The Bailout Blame Game


Unless you’ve lived under a rock over the last year, you’ve heard our economy is in a heap of trouble mainly due to mortgages our country’s homebuyers can’t pay for.  And if you actually have lived under a rock, I salute you for not being part of the problem.

So who’s to blame?  Oh, there’s plenty to go around alright. Jimmy Carter? Ronald Reagan? Bill Clinton? George Bush? Franklin Raines? Jamie Gorelick? Chris Dodd? Barney Frank? Phil Graham?  The plethora of banks?  Wall street?  Predatory lendors?

Let me share a reader’s comment I found online while reading Bankruptcy, not Bailout, is the Right Answer that I believe encompasses the mindset of many American citizens:

Perhaps you should spend less time criticizing individuals for taking chances at success, and instead focus your unwarranted hostility at the corporations that took advantage of those people. It is perhaps quite easy for you to be so smug, when it may not be you that would rely on such a system in the first place.

Americans are struggling every day, and instead of acknowledging that and trying to understand the situation – you refer to them as “stupid”. I beg to differ, these individuals are losing everything because of corporate, and government, greed… not stupidity.

I would suggest that in the future you spend less time attacking the people that are suffering, and place a little more focus on the cause of the problem.

Within the scope of your mindset it was not Hitler and the Nazi regime that was responsible for the Holocaust, but the Jewish people for being Jewish.

When will we start accepting responsibility for our own actions?  When will we start to understand that being a Jew in the Holocaust is different than borrowing more than we can afford?  Who’s fault is this mess?  Sure, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 allowed credit-unworthy citizens to take out loans over their heads at sub-prime levels.  Yes, Jimmy Carter was the one who signed it, Bill Clinton was the one who enforced it, and George Bush didn’t do anything about it.  Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and banks throughout the country did indeed enhance the problem due to greed and lax oversight.  Does this excuse us from the responsibility of wisely managing our own money?

Let me illustrate.  If every bank around the country said, “Hey, come on in.  You qualify for a gabajillion dollars and here it is!  It’s a 30-year mortgage locked in at today’s mortgage rates. Nah, don’t worry about your credit.  Here’s the check.  Enjoy your new home!”  Today’s market, in my view, proves the average American would spend more of that gabajillion dollars than he/she could actually afford.  But who’s fault is it?  The lender’s fault, of course!  How dare they put a gabajillion dollars in front of my nose!  Take it or leave it, that’s what’s happened.  That’s our society.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve spent about ten hours talking to lenders so I can buy a home.  I’ve spent many more hours researching mortgages online and understanding the terminology.  The majority of my time spent has been looking for answers to my questions.  I ask questions because it’s my fault if I don’t understand what I’m getting into.  It’s my responsibility to figure out how much can I afford.  When the lender says I qualify for a gabajillion dollars, it’s my responsibility to only take what I can pay back.  Regardless of government policy, greedy banks, or what my neighbor owns, my loans are my responsibility.

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10.04.2008 / DAD said:

I agree with your basic contention. However, although it would be inaccurate to compare irresponsible borrowers to the Jewish Germans, it may be fairly accurate to compare the irresponsible borrowers to the Arian Germans. They are the ones, mostly good people, who accepted Hitler because he promised them exactly what they wanted. Those people who will accept any carrot the government dangles in front of them, regardless of common sense or moral principles, are the ones who elected Carter and Clinton and will now elect Obama. If those with higher principles don’t stand up against and expose leaders who are pursuing their personal agendas at the expense of our national security, stability and character, they are only perpetuating the decline of our society. And we ain’t seen nothing yet. The scriptures are full of examples and warnings.

10.04.2008 / DAD said:

Woops! That would be Aryan.

10.07.2008 / Devin said:

I like the way Glenn Beck put it:

“But it’s not capitalism which has been discredited by our current crisis, it’s greed that has been shown to be at the root of our present economic uncertainty, and greed is unfortunately a universal human trait and has demonstrated its reach in socialism, fascism, communism and capitalism. The greed of Wall Street is nothing compared to the greed of our politicians who have continued to expand their power and influence at the expense of their country.”

We all have personal responsibility but too many of us have ignored that responsibility in the past and based our actions on greed (government, lenders, borrowers, etc). The real problem with the bailout is that the government has removed greed’s balancing elements from the market – fear and responsibility. Now people will act even greedier, without fear, with the hope that the government will bail them out. What a precedence to set. Look at all of the additional companies and states that have asked the government for funds since the bailout was passed. Our government needs to learn and live by principles. This isn’t the end of this downturn, it’s just the beginning.

01.04.2009 / :: For all your Aaron Hardy needs. » Blog Archive » First-time Home Buying Tips said:

[…] If you don’t read the paperwork, you have nobody to blame but yourself. If you don’t understand it, find someone who does or sign it knowing that you are the one […]

03.16.2009 / » Blog Archive » The Latest in Aaron’s Life said:

[…] events.  Feel free to read my non-Hardy-Hacienda blog posts entitled Thank You for Sharing and The Bailout Blame Game.  And while you’re at it, you can kindly send Holly an email reminding her that bedsores […]

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