The View From 1776

Thomas Sowell Opines on the Bailout

Read A Political “Solution”: Part II, by Thomas Sowell.

Key quote:

But bailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense that bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos. It makes political sense only to people like Senator Dodd, who are among the reasons for the financial mess in the first place.

People usually stop making ill-advised decisions when they are forced to face the consequences of those decisions, not when politicians come to their rescue and make the taxpayers pay for decisions that the taxpayers had nothing to do with.

The Wall Street Journal, which has for years been sounding the alarm about the riskiness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recently cited Senator Christopher Dodd along with Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Barney Frank among those on Capitol Hill who have been “shilling” for these financial institutions, downplaying the risks and opposing attempts to restrict their free-wheeling role in the mortgage market.

As recently as July of this year, Senator Dodd declared Fannie Mae and Freddie “fundamentally strong” and said there is no need for “panicking” about them. But now that the chickens have come home to roost, Senator Dodd wants to be sure to get some goodies from the rescue legislation to pass out to people likely to vote for him.

Let’s hope that some good for the whole nation comes from this fiasco.  Number one on the wish list is a return to the ethos that prevailed in the United States from the early 17th century into the early 1960s: the understanding that everyone must work and save before buying and that debt is to be avoided like the plague.


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/26 at 04:16 PM
  1. The View didn't mention George Bush's pleas for a 'bailout'. (He looked scared and shell-shocked when he spoke to the Nation the other day, this generally cocksure individual.) I wonder what his motive was, other than to correct the wrongs done, that this debacle doesn't destroy his already bruised and tarnished legacy?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/27  at  10:21 AM
  2. Mr. Airth,

    You have erred in your description. Bush's legacy is not merely "tarnished." Without any doubt, it will be remembered as the worst eight-year nightmare in American History:

    Unnecessary and unending war in Iraq @ $10 billion a month
    Abu Ghraib
    Kangaroo Courts
    Water boarding
    Destruction of America's international reputation
    Illegal black prison sites
    Extraordinary Rendition
    Halliburton no-bid contracts
    Recess Appointments
    Warrantless wiretapping
    Fired U.S. Attorneys
    Loss of Habeus Corpus
    Doubling of the National Debt
    Denying Global Warming
    Arrest and permanent detention of anybody without charge on the say-so of the President

    And now, a glorious finale!

    Complete collapse of the country's banking system and a $700 billion golden parachute for his Wall Street buddies.

    Mr. Airth, this is not a mere "bruised" legacy. This is the mother of all depredations wrought by an individual on the formerly great United States of America. The damage Ossama Bin Laden caused on 9-11 pales before the destruction caused by this administration.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/27  at  12:06 PM
  3. Pat,

    Thanks for the list of those great achievements.

    Don't forget, Bush still has a few more months to screw up things.

    But, as you say, this economic crises is a great finale to his stinking administration, the worse ever. He certain helped destroy America's exceptionalism and preeminence.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/27  at  12:31 PM
  4. "S.E.C. Concedes Oversight Flaws Fueled Collapse. The commission
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/27  at  12:45 PM
  5. Common Sense Trumps Biased Illogical Venom

    Pat and David should go into professional wrestling--with black masks--as the ultimate tag team of bad guys. Then someone like Jesse Ventura might beat some sense into their closed minds.

    My complaint is that these two America haters echo each other's distorted thinking without regard to simple logic. They look for a couple "crimes" during an eight year administration and condemn the President for those deeds.

    Realize that there have been crimes in all administrations -- it's what a small minority of people do. For example, there have been on-going courtmartials for many decades in the military. Usually there are three or four hundred going on at any point in time, and they may drag on for half a year. That would mean there are six hundred to eight hundred per year. That would mean that one out of every five thousand servicemen were implicated in some crime in any given year. Some of these crimes would be murder, rape, torture, theft, etc. That would also mean there were over 5,000 such crimes committed by servicemen during each of Clinton's and Reagan's terms in office.

