January 11th, 2010
04:57 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama may use bank tax to recoup bailout

New York (CNNMoney.com) - The White House is considering a tax on financial institutions to ensure that taxpayers who bailed out banks get paid back, a senior administration official said Monday.

The law that created the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program empowered the president to ask Congress to recoup money if bailouts were not paid back in full.

TARP dictates that the Office of Management and Budget consider such action five years after TARP went into effect in October 2008 to prevent the federal bailout from adding to the deficit.

When the TARP bill was hastily debated, the provision was key to winning enough support from wary lawmakers to push the bill through Congress.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, would not discuss how a possible bank fee would fit into Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget, which is set to be released next month. "When it comes back from Kinko's, we'll be able to talk about it," he said.

But Gibbs said it is the president's "goal" to ensure the "money that taxpayers put up will be paid back in full."

Full story

Filed under: Obama administration • President Obama • TARP
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Anthony Sacramento

    why do you do business with these banks if they charge you so much.
    At a smaller bank or credit union your money is insured just look for FDIC or NCUA sign. It is not rocket science. Pump money into your community, make your place where you live benefit.


    January 11, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Mary Ann Hoogeveen

    Thank you, President Obama, it is so good to finally have a good educated person running this country instead of dumb and dumber of the last 8 years.I am sure in time you will fixed all their many screwups.

    January 11, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. Willy Brown

    Heres to hope(tax) and change (tax), hope (tax) and change (tax). Yep you wanted a tax and spend liberal you got 'em you sheep.

    January 11, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Fangbird

    Republicans criticize President Obama and Democrats on the grounds that they "tax and spend" but when Obama tries to get money back into the budget from the banks, they whine about that too. Make up your minds, whiners!

    Republicans spend way more money than Democrats but they spend it on useless, trumped-up wars, while Democrats spend it on the people of this country. As long as people are dying, I guess, it's okay to "tax and spend," like your beloved W. did for eight years. War mongering and killing are always okay for the Republicans.

    January 11, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. Kevin

    So I am going to be paying myself back........ does anyone else have a hard time understanding that statement. The Tarp money (money from the taxpayers) bailed out banks (which should have been left to fail), Obama will then tax the banks (money will come from me through higher bank fees) to have the Tarp money returned. For those saying the GOP doesn't have a better idea..... heres one, give them an end date of when they need to pay back the money. I f the money isn't returned, freeze the banks assets and let them fail instead of artificially proping up companies that were irresponsibily run!

    January 11, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Dean Goodman

    More wealth redistribution. The banks who DIDN'T take TARP, or who've already decided to pay it back are the targets here. Another way to tax them, while still controlling the banks who haven't paid it back yet. Want to see what new entitlement is created by this tax???

    January 11, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Obama mama


    I know that it sounds like a good idea to tax banks, but all it does is raise fees, penalties and raise interest on bank users (me). I think that the Obama administration is trying to punish anyone that opposes them or their redistributive ideology.

    January 11, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    GOOD.......... tax the banks who are stealing from Americans! They have raised FEES and INTEREST rates of Americans, wanting to make a profit.

    Go get them, Mr. President!

    January 11, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. Bear

    It wasn't taxpayers who bailed out the banks, it was Geithner, Bernanke, Paulson, Frank, Dodd, Bush and Obama. They just did it with our money. Correcting one wrong with another one, does not solve the problem. It just reinforces that the Cloward-Pivon conspiracy is in full motion with this administration at the helm of it.

    We need to define what a tax is and what a fine is. This appears to be a fine under the name of a tax to cover up the fact that Congress screwed up and the banks took advantage of their ignorance. Congress levying taxes like this is fiscal tyranny not good government.

    January 11, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. Messed Up

    So Bush gives banks $700 billion in TARP money and then Obama tries to get it back and somehow the same people who criticize Obama for spending government money to help sick people are now criticizing him for trying recoup the billion dollar giveaway crafted by Bush. Just goes to show you that they'll criticize him for anything and everything and of course, offer NO alternative.

    January 11, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. Michael from Ventura

    This should go over well with the gopers who yell "Socialism" at every turn! The American people are paying for the banks bailouts- it's our turn now! Go get em Mr. President!!

