Just hours after the Treasury revised downward its estimate of taxpayers' loss on the bank bailout by a whopping $200 billion, the word is that Obama is set to announce that he's using the money for job stimulus. Hooray! But wait. The means here are a little devious even if the ends are worthy. That money was supposed to go to bank bailouts and this is a clever way to "pass" a job stimulus without, you know, passing any sort of thing through Congress. Can't wait for the Republican reax. Here's the latest from Slatest:
Soon after the news was announced, White House officials confirmed that Obama will propose funneling the money into a jobs creation program during a speech at the Brookings Institute tomorrow. According to officials, Obama will argue that the money would be best spent on infrastructure programs--such as building bridges and weatherizing homes--and assisting small businesses. At the Wall Street Journal, Deborah Solomon notes that the new estimates will bring down the federal deficit, and could "smooth the way for the introduction of a new jobs program." Congress initially authorized $700 billion for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, but banks have paid back their loans at a faster pace than expected, leaving the government with an extra $200 billion in its pocket.
More analysis tomorrow as the details come out.