    We don't rationally blame those Presidents for those crimes. And yet a third of Pat's "nightmare" listing involves just that sort of recurring incidents. Clearly, his brain and pen are not connected! In fact, he should be happy and proud that the crime rate among servicemen is far below that of private citizens who do not serve! Like ivory snow, our servicemen are 99.96% pure--do the math!

    And of course blaming "Katrina" on Bush is ludicrous and links the accuser among the most irrational critics. Blame God if you must for acts of nature, but spare the national government.

    The local governments in New Orleans can be faulted, but the feds have enough to account for. Indeed the current financial mess that Pat and David deplore was largely caused by the federal government, but it was Congress and the Obama advisors at Freddie Mac that loosened the reins and encouraged easy credit.

    If Bush is to be criticized it could be for not attacking the big government advocates and crooked lobbyists at Fannie Mae (a government agency) more vigorously. His relative inability to unmask those who would undermine America is understandable since those dissidents are so entrenched in D.C. However, when McCain/Palin get to Washington, we may all be pleased to see some improvement.

    And about that "international reputation" thing. Pat and David are Obama bed-fellows in that they want to be "liked" by the European elites and diplomats--the types of leaders who led the world into three world wars during the last century and needed America to bail them out! Girly-men mistakenly confuse affection for respect, talk for action, and diplomatic niceties for real influence.

    The supreme top dog is rarely liked--but the best way to protect our citizens, is to be respected. Our leaders, like Bush and Reagan, do us more good chopping wood on their farm than eating off fancy china in Paris, Munich and London.
    Posted by bill greene  on  09/28  at  10:40 AM
  6. This NYT article is interesting since they usually cover for the Democrats Destructive Deeds, but here they hint at the real perps:

    "Taking On the Mortgage Giants"
    New York Times - September 26, 2008

    It turns out that Republicans tried to blow the whistle : Senators Chuck Hagel, Elizabeth Dole and John E. Sununu were the main players in trying to rein in mortgage lenders.

    From the article:

    Posted by bill greene  on  09/28  at  11:03 AM
  7. Nice gloss-over, bill greene.

    We are not haters, just realists, not wearing tinted glasses, as you are. We understand many people are culpable in this crises, but this president more than most. And don't forget, if the shoe was on the other foot, if it was a Democrat in the White House who had committed what Bush has, under his watch, you would be all over him. And we would agree with you.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/28  at  11:11 AM
  8. Bill:

    Point by point:

    1) This week Bush was directly implicated in approval of torture by Condi Rice. The problems of Abu Gharib and Guantanamo did not come from a few low level bad apples in the army - they came directly from the top.

    2) Bush famously appointed incompetent cronies (remember "heck-of-a-job" Mike Brown, the horse judge?) to FEMA, thereby assuming the responsibility for the failure of the rescue of Katrina victims. The storm was an act of God, but the response was a failure of Bush.

    3) Phil Gramm and Bush gutted the financial regs that allowed Fannie and Freddie to embark on their highly leveraged dealings.

    4) Since Bush, the USA is neither loved NOR respected, and has lost influence and clout in the world. After the bogus Bush Doctrine was instituted, that allows countries to invade others if they think down the road sometime there might be a threat to them, the world is a sadder and more dangerous place.

    5) Your final comment is ridiculous. Bush is the least "respected" President in history. Not only is he considered a teller of lies, but he is aptly known as a buffoon. With our army needlessly stuck in the quagmire of Iraq, the mighty US is a toothless tiger. Why do you think the Ruskies went into Georgia?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/28  at  11:19 AM
  9. bill greene,

    I can't believe that even you, as a conservative and a citizen, is not angry at Bush for humbling America's position in the world, and expanding government. He, more than any individual, has done this.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/28  at  11:28 AM
  10. Bush, as leader, has put America in such an embarrassing position it is unbelievable, what with the war on terror and the financial crises.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/28  at  11:52 AM
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