Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cong. Roskam on Tax Cuts, bailouts and disbursing economic stimulus funds in tranches [in his own words].

Jeff Berkowitz:…Do you have an opinion on those two [proposals from the Republican Study Committee (consisting of about one hundred conservative House members)]: the cut of the corporate income tax rate, from 35% to 25% and the cut across the board on the personal income tax rates [of 5%].

Cong. Peter Roskam [R-Wheaton, 6th CD]: I would support them both.

Jeff Berkowitz: …has it come up in either of these groups [Republican Study Committee or the House Economic Stimulus Working Group] – the idea to do more along the lines of what was done with the 700 billion dollar bailout, that is to administer or disburse these funds in tranches, so if hypothetically it is going to be an 800 billion dollar [spending stimulus package;] over two years, maybe to have this disbursed [at the rate of] 100 billion dollars a quarter and have some assessment of how that went that quarter, what kinds of projects were released, what the results were before authorization was given to release the second hundred billion dollars [and so on].

Cong. Peter Roskam [R-Wheaton, 6th CD]: Even today, there is a lot of conversation around the release of the subsequent TARP funds. As you guys know, I voted against that plan back in the fall. But, I am sensing regret from people that voted in favor of it, in that it was obviously poorly planned, the oversight wasn’t in place, lots of questions about where that money has gone. So, in answer to your question, yes, the sort of tranche approach should be carefully considered. You’ve got to balance that with sort of the stimulative effect of trying to jump start things, but I think you make a good point, and that point is that the money should be spent wisely and the best way to do that is to have a careful release of the funds because the temptation is, and you know, you guys that have been watching Congress for a long time, what can happen in this institution is that spending begins to pile on- and it’s not helpful, it’s not disciplined and it doesn’t have the kind of accountability that is ultimately something that I think that the American people want and you know in an internet age the ability to be transparent about where the money is going. We have not seen that kind of transparency on the TARP funds.

Partial transcript, Cong. Peter Roskam’s telephonic Presser, January 15, 2009.