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Michael van der Galien

Taxing Banks to Pay for TARP: Just Playing Politics

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Posted on January 14 2010 8:00 am
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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It is fun and politically profitable to attack banks and bankers, especially in the wake of a bailout program estimated to have cost American taxpayers some $150 billion. Given this, the plan floated yesterday by the Obama Administration to charge a “fee” (read tax) on financial institutions to cover losses under the TARP program is understandable. That doesn’t make it sensible.

The plan will do nothing to force those responsible for much of TARP’s losses — primarily AIG, General Motors, and Chrysler – to reimburse the Treasury one cent. That money is likely lost. It will, however, force firms that didn’t take bailout money – and those that took money but have already paid it back with interest, to subsidize the money losers.

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