Apparently the treasury department has a knack for ironic naming.
There’s more than one way to deal with almost any problem – take the disposal of toxic chemicals, for example: If a chemical company needs to rid itself of toxic chemicals, they’re going to have to choose between treating those chemicals to reduce their toxicity, or something more creative… like bury them!
But burying toxic chemicals brings with it its own set of risks and drawbacks. For starters, chances are those buries 55 gallon drums of dioxin are going to seep back to the surface eventually, just as they did in the Love Canal Disaster of the 1970s in Niagra Falls. In that particular instance, 21,000 tons of toxic waste buried beneath a residential area had horrific effects on the residents who lived there.
Indeed, just throwing a tarp over a problem can certainly disguise it; at the very least it’ll keep it out of sight and out of mind for a while… but ultimately, that problem’s still there.
That’s what’s so funny about the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). We’re throwing a TARP over trillions of dollars worth of toxic assets to “get rid” of it. Apparently the irony was lost on whoever’s responsible for naming the program.