Actually, it's not just Tea Partiers--anyone who thinks TARP was the wrong thing to do--is just plain wrong. Here's a decent overview of the bidding by Ross Douthat in the New York Times. TARP saved the world banking system. TARP was and is the only piece of legislation passed to address our country's financial morass that has actually made a difference. Of the $700B allocated, the program will ultimately cost only $50B, with that loss coming from the auto industry's time at the TARP trough. The banks? They paid interest--the taxpayers made money.
I realize I'm probably in the minority in the Republican Party when I write in support of TARP. I realize it is great fun to demonize Wall Street and say that they should have let banks fail--but we are far better off for government intervention in a crisis ridden market than we would have been if Congress did not act. Of course, Congress should let businesses fail--99% of the time. Of course, Congress should stay out of free markets--99% of the time. Of course, Congress should let automakers fail--ok--on this one, it ought to be 100% of the time.