It could be the understatement of the fresh decade to say that the government’s bailout of large Wall Street firms–known as TARP–was not super popular with most folks. And for good reason: The very people who got us in this mess were, rightly or not, perceived as getting off easy while the rest of us suffered.
Now the Obama administration is hoping a new lending program will go some way toward ameliorating the situation (not to be confused with The Situation). The White House is funneling some $30 billion it has gotten in TARP repayments to about 8,000 banks that will then be instructed to loan to small businesses able to make new hires.
In making his case for the program, President Obama noted that small businesses have been responsible for roughly 65% of new jobs created over the past 15 years and they will be hugely important if we are to avoid the dreaded so-called jobless recovery, which, when you think about it sounds like so much Orwellian doublespeak.
The truth is that in an economy as dependent on consumer spending as ours, the thought of a jobless recovery makes no practical sense. So this new allotment of cash would appear to be both good politics and good policy. Now let’s see what those old chums in Congress can do about approving it quickly and cleanly. What? Don’t laugh!