The Cost of Good Intentions

Beware those with good intentions — those intentions cost a lot.

In the case of New York and a half dozen or so states, about 500 million bucks to help those sunk in the sub-prime swamp.

Backers refuse to call helping them out "bailing them out." But I do.

You're bailing them out of bills they cannot pay and contracts they shouldn't have signed.

Maybe they were duped. Maybe they were fooled. Or maybe they were just stupid.

But the great — and tough — thing about living in a free country is that we're free to make mistakes too.

We're free not to look at the fine print and free not to understand that adjustable rates mean they can adjust up.

But we're also free to suffer the consequences.

Let's not forget about the neighbor next door who is paying his bills and is struggling to pay them on time too. No one's bailing him out.

No reward for the guy trying to do the right thing — a big reward for the guy stuck in a bad thing.

Ask yourself, is that fair? Is that right?

I'm all for urging private lenders to renegotiate with private clients, who'd otherwise default. It's in their interest not to let that happen, not taxpayers' interest to make sure it won't.

Capitalism is about choices: You choose to take on a mortgage, you choose to accept the responsibility that comes with that mortgage, not hope that if things hit the fan, taxpayers will essentially rescue you from that mortgage.

What's next: Bail out the guy who can't pay his credit bills, or car payments, or student loans?

I don't mean to sound heartless.

I'm just more worried about elected officials who sound clueless.

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