Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Financial Bailout

I'm not usually the type of person to get involved in political conversations unless absolutely necessary. However, that being said, I do feel like I need to say something about the proposed financial bailout the US government is proposing.

A part of me says that the bailout should be passed to help out the economy as a whole in the short-term. However, about 95% of me says that the government shouldn't be bailing out the banks nor should it be bailing out individual home-owners. The banks took a risk on giving mortgages to people who shouldn't have gotten mortgages. They gave credit to people in excess of what those people could afford. The banks are largely to blame on our current financial status. They are supposed to be stringent in giving mortgages and credit to people and should only give the credit when the likelihood of them getting their money back is real.

Its not the just the banks, however, who have caused this problem. Too many people across the country spend money beyond their means. When Rich and I were looking for a house, our credit rating was high enough that any bank would have given us any amount of money we asked for. We could have bought a $1 million dollar house if we wanted to, but whether we wanted to or not, it comes down to what you can AFFORD not what you can GET. We couldn't afford a mortgage for a $1 million dollar house even if a bank would willingly give it to us. We consciously made the decision to buy less than our ideal so that we could own a home that we could afford.

I know many people who bought homes beyond their means and now they are really struggling to pay their mortgages. I've read stories about people who bought expensive homes and are now bankrupt. While I do feel badly for them, they should have known better. Its their own fault that they couldn't keep up with their mortgage.

Ultimately, if the government passes a bailout plan, it would mean higher taxes for everyone. I don't want to, and shouldn't have to, pay for someone else's poor decision making. Just because someone else wanted that status symbol of a big house and big expensive car shouldn't mean that I should help them pay for it. It seems like there are an awful lot of people in the US who think that they should just have these things and that they deserve it, but unfortunately they're not working hard enough to deserve it. If you truly work hard and have a good job and spend/save wisely, you can have that expensive house and car, but its not for free.

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