McCain’s position on the subprime situation was not quite categorical, but it was very sound. It stands in sharp contrast to the slush-fund proposals of his potential Democratic opponents.
“I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis,” said Mr McCain. “It’s not the job of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they’re big banks or small borrowers.”
A reader, using rather strong language, reminds me of one problem with bailouts — they deprive responsible actors of their just rewards. Many people — particularly on the low end of the income spectrum — found themselves priced out of the housing market by the idiots who were bidding everything up to the sky. (How many times did I hear people complaining about the price of Housing in California, for example? Well, now you have a chance to buy on the cheap…)
Other people might have had just enough money to buy, but made a responsible decision not to buy at the top of the market and not to saddle themselves with terms they could not abide by. These responsible people now have a shot at getting a deal from motivated sellers or foreclosures. But here comes the federal government to save the irresponsible (including the banks and investors involved) at the expense of the responsible.
I’ve already had a few liberals comment to me that it’s not enough just to say “Be responsible.” But if you do anything more than that, you’re hurting someone — at least the taxpayer, probably others as well.