Personal Responsibility 1776-2008 R.I.P.

As much as America may need the bailout,  if the bill comes out laden with earmarks and other spending that has nothing to do with the current situation, John McCain should vote against it. 

Personal responsibility is the only loser in this bailout.  Despite warnings from Alan Greenspan, John McCain, and even Presidents Bush, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and others in the Democratic party did nothing to prevent the current situation.  Even Bill Clinton used his power of 20/20 hindsight recently to say that he pushed too far on relaxing housing regulations in the 90’s and encouraged Democratic support of these measures too much.  The American taxpayers will be protected in this bill but only from further inaction by Congress.  The fact will remain that they will not be protected from themselves. 

Even as Washington mutual was failing last week, I was receiving multiple credit offers from them in the mail.  This is a company I have never had any dealings with, nor ever sought any dealings from.  Yet I was faced with the prospect of another credit line in these offers.  Over the past decade Americans have fallen for these offers (I am no exception) hook, line and sinker.  Promises of low rates and long terms are attractive when times are good.  But as the housing market slowed and economic growth slowed (it has never stopped), Americans started to blame everyone but themselves for the credit crisis.  Whereas a year ago they could afford an adjustable rate mortgage and 2 of each brand name credit cards, all with pictures of their favorite teams or animals,  a year later they are faced with bankrupcy and are looking to the government for help all because they made bad decisions. 

America and Americans have made some bad decisions in the past decade.  This is not a crisis that started with Bush and will end with the saving power of Barack Obama.  The only way this crisis will be resolved is for America’s leaders to put together a bill that is clean and Americans themselves to look at their own situation and resolve never to go back.  John McCain is a believer in personal responsibility, just like President Bush,  but his back is against Wall Street on this bill.  But voting against a bill laden with earmarks or extra spending is the right thing to do in this situation, even if it costs him the election.

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