Asked why taxpayers should be forced to foot the bill to bail out banks, brokerages, insurance companies and other institutions that had made bad bets, Mr. Obama responded, “You know, if my neighbor’s house is on fire, even if they were smoking
in the bedroom or leaving the stove on, right now my main incentive is to put out that fire so that it doesn’t spread to my house.”
When asked the same question seven months later, Ben Bernanke resorted to the same illegitimate analogy: “If you have a neighbor, who smokes in bed. And he’s a risk to everybody. If suppose he sets fire to his house, and you might say to yourself, ‘I’m not gonna call the fire department. Let his house burn down. It’s fine with me.’ But what if your house is made of wood? And it’s right next door to his house? What if the whole town is made of wood? Well, I think we’d all agree that the right thing to do is put out that fire first, and then say, ‘What punishment
is appropriate? How should we change the fire code? What needs to be done to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future? How can we fire proof our houses?’ That’s where we are now. We have a fire going on.”
Comparing a neighbor’s house on fire to spending trillions to bail out failed financial institutions is a totally fraudulent, puerile and transparent analogy … one that happened to be accepted without question by the entire media and foisted upon the public as the logic of the wise.
“Smoking in bed” and “the house on fire” bore no relationship to the reality. More to the point, what if your neighbor is a compulsive gambler who lost his fortune in Vegas and is now losing his house? Should the “whole town” be taxed for generations to come so that your neighbor is able to retain possession of his McMansion? And for his gross failures, should he be further rewarded with millions in “executive compensation” so he can travel first class back to Vegas to continue his wasteful, profligate ways?
Moreover, if the guy next door had burned down his house, wouldn't the fire department take away his matches?
But, as I have previouslypointed out, Obama's proposed economic regulations are like a law which makes arson illegal, butexempts convicted arsonists.
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