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A sub-prime example of government exploiting tragedy

By J.J. Jackson
web posted December 10, 2007

If you are one of the millions of Americans who went to the bank one day, got a loan you could not afford, fell behind on your payments, eventually defaulted on your mortgage and either already have lost you home or on the verge of losing your home, would you understand the point of me handing you a mirror and telling you to look into the eyes of the person that was at fault?  If you did, you'd be an American.  Especially if you further accepted the responsibility for your actions and did not demand that someone else do something to correct your situation.

However many people that reside within the United States, whom I hesitate to call Americans because they don't understand what being an American means, would not get the hint.  These are the people who find someone else to blame like say, George Bush who we are supposed to believe somehow forced them to enter into a contract by holding a gun to their head.

Ok, maybe blaming George Bush is a bit of a stretch.  Especially when we all know it was really Karl Rove who kidnapped their family dog, held a knife to its throat and threatened to kill poor Snoopy if they didn't sign on the dotted line.

Some people are wringing their hands over the "sub-prime" lending mess.  Me?  Not so much.  People should be allowed to learn from the results of one of the most sacred rights of all Americans; the right to fail.  And the government should not interfere.

Recently however people are cheering the latest series of decrees from on high in Washington as folks like Senator Hillary Clinton, President Bush and candidates for president in 2008 all rush to "do something" about the problem.  All are clamoring for government help for those that made bad decisions.  And now, if big nanny state government has its way, no one will learn their lessons by failing.

President Bush has revealed his own plan filled with anti-free market, top down mandates.  Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has admitted that he would act extra-constitutionally if elected to help people that we are to believe simply didn't know what they were getting in to and dismissed the acceptance of risk as something that only some Americans should have to handle.   You know, like those evil bankers.

Clinton, recently stumping on behalf of millions of American'ts had the typical far left, big government solutions as well. Speaking on the issue she first decried the problem as being one that Wall Street helped to create. "Some people might say that Wall Street only helped to distribute risk," Clinton spoke.   "Well, I believe that Wall Street shifted risk away from people who knew what was going on onto people who did not.  Wall Street may not have created the foreclosure crisis but Wall Street certainly had a hand in making it worse."  That's right.  It's Wall Street's fault that people got in over their head; people who Hillary Clinton is now implying are not smart enough to have known better.  Don't you feel so good about yourself knowing that Senatorette Clinton thinks so little of your own intelligence and abilities?

At what age do we lean how to multiply, add and subtract in the government schools?  Because those are the only three skills one needs in order to figure out what they can and cannot afford based on how much income we have coming though the door.  What is Hillary implying?  That America is filled with a bunch of adults who aren't smarter than a fifth grader?

You bet she is.  And so is every other politician that is seeking government solutions to solve problems best solved by the free markets and our inalienable right to fail.

But isn't that always the way the left works?  They claim that the unwashed masses are just not capable of handling their own affairs without their benevolence.  Enter government on its white stallion to save us!  How convenient – for them.

Clinton's answer and the answer of far too many in government?  A shift away from liberty and free markets towards even more government control.  She and others including members of the Bush Administration have called on a "moratorium" on foreclosures.  Which doesn't really do much good for the economy as institutions would have to sit on millions in bad debt and be unable to rectify the problem with such a tactic does it?

That's ok though.  The "rich" will take the hit since they are the only ones that invest in and are profiting from these companies that made the loans right?  But before you fall into that pitfall however you might want to look at what you, as a working American, are invested in through your pensions, 401Ks, IRAs, and so on.  Just a suggestion.  You might be "rich" and not even know it.

The nanny starters also want a freeze on mortgage rates for five years.  Again, another artificial construct of government in a fluid and changing market.  Stop for a second and think about what would happen if government mandated that the price on new cars couldn't go up for five years in order to "help" people afford them while the costs of labor, energy and raw materials all increased each year.  How many years would it be before the price mandated by government was so far below the cost of the vehicle that auto manufacturers couldn't sell cars for a profit, make money, and there were no new cars at all?  A year?  Two years?  Five Years?

I know, some of you probably don't get that analogy.  You're also probably also the same people that feel Hillary Clinton is making some sort of sense when she is talking.

Clinton and others have also suggested the creation of a fund to help people with financial advisory services.  Anyone want to find that power to spend tax dollars in such a way under Article I of the Constitution?  Anyone?

Once we cut through all the spin and the political pandering that some might wish to put out there in order to shed their own responsibilities and make excuses, it all comes back to being willing to blame the person in the mirror.  I know it's easy to blame the popular boogiemen and even blame the banks themselves for offering up such tempting introductory rates and offers before you.  But that face in the mirror keeps staring back at you no matter how much you wish it would not.

Those who were trapped in this mess and acted like Americans and embraced their responsibility for their own bad choices have already moved on.  Perhaps their pride may have been hurt but they remembered basic lessons they once learned about economics, spending more than you can afford and ultimately taking risks.  But those that have not learned their lessons are still looking for someone else to save them.  If that savior will not step up voluntarily, then government mandates will be issued.  And the socialists who believe all wrongs can be righted by simply reaching into the pockets of someone else to cover up the messes of another are more than willing to capitulate.

No matter how many times American'ts look into that mirror and see that face staring back at them, they still want to blame someone else.  And when their claims that Karl Rove was at fault can no longer be sustained they will then decide that it must have been Dick Cheney or perhaps Mr. Cheney's dog.  After all, we all know that he is truly evil!  He has to be!  He's Dick Cheney's dog after all!

But blaming someone else rather than the people that made the bad choices does not solve their problems.  It might make those that got in over their heads feel better.  And it certainly makes the politicians in government and the bureaucrats in Washington who increase their power swell with pride.  But who is going to pay for all the programs and the added costs proposed to help solve the problems of those that failed?

As I've said before, there is no magical money tree behind the White House.  The money to pay for all this has to come from somewhere.  And if you are a tax payer, which every American is whether you know it or not, you are going to be the one that pays for it.  Count on it.

Merry Christmas!  Here's the bill for your own salvation. ESR

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the lead editor of Conservative News & Opinion – The Land of the Free and also the owner of The Right Things – Conservative T-shirts & Gifts (www.cafepress.com/rightthings). His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.


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