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Three news items:

1) The CBO has just lowered the estimate of the total cost of TARP again:

CBO’s current assessment of the cost of the TARP’s transactions is $3 billion lower than the $24 billion estimate shown in the agency’s previous report on the TARP (issued in October 2012). That decrease in the estimated cost stems primarily from an increase in the market value of the government’s investments in General Motors and sales of a portion of those investments at prices that were higher than the market price at the time of CBO’s last report.

As a reminder: the original estimate of the cost of TARP was $700 billion.

But, but, but....moral hazard!

How deeply ironic it is that TARP is shaping up as the best decision made during the entire 8 years of the Bush Administration.

I haven't been to the library in Dallas yet - have you? Does he point to it with pride?

2) As reported elsewhere on DK, Tesla has paid back its federal loan 9 years early.

But of course:
Sarah Palin called Tesla "losers".
Mitt Romney called Tesla "losers".

I wonder what that brain trust thinks the future of automobiles looks like - hulking gas guzzling SUVs built in China?

3) Rand Paul simply cannot keep up  with the incredible shrinking federal deficit (although, to be fair, I doubt that he is even trying).

Sen. Rand Paul is still using an obsolete GOP talking point that Roll Call debunked back in March — and since then, he’s only gotten more wrong.

“We are now borrowing $40,000 a second. We are borrowing $4 billion a day,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor, according to a transcript blasted out by his office. Neither figure is accurate.

Indeed, the latest Congressional Budget Office estimates show the deficit dropping to $642 billion this year — or less than $1.8 billion a day and about $21,000 a second. The debt will go up slightly faster — $755 billion or less than $2.1 billion a day or about $24,000 a second. That’s because programs like borrowing to finance student loans aren’t included in the CBO’s deficit calculation.

Paul then tweeted an even bigger error —  writing, “We are borrowing $400,000 a second” — which is an order of magnitude more incorrect than the $40,000 figure.

So what unites all three of these items? In a perfect world yours and my tax dollars wouldn't be going to support corporations or to pay off Chinese bondholders.

But - and this is the point the modern Republican Party is incapable of understanding - we don't live in a perfect world.

TARP would not have been necessary, the loan to Tesla would not have been necessary, and the large federal deficit would not have happened if Gore had defeated Bush.

But that didn't happen.

I'm glad to see that the country continues to do a reasonably good job of managing the continuing fallout from that occurrence.

Let's make sure it doesn't happen again.

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