Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Irresponsibility Relief Act

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, it seems that there's just no resisting proposals for bailing out irresponsible people. Republicans want to take $700 billion of public money -- or my money, as I like to think of it -- and throw it at Wall Street firms. Of course, these are the very firms that created the problem, by betting their companies on risky investment vehicles that they didn't fully understand. Can you say, "moral hazard"? Forever after, financiers will think that the best strategy is to make really big bets on really risky things -- if the bets pay off, you win big, and if you fail spectacularly, the taxpayers will come bail you out.

Meanwhile, Democrats want more relief for homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgages -- they want to authorize bankruptcy judges to rewrite mortgages. Can you say "moral hazard"? If you irresponsibly bought more home than you could afford because the housing market was booming and you thought you could always flip it later, you get relief. If, like me, you live in a modest home that you can actually pay for, no help for you.

As always, half of me is outraged by proposals to give away vast sums of public money and the other half says, "where's my cut?"

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