The Obama administration is now considering using bailout money paid back from banks to pay down part of the federal debt. It’s about time, says South Carolina’s Fourth District Congressman Bob Inglis. He has been calling for that since the Troubled Asset Relief Program(TARP) funds were distributed.
He says, “The money that is paid back as a part of TARP, with interest, needs to go back to deficit reduction.”
About $210 billion from the bailout money remains unspent, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. That includes an estimated $70 billion returned from financial institutions, with $50 billion to be repaid in the upcoming 18 months.
Inglis says the earlier assumption was that repaid money was to go back to the general fund, “But along the way, President Obama and other members of Congress on the Democratic side started talking about diverting the money and using it for some new programs. Several months ago, I got involved in that and expressed my view that no, money should not be diverted into new programs.
The administration is planning for next year’s budget. Cabinet agencies, except for defense and veterans affairs, have been asked to prepare two budget proposals: one to freeze spending at current levels and another with 5% budget cuts.
The U.S. debt is currently capped at $12.1 trillion.