Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The bailout that really pisses me off

There's plenty to be pissed about. The Wall Street bailout is an obscenity, considering the extraordinary greed and high living of so many in that industry, but I understand why letting the whole system crash wasn't an option. The AIG bailout... Okay, so we don't want people to lack the security their insurance policies are supposed to provide. I get it. I don't like it, but I get it... and at least we get an ownership stake for our tax dollar investment.

The auto makers? Hmmm. Well, the complete collapse of the auto industry would be a heck of a blow to the economy, but perhaps it's time for American auto makers to shrink dramatically. They've been greedy, stupid and shortsighted for long enough. Management, along with the greedy labor unions, have this coming. So I'm not too thrilled with the bailout now being discussed, but maybe we can force modernization, real green cars (not GM's asinine "light hybrid" bullshit cars) and change things so assembly line workers aren't paid like highly skilled professionals (sorry, kids, but screwing on the headlights shouldn't pay like an architect, engineer, etc.).

But the one that really pisses me off? The effort to bail out people who bought more home than they could afford. Marc and I had opportunities through the years to buy bigger houses. We make enough that we could have qualified for much bigger mortgages, even without a bullshit no-money-down loan, but we were responsible (as wild a concept as that seems to be these days) and kept payments to what we could reasonably afford. If people bought McMansions with adjustable-rate mortgages they now can't afford, then foreclosure is a proper answer. If they have any equity built up (many don't, since reasonable down-payments apparently weren't a concern, either), then they'll get the excess money from the sale. For those who are "under water," because the house isn't worth as much, too bad. Our house isn't worth anywhere near what it was a few years ago. Oh well, that's the way things work. There are no guarantees.

Bailing out people who ignored common sense and bought a house they couldn't afford, using the tax money from responsible people like us, is just wrong. And people argue for this sham program with the position that it helps prevent further erosion of real estate values. Hey, has anybody thought that real estate values have become overvalued and should erode? I hear it around here, people moaning about house values. Well, tough shit! The ones I love are the seniors who bought their houses for $10,000 and are moaning that the value has "dropped" to $500,000. Well, boo fucking hoo. These usually are the same people who don't want to pay school taxes, because "I don't have kids in school anymore." Well, you know what, fuckhead? I've never had kids in the schools, and I never will. But I never complain about my school taxes. Paying them is my civic duty! To quote Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, "I like paying taxes. With them, I buy civilization."

But I doubt even the good Justice would have appreciated his taxes bailing out irresponsible people. People making $40,000 a year shouldn't be buying houses that cost $500,000. The math doesn't work, and we shouldn't have to pay for their stupidity. If you did something like that, you should lose your house and move to something you can afford.


Will said...

I have this sinking feeling that the entire country is just going to go out of business. Major industries and banks closing, the government defaulting on social security, medicare and bond payments, everything just grinding to a halt because Bush by his massive incompetence put the coup de grace to a totally broken system.

And just where is the money supposed to come from?

CoffeeDog said...

Well said and I agree with you an many points! The auto bail out sounds fishy to me. Why are we propping up an industry that has failed due to greed and lack of insight into what the consumer wants (a vehicle that is fuel efficient).

And the house thing, amen! Why the fuck we're people thinking that buying more home than they could afford was a good idea? Not to mention the lenders, shame on them as well, to build this house of cards!

tornwordo said...

I totally agree. My first thought was "What you have a couple of bad months and you're going belly up?" Doesn't sound like a sound business to me. I turned Toyota long ago. If we lose the big three, the vacuum will be filled by innovators.

Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

I honestly have nothing more to say than "Right ON Jess!"

(It just so happens that I've had my cheerleader outfit on all week.)

Keywest said...

Could not have said it better myself. I am so tired of having to be responsible for people who refuse to be responsible for themselves. Where, oh where does it end?