Actor Martin Sheen thinks that Barack Obama is "a very special man" that is "doing a great job."
In an interview with HLN's Joy Behar to be aired Tuesday, Sheen also said the President is "still the only adult in the room" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOY BEHAR, HOST: You know, some liberals now like Matt Damon and Michael Moore and, among others, are bashing Obama a bit. They’re saying they’re not happy with what he’s done. Where do you come out on that?
MARTIN SHEEN: Steady.
SHEEN: Steady. No, you’re talking about a very special man. I adore him, and I think he’s doing a great job. I don’t think he’s getting a lot of help. But he’s doing a great job.
BEHAR: Well they’ve been criticizing him mercilessly because the economy has not come back. He’s been in office for two years. Things are not moving along. People are still out of work. Again, there was another increase in unemployment today, so.
SHEEN: But had they, you know, focused on the real problem, you know? What about corporate America sharing some of its profits, investing back in the country? You know, they talk about patriotism. They’re more interested in profits, you know. That’s where the problem lies. It’s corporate America. They’re the first ones to complain about big business and regulations, and they’re the first ones to come crawling to them demanding to be rescued.
BEHAR: You notice that?
SHEEN: I notice that.
BEHAR: Yeah, on their hands and knees..
SHEEN: There you go…
BEHAR: …and they don’t want to give the money back.
SHEEN: They don’t want to.
Actually, most of the banks that were given TARP funds have paid it back. As the Treasury Department reported in July:
In March, Treasury announced that the TARP bank programs turned a profit. Since that time, all further repayments and income through TARP’s bank programs, such as the payment announced today, provide additional positive returns for taxpayers.
With today’s proceeds, taxpayers have now recovered approximately $255 billion from TARP’s bank programs through repayments, dividends, interest, and other income. That exceeds the original financial support Treasury made through those programs ($245 billion) by approximately $10 billion. Treasury currently estimates that bank programs within TARP will ultimately provide a lifetime positive return of approximately $20 billion to taxpayers.
So, according to Treasury, taxpayers will actually make money on TARP. By contrast, as Reuters reported last November, their loan to GM isn't working out as well:
* The U.S. Treasury loaned GM about $49.86 billion from late 2008 through 2009 to restructure the company and finance its move through bankruptcy and beyond.
* Before accounting for the Treasury proceeds from the IPO, GM had repaid about $9.74 billion to the government. Those repayments included unused loans, the purchase of Treasury preferred shares, and dividends and interest. That left taxpayers owed a little more than $40.1 billion.
* Including overallotments, Treasury will recover more than $13.6 billion by selling 412.3 million common shares, leaving taxpayers owed about $26.5 billion. Treasury would need to sell its remaining 500.1 million share-stake at an average price of about $53 for taxpayers to be repaid.
At press time, GM was trading at $23. That means taxpayers are currently losing about $15 billion on this investment.
Not surprisingly, such inconvenient truths didn't enter this discussion. Instead, it moved to whether or not there's anyone on the political landscape that can measure up to Robert F. Kennedy:
BEHAR: But is there a person of that stature that you, that you talked about in your film? I mean…
EMILIO ESTEVEZ: Yeah, I haven’t seen him.
BEHAR: You haven’t seen him yet?
SHEEN: Not in public life.
BEHAR: Well, it’s President Obama so far.
SHEEN: He’s the only one. He’s still the only adult in the room frankly.
BEHAR: And the smartest guy.
SHEEN: Smartest guy.
Yeah, Obama's the smartest guy and the only adult in the room.
Judging by his results to date - Romper Room.