It’s a classic disconnect.
The story of the midterm elections is taxpayer anger and a successful government program doesn’t fit that story.
TARP was an imperfect solution, but it was necessary. Despite what some cable TV pundits would have you believe, TARP worked.
When you add expected losses from the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddic Mac, the cost to taxpayers rises to $145 billion, but that’s still less than 1 percent of GDP.
The recovery has been uneven, but we avoided another depression and the economy is growing again. To be sure, not all of the economic news is favorable, but the economy is headed in the right direction.
Here’s a sampling of what other news organizations said about TARP.
Fox Business: TARP’s Legacy: Good or Bad?
Fortune: TARP ends thrifty but unloved
Chronicle: $700 billion TARP may only cost $50 billion
Photo: Associated Press archives