NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 8, 2009

Our financial markets are no longer in free fall and the crisis has receded, so it is time to bring an end to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) emergency measures and come up with an exit strategy to get government out of the business of running businesses, says Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).

The Treasury secretary has the authority to either allow the program to expire at the end of this year or extend it into next fall.  Ending TARP this year is a vital first step to getting the federal government out of these expensive and risky entanglements in private industry, says Thune.

Shutting down TARP would also ensure we don't risk losing more taxpayer dollars:

  • The latest report by the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel found that approximately $330 billion of the $700 billion limit is currently untapped.
  • Allowing TARP to end this year and cancelling that remaining $330 billion would remove the inevitable temptation to spend it.
  • With a budget shortfall expected to hit a record $1.6 trillion this year and a staggering $9 trillion over the next 10 years, we should be looking for every possible way to reduce the risk we are taking on behalf of taxpayers.

This administration owes the American people a timeline for an exit strategy, says Thune.  Without a certain date, the government's unprecedented entanglement in the private sector could drag on for years with more vague reassurances from the Treasury department that things will change "soon."

This dangerous mixture of politics and industry is bad for business, bad for the economy, and bad for the American taxpayer. TARP has run its course.  The time for ending it is now, says Thune.

Source: John Thune, "Time for a TARP Exit Strategy," Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2009

For text: 


Browse more articles on Economic Issues