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Posted on Apr 23, 2008 in Across the US, Beltway Politics, Congress, Economy, Government, Spending, Taxes

Is the Government Rewarding Irresponsibility?

I’ve made many posts here regarding my opposition to an alarming trend that I’ve seen growing rampantly here in Washington, a trend that all Americans will pay for, but only a few will reap the benefits of – government bailouts.

While the unorthodox treatment that Bear Stearns got from the Federal Reserve a few weeks ago was enough to cause short-term chaos in financial markets across the globe, the more troubling bailout, without a doubt, is one aimed at the mortgage markets.

Anyone who has received some sort of formal education understands that you shouldn’t borrow more money than you can afford, and more importantly shouldn’t sign a contract where you aren’t 100% confident of the specified terms and/or rates.

Even so, the government has felt the need to take responsibility for the actions of these irresponsible borrowers, and seems to think that using taxpayer money to stabilize these loans is going to be the best approach to preventing more long-term economic turmoil.

While I haven’t seen seen one good bailout proposal, I’m pleased to see that there are concerned citizens who are rallying against this showing of fiscal irresponsibility by both a select group consumers and the government.

What’s even more pleasing is that many of these people who are rallying against these bailouts aren’t usual suspects.

The impressive part of this movement isn’t the families with the 2.5 kids, white picket fence in the suburbs, etc, who have made smart financial decisions and are usually the first to rally against foolish government intervention. Sure, many of them are on board with opposing these bailouts, as they should be, but the really impressive thing is the number of renters who are following what is happening and realizing that they are getting screwed more than any other group of people.

A few weeks ago, FreedomWorks launched a site called AngryRenter.com, with the goal of bringing attention to how renters are being affected by these ridiculous bailouts.

Keep in mind that renters, for a variety of reasons, have chosen not to buy homes. For many, they are waiting for the market to get better, for others they are waiting until they have more money and for some, they just don’t want to deal with the responsibility.

(here is a great video by Peter Suderman summing things up)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOaDrM3rMXs[/youtube]

Regardless of their rationale, is their any argument that can justify sticking the burden of covering these bad mortgages on people who don’t even have them? There is absolutely no argument for that.

Of course, the early results of AngryRenter.com clearly show that this is now an issue that has upset many, and if Congress wants to prevent their less than stellar approval rating from reaching new depths, they might want to pay attention.

In only a few weeks, AngryRenter.com has already gathered nearly 12,000 signers to their petition, and I don’t see any reason why that number wont grow exponentially in the near future.

I urge everyone to check out the site, sign the petition and even forward it on to your friends.

It’s tough to get Congress to pay attention to even the biggest issues sometimes, but when you present them with tens of thousands of names, they usually wake up… at least the good ones do.