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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Oct 1, 2008

Recent Daily News on-line polls indicate John McCain should be our next president but there’s no possible way the federal government should bailout failed banks by picking up their defaulted mortgages

McCain received 52 percent approval of those giving their opinions while Barack Obama received 43 percent. “Other” received 5 percent approval.

Only 25 percent of those giving their opinion approved of the federal bailout while 75 percent were against. That’s close to the same percentages that Sen. Chuck Grassley said last week opposed the bailout, 80 percent.

While the poll results may run counter to the national trend giving Obama a slight edge, they’re pretty consistent with the national consensus that the federal government has no business bailing out businesses that behaved irresponsibly.

There are a number of reasons why people oppose the bailout.

The first is, of course, why should taxpayers pay for the irresponsibility of someone else. Understandably so, people are upset. They don’t mishandle their finances that way, and they don’t see why anyone else should either.

Another is the huge severance packages that many CEOs get after lackluster performance, or even worse, downright misconduct or misrepresentation of a company’s balance sheet. If a company shouldn’t be rewarded for misconduct, then a CEO shouldn’t either, the public says.

Another is how can the federal government pretend to bail someone else out when it’s in horrible financial shape itself. That’s a good argument. It’s sort of like someone who can’t swim trying to save the life of someone who is drowning. They’ll both drown as a result.

The only good reason for the federal bailout is that the Dow Jones Industrial Average had a record plunge of 777 points Monday, its worst ever. Another day or two like that, and the fiasco on Wall Street will spread to Main Street.

The only real question is whether it’s too late. Are we trying to put a band-aid on a mortal wound? Will a bail-out only slow the bleeding?

Those are only questions that time and a reversal of the economic policies of the last several decades can change.

One final question is this: Where were the people who are now advocating a bailout when the risky lending practices were happening that got us into this mess.