Want A World of Idiots? Taxpayer Bailout Will Work
A taxpayer bailout of distressed homeowners would be expensive, unfair to the vast majority of homeowners and renters who have made prudent financial decisions, and set a troubling precedent that would invite reckless behavior in the future. What's more, a bailout will not stop the inevitable correction in home prices, and is unlikely to prevent the associated economic repercussions.
It is self-evident that any bailout fund will be complex to administer, as well as arbitrary and unfair. While the plight of many who were caught up in the housing mania is tragic, a bailout package would almost certainly reward the least deserving. Those facing the greatest risk of foreclosure -- and presumably those who would get most of the taxpayer aid -- are those who bought a much more expensive house than they could afford, spent the equity of their once-affordable home, or lied about their income to qualify for a loan they otherwise would not have received.
Policies designed to suspend the laws of economics inevitably produce unintended consequences. Today's housing bust is itself the unintended consequence of an easy Federal Reserve monetary policy designed to cushion the economy from the fallout of the bursting of the tech bubble. Congress should reject a taxpayer bailout.
From today's WSJ editorial by Andy Laperriere
Bottom Line: If we make the world safe for idiots (and reckless borrowers) with taxpayer bailouts, we'll create a world full of idiots (and reckless borrowers).