Congressional Favors Keep On Coming
The Heritage Foundation cites two professors at?the University of Michigan who showed that Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds were allocated in amounts related, at least in part, to lobbying efforts and political contributions. However, the strongest?evidence regarding political?favors was?that the study found?”banks with headquarters located in the district of a member of the House Financial Services Committee were 26 percent more likely to receive TARP funds than those not so geographically favored.”
As taxpayers, we should be outraged by this. Yes, lobbying and political contributions are designed to gain favors, and of course Members of Congress are always concerned about re-election, particularly in the House. Furthermore, this is all legal. However, one would have hoped- obviously in vain- that in order to pull the economy back from the so-called precipice that we were at last year our elected officials would act in the public interest instead of their own.
To clarify: I don’t think we should have negative feelings toward the constituent banks; after all, they probably figured the money was going out and they deserve it as much as the next bank. However, this should be yet another sign that more transparency is needed in government programs.