February 23, 2009

Bubble Vision

This weekend, there was quite a bit of buzz on the blogs about Rick Santelli?s ?Rant Heard ?Round the World,? in which he called out Obama and Geithner for crafting a homeowner rescue bill that ?rewards bad behavior? and forces responsible taxpayers to foot the bill for house-flippers and ?predatory borrowers? who took on mortgages they knew they could never pay back. The Chicago-based analyst even talked about some kind of anti-Obama ?Tea Party? on Lake Michigan. 

I?m, of course, in agreement with Santelli on the details, and, indeed, I think the bill is actually far worse than what he describes. Not only is the government arbitrarily intervening in private contracts, and thus overturning basic property rights, but I have no doubt that it’ll inspire many people to simply stop paying their mortgages, even if they?re quite able to, and thus make the program much, much more expensive than its current 75 billion-dollar price tag.

Or it could turn out even more ridiculous. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago when a rescue bill was being floated,

[H]ere?s what I?d be doing if I were underwater with one of those recently socialized mortgages, and I was completely lacking in integrity and moral character. First, I?d quit whatever job I had and find a really crappy, minimum-wage one, or none at all, so that the government would feel sorry for me and give me a low interest rate and monthly payment. Then I?d rent out all the rooms in my McMansion to my buddies and become a full-time landlord on the taxpayer?s dime. It?s the ?ownership society.?

Anyway, Santelli’s rant was a good things, but we should still chortle at the notion there?s some kind of freedom revolution occurring on cablenews. Santelli also opposed the Wall Street bailouts, if less vociferously, but the other celebrities on his network most definitely did not?and, indeed, most of them are cut from the same cloth as Hank Paulson and Larry Kudlow, who talked up the wonders of the American economy nonstop, and then after the collapse of Lehman began demanding that Washington bailout the bankers lest the sky begin falling  

Don Harrold has put together a video, both hilarious and depressing, that displays just how evil BubbleVision can be: 

Buy the bubble. The Fed?s on our side. Trust me.

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