Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Congress' Financial Follies

I read in the Asosciated Press this morning that Congress is voting on a massive bailout for the people caught in the mortgage/foreclosure mess- a mess that is mostly of their own making. According to the story,
A mortgage aid plan is on track for passage in the Senate as soon as today. The massive foreclosure rescue bill cleared a key Senate test yesterday by an overwhelming margin, with Democrats and Republicans both eager to claim election-year credit for helping hard-pressed homeowners.

The mortgage aid plan would let the Federal Housing Administration back $300 billion in new, cheaper home loans for an estimated 400,000 distressed borrowers who otherwise would be considered too financially risky to qualify for government-insured, fixed-rate loans.

As has been reported before, most of these people who are about to be bailed out by the responsible, bill-paying taxpayers of this country are like Democrat Laura Richardson of California- they are either financially irresponsible (as in the LA Times story linked above) to begin with or they are simply criminally negligent (as Richardson clearly is)in paying their bills. In either case, I do not believe that the country's taxpayers should bail these people out of their self-imposed problems.

Now I know that in this mess, there are undoubtedly some people who were simply caught by events. There are always exceptions. But instead of the government bailing out the very folks who are largely responsible for the mess, I would recommend that the government instead tighten the requirements for loans so that fewer people can qualify and also take a hard look at some of the lenders whose methodology is less-than-honest. That to me is a better use of Congress' time than giving out massive amounts of money that will undoubtedly be as abused as the post-Hurricane Katrina grants were in New Orleans (curiously these abuses did not take place in any other states hit equally hard by the hurricane).

It is time for Americans to understand personal responsibility- if you create your mess, then it should be your job to clean it up, not the government. But that would interfere with the pervasive belief among too many Americans that they are entitled to whatever they want- regardless of the their disastrous personal decisions along the way.

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