The government is trying to rush through a proposal to use $700 billion of taxpayer’s money to pay for all the bad debt run up by big Wall Street financial companies. This plan would effectively dilute the pain of that debt by spreading it over the entire population over a longer time period. Fundamentally, it’s unethical to ask people who had nothing to do with causing this mess to foot the bill for cleaning it up.
Okay, it’s easy for me to complain, so what do I suggest instead? Make the folks who are truly at fault pay for it.
I’m not talking about the executives of those big Wall Street companies. They were doing what any good participant in an unrestricted market is supposed to do: maximize profits through any legal means possible. Their behavior was a natural and direct result of the rules of the system.
Nor am I talking about the everyday people who took out ludicrous subprime loans to buy more house than they could afford. Again, their behavior was a natural and direct result of the rules of the system. Make predatory lending easily available to folks, and pretty soon house prices go up since people can get approved for bigger loans, and then everyone has to take out bigger loans to afford the houses. That housing bubble was the natural and direct result of people following the rules of the system.
No, the people truly at fault are the government officials who many years ago approved relaxing the regulations that would have prevented all this. They took bribes from big corporations to loosen the regulations. Those are the folks who ought to be sent the bill for the bailout. They ought to be thrown in prison.
And to prevent this kind of thing from happening again, we desperately need to outlaw lobbying.