I don’t care if my neighbor gets government help in paying or renegotiating his mortgage.
I don’t mind if my neighbors are in “too much house,” or if they gambled that rising real estate values would make it possible for them to pay back a loan that was unrealistic for them. I don’t know if they were conniving bastards who put the whole economy at risk with their irresponsible borrowing, or if they were conned by a mortgage broker who was getting a fat commission and passing the risk on to clueless investors down the line.
There seems to be a lot of righteous indignation about the possibility that some people are going to get something for nothing here, and at taxpayer expense, but I’m not indignant. I’m pretty ticked off at the bankers and brokers and hedge fund managers who recklessly plunged us into this economic mess and have now walked away with comfortable fortunes while the rest of us scramble to survive, but individual homeowners? Not so much.
Personally, I don’t think it’s very important to own a house. There are plenty of ways to live that don’t involve marking off a piece of turf and saying it’s “yours,” but if some folks want to do that and feel happy in their lives because of it, I say fine. And because the real estate market and mortgage-backed securities have become such an integral part of the overall world economy, I think we — and by “we” I mean the federal government –Â ought to do what we can to stabilize that market and those securities, and if some people “get away” with something, that’s a small price to pay if it helps get us out of this depression.
Think of it as collateral damage in reverse: When we bomb a neighborhood in Afghanistan, we often kill and maim innocent people who happen to live next door to the terrorist targets we’re trying to get, and we shrug and call it collateral damage, one of the costs of war. On the other hand, when we rescue a neighborhood over here, maybe we’ll accidentally help people who are not deserving, along with the targeted honest homeowners. Let it go, people. It’s just the cost of repairing the economy.
The important thing is getting the country back on its feet and helping the deserving and needy people who are in over their heads. If some opportunistic deadbeats get a break, who cares?