Gov’t Not Going To Lose As Much Money As Expected; Reveals Plans To Spend Difference

Normally this might be considered good news:

The Obama administration plans to announce this week that it is slashing its estimate of the losses from the government’s financial bailout package by about $200 billion, Treasury officials said.

The White House had projected in August that the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, would lose about $341 billion over the next 10 years. But officials scaled back the estimate after once-shaky Wall Street firms began recovering much more quickly than expected. In addition, several TARP initiatives have been funded at a smaller amount than originally planned.

Since the TARP became law in October 2008, banks have paid dividends and interest of about $15 billion and returned aid worth a total of about $71 billion, a Treasury official said Monday. Last week, Bank of America said it would soon repay an additional $45 billion. Another $139 billion of TARP funds was never allocated to any programs.

Phew! That’s $200 billion that we won’t have to factor into the deficit over the next decade! Way to go, team!

Or not:

The new, more optimistic estimates of TARP losses could pave the way for Democrats to tap some of the program’s unspent funds for a jobs bill currently being crafted in the House. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that President Obama is likely to discuss such a plan during a speech Tuesday at the Brookings Institution.

It’s like when my wife comes home after spending money on unnecessary items “because they’re on sale”, then decides she’s going to take something back because she doesn’t like the way it looks, but instead of putting the difference back into our bank account spends the refund on a new hat — at full price. She’s so thrifty!

Wow, Barack. You got such a great deal on that TARP you put on the credit card that you can use the same credit card for your jobs program! And don’t worry, because it’s the taxpayers and not you who’ll gonna have to pay interest!