    January 11, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Steve, New York City

    Here we go again – anyone who makes more than 250K at a big bank, is "the root of all evil" – even if they're currency traders, m&a experts, who had NOTHING to do with mortgages, and generate revenue for their bank "several times" larger than any bonus they receive . . .Joe on the street doesn't understand that, so it's time for the leftists to crank up the populist rhetoric???

    Of course, 250K goes MUCH FURTHER in Des Moines, than it does in a New York City or a Boston (but the government doesn't understand that either . . .or maybe they're just "too reluctant" to educate the public)!

    January 11, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. dave denver

    And who will pay for these new taxes on the banks, THE TAXPAYERS WILL BY MAKING UP THE LOST REVENUE OF THE BANKS
    BY PAYING MORE FEES. It's just that Obama can now redistribute that money to buy more votes.

    January 11, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. Dave, NE

    This guy does not get it. He wants to collect money any how and in any mean ways. He does not understand that if banks are taxed, they will pas sit on to all account holders. It shows our president's immaturity, inexperience. Only way the economy can come up is by helping the small businesses and tax cuts. More spending, more business and more jobs.

    January 11, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. RogerD

    When we let government grow big enough to provide everything for us; it will be big enough to take anything from us!

    January 11, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. Dr.D

    Maybe after we get done taxing the bankers, we can go after their lawyers. How about adding a national maximum wage to the minimum wage bill. Set Maximum hourly wage at $100. In this way a lawyer cannot charge $1500/hour for any reason. A CEO cannot be paid more than this and so forth. Furthermore, close the "fee structures" of banks and lawyers unrelated to hourly rates. However, compensation in the form of company stock is not so concerning to me if it promotes American businesses. If a CEO get's a million worth of company stock, that means that the Board of Directors of that company is willing to share power in this way. It's almost self-regulating as the owners will have limits in how much they are willing to share with employees, including employee #1.

    January 11, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. Frank P

    Hey Odumbo, my bank credit card interest rate has doubled since you took office; are you so dumb that you don't understand that the banks will never lose? They will get the people to pay more and will suck the blood out of us! You moron, you are so finished; you and your socialist democratic party!!!

    January 11, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. Hammerer

    Obama's economic plans are a "systematic failure".

    January 11, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. concerned voter

    If they pass it on to the consumer then go to a bank that wasn't bailed out. You can choose your bank, you don't have to choose one's with hiked fee's. Let them pay off their debt whether in tax's or not, stop crying rethuglicans it was your Bush that wanted to give them all this money without a way to get it back, atleast this is one way to get it back. Rethuglicans, nothing but a party of no, no answers, just no, because if the tarp gets paid back they will have one less thing to cry about and they love to shout and moan.

    January 11, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. Henry

    You give the banks the money, the GOP does not like it. You ask for the money back, the GOP does not like it. It is rather odd what the GOP really wants. It really does not want the money back because then they cannot blame the Dems.

    All Republicans are morons. All of them No exceptions.

    January 11, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. Rob Stumpf

    Great idea, Barry. Tax the banks to recoup the TARP funds. The banks will just past on the cost to their customers....so we'll have the taxpayers paying to pay themselves back.


    January 11, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. Henry

    Pass fees on to the customers? So now the right is crying foul. These banks, the masters of these Republicans have been taken us to the cleaners long before you thugs started complaining.

    Do it one we the Rethugs whine like children, do it the other way and the Rethugs scream like spoiled brats.

    January 11, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. Carl Justus

    The banks should pay back the money with interest. If they do not, I agree with Obama to impose a tax.

    I also would propose an additional tax on bonuses that exceed 300,000 dollars on all the employees of all banks and financial institutions.

    January 11, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. WrongKindofChange

    Guess who will end up paying that tax in the end? Not the banks...but us the people. The banks will pass the tax onto us and this is yet another back door way that this administration is continuing to raise taxes on us. So not only did we pay for the bailout to begin with but we'll be paying off the bailout as well. That's called being taxed twice.

    Obama's bigger government is taking a lot of money to run. Money we don't have. Instead of taxing us out right they have to come up with these back door policies that end up taxing us without the obvious raising of the income tax. Way to go dems.

    January 11, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  25. Scott, Tucson

    How about demanding that Nancy Pelosi and all the congress people who she took on that Copenhagen Climate Change summit the other month pay back the American taxpayers for her junket trip?

    January 11, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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