As we taxpayers get dragged up to the plate to bail out one firm or another, let's recall that major culprits in all of this were the two massive Government Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Dressed in drag as private firms, they wheeled and dealed, getting involved in some way in one of every two mortgages, with us taxpayers behind the scenes guaranteeing their excesses.
Did we learn anything from the failures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Did we learn that taxpayer guarantees for business is a formula for failure?
How can we say we learned anything if this is exactly what we are doing now to deal with the problems that this very behavior caused to begin with?
In a nice column in the New York Times the other day, David Leonhardt recalls the bailout of Chrysler in 1979. This was supposedly a success. And where is Chrysler today? And the whole American auto industry? Eclipsed by the Japanese and looking for another bailout.
Today's financial crisis is not the worst problem we have. America has survived many crises, some far, far worse than this.
Our most serious problem is a loss of focus on American principles of freedom and limited constitutional government.
It's a sign of our troubled times that there appears to be no leader -- political or business -- who even pays lip service to this.