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If you or I fail at business, we fail. If we cheat and fail, we go to jail. But if you're rich and politically connected, your incompetence may be protected by a government bailout.
State constitutions typically provide that the state first has to service its debt, then make it pension payments, and then pay for services. What we don't know is whether that order will be enforced. And ultimately, the busted state is going to be looking to the federal government for a bailout. Think Greece, but on a much bigger scale.
Most of us are aware of the sacrificial slaughter of Bear Sterns. Some people call it a bailout, but I call it a handout - a government handout to some of the richest people on Earth, paid for by American taxpayers.
Some taxpayers may object to a print journalism bailout on the grounds that it mostly benefits the liberal elite. And we can't blame taxpayers for being reluctant to subsidize the reportorial careers of J-school twerps who should have joined the Peace Corps and gone to Africa to 'speak truth to power' to Robert Mugabe.
P. J. O'Rourke
After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don't have. But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt, unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country.
Don't reward bad behavior. It is one of the first rules of parenting. During the financial cataclysm of 2008, we said it differently. When we bailed out banks that had created their own misfortune, we called it a 'moral hazard,' because the bailout absolved the bank's bad acts and created an incentive for it to make the same bad loans again.
My mother always taught me that two wrongs don't make a right. We shouldn't bail out Wall Street. We shouldn't bail out Detroit. It will cost the economy more than the cost of the bailout which is more than the politicians think. We'll run into the hundred of millions to prop these companies up.
The blowback against a bailout of Lehman would have been fierce. It is often forgotten, but the prevailing wisdom the day after Lehman fell was that its collapse was a good thing.
Andrew Ross Sorkin
The bailout of Fannie Mae is completely off the books. It's going to cost us hundreds of billions of dollars. Yet nobody is placing this in any type of column in accounting for federal debt.
Four hundred obscenely wealthy individuals, 400 little Mubaraks - most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion-dollar taxpayer bailout of 2008 - now have more cash, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined.
If your bank took bailout money, take your money out of that bank and put it in a credit union. Credit unions are owned by the people who have their money in the credit union.
Both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich supported the Wall Street bailout.
I won't dispute that bankers' privileged treatment in the 2008 crash merits populist scorn. But unfortunately, without a bank bailout, there probably would have been a worldwide depression.
California is going to take themselves off the cliff culturally and economically, fiscally. They are going to be at the trough in Washington wanting a bailout.
The Tea Party grew out of indignation over the Wall Street bailout - an indignation shared by the vast majority of Americans. But the Tea Party ended up directing its ire at government rather than at big business and Wall Street.
Remember the Tea Party movement didn't get started in September of 2008 when the bank bailout was passed. It really began on Feb. 19th, 2009 when a television commentator named Rick Santelli stood up and said what the hell are we doing bailing out people who couldn't afford a mortgage by taking money from people like me who are prudent?
Barack Obama likes to point to General Motors as the poster child for the job creation success of his economic policies. However, whatever your sentiments about the government's bailout of General Motors, for every job Barack Obama 'saved-or-created' in the U.S. there were two jobs off shore.
I opposed No Child Left Behind, I opposed the Medicare prescription drug bill, I opposed the Wall Street bailout. What the American people are starting to see is that Republican, Republicans on Capitol Hill get it and the Democrats, from the White House to Capitol Hill, just don't get it.
I opposed the Medicare prescription drug entitlement. I opposed the Wall Street bailout. I opposed the stimulus bill.
In truth, it's not the shareholders of the American International Group who benefited most from its bailout; they were mostly wiped out. The great beneficiaries have been the creditors and counterparties at the other end of A.I.G.'s derivatives deals - firms like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, Barclays and UBS.
We never intend to lose our jobs, break up with our live-in loves, or face any number of the curveballs life throws our way. But they happen all the same, so have a bailout plan just in case. Sounds corny, but I call this the 'freedom fund' because it gives you the freedom to get out of a jam without climbing into debt.
Alexa Von Tobel
I watch too much cable, I admit. Day after day it gets frustrating. Yesterday I watched as someone called legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout - but I know that's not a view held by many, nor were the views I was frustrated about.
Any bailout of a private company is a bad decision by our federal government. Private companies have the right to succeed, but they also should have the right to fail.
The Great Bailout is mostly over for the banks. But for those troubled behemoths of the nation's housing bust, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the lifeline from Washington just keeps getting longer.
In 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed, we anticipated that Europe was going to have a very different bailout scheme than the U.S. because of their different political systems and different relationships between the central banks and the fiscal authorities.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Henry Van Dyke
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