Dems and Republicans switch roles on US$700B TARP
For decades, the following political reality held true in the United States:
A man goes into a gun shop and buys a handgun. The owner sizes him up and concludes the sale is appropriate; it’s in the Constitution, after all. Sometime later, the customer uses the gun to kill someone.
In reaction, some Democrats demand tighter gun control, while Republican congressional representatives retort that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
As the week wound down in Washington, and House Republicans attempted to stir up public discontent over the alleged Wall Street “Bailout”, the roles have been reversed. Change the word guns for Alt-A mortgage:
A man (woman) goes into a bank and gets a mortgage. The lender looks over the application and concludes that if this person says they can afford the house / boat / condo, then the mortgage will be advanced. Sometime later, the customer goes into default.
Republicans cry that the Alt-A mortgage shouldn’t have been advanced by CountryWide (ultimately financed by Wall Street CDOs), and complain that rampant loose lending practices have killed the financial standing of the customers in question. But, it is Wall Street who should bail itself out, they argue, even though their constituents were the ones who applied for the mortgages to buy the homes that were beyond their means.
In this case, it isn’t the people who “kill” people in the traditional sense of the Republican gun control counter-argument, it’s the person who sold them the gun / mortgage who must be held solely responsible. The House Republicans seem to defend individual freedom when it comes to making a decision to buy a Beretta 96, but not securing a mortgage.
An odd reversal of roles.