One of the driving forces behind the Tea Party movement is its opposition to the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), which Congress passed at the height of the financial crisis and President Bush signed into law in October 2008. In fact, the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, which heads the Tea Party Express, lists one of its overarching principles as “opposition to bailouts.” They deride bailouts as “dangerous,” “quasi-socialism,” and “immoral.”
Bank of America has received $45 billion from the federal government, making it one of the largest recipients of TARP money. It is no surprise that the Tea Party Express has derided companies that took bailout money, even singling out Bank of America by name at a Pennsylvania rally last year. What is surprising is that for all its anti-TARP vitriol, the Tea Party Express holds all its funding in the bailed-out bank.
According to FEC records, the Tea Party Express’s parent organization, the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, keeps its funds exclusively in a Bank of America branch in Corona, CA. Lest you think Bank of America was their only option in the area, a rudimentary Google Map search found over a half-dozen other banks in Corona alone that have not received TARP money. If the Tea Party Express truly believes that bailouts are dangerous and immoral, why is the group putting millions of dollars into a bailed-out bank?