Should We Bail Out Stupid? - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Should We Bail Out Stupid?

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By By: Mike Royer

I’ve learned most of life’s lessons the hard way, always have. I once joined a really cool health spa when I was in college earning $55.00 a week. I soon realized that I couldn’t afford to belong to a really cool health spa and was reminded of it every month for almost two years as I wrote checks I couldn’t afford to write until my obligation to the not-so-understanding owners of the really cool health spa were paid in full. That was stupid, but I learned from it.

I once gave a friend of mine $4000.00 dollars to invest in a “can’t miss” real estate plan. It was can’t miss and so complicated I didn’t even understand how the deal worked. I’ve never seen the $4000.00 or all the profit my friend assured me I’d see. That was stupid, but I learned from it. I’ve not seen that friend much since then.

Now, our elected officials are considering a 3-billion dollar bailout for people who are in danger of having their home mortgages go into foreclosure because it turned out that they couldn’t afford the loans, the monthly payments and certainly couldn’t afford the penalties that came with failing to make their payments. The 3-billion dollar bailout will also fund the banks and lenders who made loans to the people who couldn’t afford them in the first place. The banks and lending companies in many cases knew they were making loans that were at the very least risky. They made bad loans and the people who took out the loans either didn’t know or didn’t believe they’d be unable to pay their mortgages.

I really believe there are folks who have never connected the dots between government bailout and their own wallets. There are folks who believe that the government is this independent entity that has its own money and can pay for things we can’t pay for. The money for this bailout and all government bailouts come from you and me, if you pay taxes. It’s our money; the government doesn’t have any money that they don’t get from us.

I’m not anti-tax, not at all. I’ve paid a lot of taxes for a lot of years and I’m glad to. I’m glad my tax money is spent to build roads and bridges. I’m glad my tax money is spent to feed hungry children who come from poor families or families where parents fail to feed them themselves. I want to pay taxes for our military and our park system and police agencies that actually serve and protect and solve crimes. What I don’t want to do is pay the mortgage for people who buy homes they can’t afford. I’ve lived in several apartments in my time, not because I love thin walls and no yard, but because at the time I couldn’t afford to buy a home. Sure, everyone wants to own their own home, but how about saving some money, make more money until you get to where you can qualify for a legitimate home loan that barring illness or unemployment you can afford. I hesitate to mention personal responsibility because I know how it is generally looked down upon.

Do you know how much money 3-billion dollars is. I don’t, but it looks like this…. $3,000,000,000.00. It’s billion with a B and its money that could be spent more wisely. Spending billions to bail out bad decision making by large lenders and individuals is simply a bad idea. It never dawned on me that the government (taxpayers) would fix my dumb mistakes in the past, and I promise not to come calling when I make my next stupid decision…………. And make it I will.

See you tonight at 4:30, 5:00, 6:00 and 10pm.

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