Sunday, February 22, 2009
Rescue the Risky
Now that wall street and the banks have gotten their chunk of taxpayer money, the Obama administration has finally gotten around to helping average Americans by proposing a foreclosure aid package. Naturally it has been met with some skepticism because it might aid people who made bad financial decisions. (Note that sarcasm doesn't come through particularly well in print)
Really? Now we are worried about rewarding people who made bad financial decisions? We didn't seem all that worried about it when we were handing billions to banks who gave risky loans. We didn't seem to mind rewarding risky financial behavior when we gave billions to an auto industry that drove itself in to the ground. Rewarding bad behavior wasn't that big a deal when taxpayers were handing over cash to Goldman Sachs and AIG. Now that it is individual citizens though we have to worry about whether we are rewarding bad behavior.
The housing market is a mess, and we need to do something to fix it. Fact is that all of us who own, or intend to own, homes stand to benefit from stabilizing the housing market and stemming the tide of foreclosure. The fact that a few bad planners stand to benefit from this should be the least of our concerns.
Oh - and if the new administration is finally going to turn it's attention to helping the little guy, how about doing something about health care. Remember that promise?