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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Buck Stops...Where?

As I listen to the promises being made by the Democratic Presidential candidates, I can’t help but wonder at the worldview inherent within their ideas. They seem to be doing everything possible to eradicate the idea of personal responsibility and replace it with a government of god-like proportions.

Take, for example, their proposed response to the so-called housing crisis. In different ways and to varying degrees, they would, in essence, have the government bail out those facing potential foreclosure. This may sound good and compassionate, until one looks at the implications of such a notion.

Say, for example, you too are a homeowner. You may have done everything right: bought a house you could afford even if its not exactly what you want, made the sacrifices necessary to live on the required budget, maybe even worked two jobs when things got tight. Meanwhile, down the road lives someone in a mansion far beyond their means. They may be completely irresponsible with their money. And who’s to say if they really are working as hard as they could to make the payments? Would it really be right for the government to use your hard-earned money to bail out this neighbor? And what about people who have chosen to forestall buying a house until they know they can afford it? Is it right to use their money to help those living an unearned life of luxury?

Many people these days have a strange sense of entitlement. They think they have a right to a certain lifestyle, even if they must use credit cards to finance it. And if all else fails, well there’s always the government, their virtual savior. But tell me, what would be the harm in people actually facing the consequences for the actions? Isn’t that how we learn and grow?

Now I’m not saying there aren’t people in legitimate need, people who made good decisions and just had some tough breaks. But my husband sees far too much of the other in his line of work as a carpenter. Just the other day, he was working in the home of a young couple in a multi-million dollar house. Their TV’s alone are worth thousands of dollars, and yet, although they’ve already lived in the house for a year, they still owe the builder a sizable chunk of money they claim they can’t afford. Who knows what they owe the bank.

Are you okay with your tax dollars footing the bill for them and others like them? You decide.


Ross Middleton said...

I agree, the government is being idiots, and I'm also glad to see all the mortgage lenders falling on their faces after they tried to make a quick buck by ripping people off with ARM's and now going out of business, hopefully they learned their lesson.

Anonymous said...

I work for a mortgage company, so I have had a front row to both the housing crisis and the sense of entitlement that exists in our culture. People have racked up tens of thousands of credit card debt, paid all their bills late or not at all, and then want to get mad at us because we're not going to lend them money to bail themselves out of the situation they created themselves.

And like you said, there are people with legitimate needs that have ended up in bad situations through no fault of their own, but in my observation they are the exception, not the rule.

Also, don't be so quick to blame the lenders. Yes, I'm a little biased because I work for one, but at the end of the day people are responsible for their own decisions. Plus, a lot of people got into ARMs so they could get a more expensive house. Since they had lower interest rates and lower payments initially, and that allowed them to buy more house than they could actually afford. It's that entitlement thing again.

Anyway, just my 2 cents...

JTapp said...

Well, your tax dollars won't be paying for it just yet, loans from China will cover the bill for now.

About 10% of those with a mortgage, or 5 million households, now owe more than their house is worth. As prices fall, the number goes up. So, that's a lot of people.

The Frank-Dodd proposal actually has some decent merits. Let people feel some of the heat, but not enough to cause cards to collapse while the markets sort things out.

portorikan said...

wMy experience may be limited in this regard since I'm no homeowner, but my answer is.. um, no.

Like the debt I acquired and I now carry, it was my choices and responsibility (or lack there-of) that got me there. It's my responsibility to get myself out.

As nice as it would be to get a get out of jail free card, that principle solves and teaches nothing more than if you take risks, the consequences are minimal because someone will bail you out.

Again, that benefits no one.

Nat and I are doing our best to be financially responsible by paying away our debt, building savings and preparing for retirement. Although we may not have a home now, with all the strength and wisdom that GOD gives and provides, we will look for and purchase a home within our means.

Nathan Talbot said...

You have hit on a major point of the democratic party. They are more than willing to become the savior of those in "need" because it insures them power. Those who are dependent on government assistance and those who need a safety net will vote for democrats

Our taxes may not pay for it today, but we will pay for it down the line. The problem with the tax burden is it falls on the middle class. That is why the divide is growing in our country. The truly rich do not pay taxes like the middle class. Now they pay taxes and a whole bunch of them, but they pay them on a different level. Many of their dollars get spent pre-tax and they use the tax code to their benefit whenever possible. This is another topic, but suffice to say the rich and the smart middle class use corporations, tax attorneys and accountants to make sure their dollars go further than the traditional poor or middle class.

The burden ends up falling on the middle class which the democratic party erroneously classifies as rich. The entitlements and government subsidies are growing exponentially and it needs to be reigned in.

The conservatives did a poor job over the last 8 years of cutting spending. They forgot that big piece of the Reaganomics pie. Cut taxes AND cut spending. This cost them in the last election. Government is overinflated and we are borrowing at ridiculous rates to help subsidize bailouts and government programs.

Bottom line is our tax code is broken. It needs to be completely overhauled. This is a federal, state and local issue.

In Florida alone you can hardly watch a nightly news program without hearing another sob story about a county who is going to cut "emergency services" because of the budget cuts. Of course when looking at the budgets none of them spend all their funds on these services, but they are unwilling to cut unneeded programs and grants. Why? Because these programs are what allow them to gain and keep power. They are the programs that line their pockets while and after they spend their time in office.

So no I am not OK with the bail outs, but I understand that at times the government needs to step in to prevent economic crisis. The problem is the debt. If the government was just a decent steward of monies recieved they would be in a position to help when it was needed for a brief period of time.

Last thought and I know I jumped around a lot. Vote republican if you don't want to see your taxes sky rocket. There is absolutely no way the democrats can fund the programs they are talking about without significant tax increases.

Kelley said...

Well said, Mr. Talbot.