Friday, May 7, 2010

Bumper Sticker Ranting

On my lunchtime walk today (it's a beautiful day with the smell of flowers in the air), I passed some massive SUV with a bumper sticker stating: "Honk if I'm paying your mortgage". Cute. I'm assuming that this person is feeling like "his" tax money is going to pay off mortgages for "irresponsible" homeowners. And there were people who bought homes irresponsibly! But this attitude neglects to take into account that there were also predatory lending practices, whereby someone who didn't do their due diligence (or perhaps weren't that intelligent - not everyone is a genius) didn't realize that they were being irresponsible. I believe that being guided into a bad decision shouldn't ruin the rest of your financial life, but that's just me.

Having said that, I'd also point out that I'm unaware of any programs where taxpayer money is going directly towards paying down consumer mortgages. But I also wonder how bumper-sticker guy would react if they lost their job because the collapse of the housing sector took town the entire economy? I love how these people always rail against "bailouts" but never have any solution to the problems that would arise in the absence of such bailouts.

IMO, this person's ire would be better directed towards poor stimulus ideas like the Homebuyer Tax Credit... which is quite simply a giveaway to the middle class that did very little to stimulate people to buy houses that weren't already looking to buy.

In short, criticism is easy. Providing constructive ideas is hard. A free subscription to Thought Ambience for the first person that can come up with a bumper sticker containing a solution to our financial woes!

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