Foundersfreedom Blog

American virtue, free speech and renewal

The New Patriotism

Posted by foundersfreedom on February 24, 2009

From the Columbus Dispatch.   Got this from my buddy Brian in Toledo.

 Given that most of you will be paying your neighbors’ mortgages soon, it only seems prudent that we start thinking in bolder terms. And by thinking in bolder terms, I mean thinking about me.
Why, for instance, should I be on the hook to pay those grating high-interest credit cards I signed up for? Or those detestable car payments?

For you folks who are less than ecstatic about straightening out my fiscal affairs, well, I have two things to say: Don’t be selfish. Forget everything you ever have heard about the American Revolution.

Taxes, extreme government spending and wealth redistribution are patriotic. And you’re going to see so much patriotism your kids will be pigtailed ubernationalists by the time they hit kindergarten.

Last week, President Barack Obama heroically signed away $787 billion for so-called stimulus. He reportedly praised a Republican supporter for her patriotism in supporting the bill which, by logical extension, means that those who voted no are unpatriotic toads.

Your president loves his country so much that he would sacrifice up to $275 billion of your money to keep the housing bubble bubbling, with almost no legislation or debate required. Obama claims his mortgage bailout would give a second chance to those “homeowners who have played by the rules (and) have been making their payments on time.”

Who knew that playing by the rules comes with a government warranty? After all, I might play by the rules and engage in bizarrely self-destructive behavior. You might not. You might have played by the rules — invested in the stock market, a home, a business, a career — and found yourself stuck with a financial dud.

But consequences are the incentive to avoid risky behavior. So why are we rewarding failure and attempting to abolish consequences? Many of the homeowners being bailed out by the government took the unnecessarily chancy loans that helped fuel the financial jam we’re in.

More than 90 percent of Americans, though, pay their mortgages on time, follow the rules and, for the most part, live in homes they can afford. If you are among them, you don’t deserve help. Though, luckily, you will be subsidizing those who acted recklessly. Remember: country first. And if you happen to be a renter who pinched and scraped in hopes of one day owning a home responsibly, you are out of luck, too. Just consider it your patriotic duty.

The more irresponsibly you behave, in fact, the more government works for you. Last week, the federal government doubled its commitment to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, promising to reimburse the companies up to $400 billion for the losses they sustained from their investments in mortgage loans.

Yes, the same Freddie and Fannie — once implicitly guaranteed by government and now explicitly run by government — that helped, through social engineering, to push us into recession. It is vital, apparently, that we keep them afloat.

The only business plan that is more staggeringly counterproductive came from the auto industry, which is back for another bite.

In last year’s second quarter, GM lost about $118,000 a minute. So naturally, GM would like another $16.6 billion so it can fire 47,000 people. Makes sense.

After meting out nearly $1 trillion of government expansion in the stimulus — including the canard of “tax relief,” which, in effect, was only more wealth spreadin’ — how can Washington say no to anyone?

Obama has told us the American dream must be saved. So far, his remedy entails government rewarding bad behavior, encouraging dependency, subsidizing failure and penalizing success and prosperity.

It’s the new patriotism.

David Harsanyi writes for The Denver Post.

 

dharsanyi@denverpost.com

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