Because some will always take a skeptical view of calamity averted -- especially where government action is concerned, we may be debating last year's TARP programfor decades, and we took it up again on The Kudlow Report.
In the history of the republic there may not be a more unpopular, maligned -- yet successful -- federal program than the TARP program. No one likes the idea of the government spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up private firms. We also don't like firemen to come to our house to break down walls and blast water -- unless our house is ablaze, that is! And when the firemen do come, you thank them -- you don't complain that they trampled dirt on the rugs.
In the fall of 2008, long before anyone mentioned the idea of a rescue of the financial system, that system was engulfed in flames.
We were in the midst of a financial conflagration, and stepping aside and letting the system burn to the ground wasn't an option. The spectacular collapse of Lehman Brothers showed the carnage that would follow -- on a global scale -- the failure of another big, interconnected financial institution.