Picking up on two early responses from House Republicans, it appears the idea of a public/private partnership has not been enough to satisfy GOP concerns about risk to taxpayers.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) became an economic spokesman for House Republicans earlier this year when he was tasked with leading the group that drafted a GOP counter-proposal to President Obama's stimulus. Today, he said the administration's toxic assets plan is "fundamentally flawed." His statement (excerpted):
This weekend, the details of Secretary Geithner's plan to remove toxic assets from the market emerged. Now that the plan has been released, I am increasingly concerned that it is fundamentally flawed. As described, the plan seems to offer little incentive for private investors to participate unless the subsidy is made so rich that it comes at the expense of the taxpayer. In its current form, Secretary Geithner's plan is a shell game that hides the true cost of the program from the taxpayers that will be asked to pay for it. Six months after Congress debated the first TARP, it is inexcusable that taxpayers still have not been told their true exposure.
Some of Cantor's sentiment was echoed by another early reaction from a House Republican, Rep. Connie Mack (FL), who said that "Secretary Geithner's plan is very troublesome because it still puts a huge amount of taxpayer money at risk" and that the administration is "resorting to a plan that increases the size and scope of government, spends hundreds of billions of dollars, and puts American taxpayers' money at significant risk. This is not what the American people want or deserve."
Judging from these two responses (there seems to be a dearth of official statements on the plan at this point, from both Republicans and Democrats), it looks as if the idea of investing taxpayer money in the financial systemstill isn't palatable to Republicans, regardless of private partners sharing in the risk.
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