Saturday, December 01, 2007

No bad deed...

The administration is now finalizing a plan to rescue people who are in danger of losing their homes due to the resetting of interest rates on loans that were taken out with low initial, “teaser” interest rates. The plan is that the loans will be frozen at the lower rate for several years.

I’m no economist, so I don’t know what effect this plan will have on the economy of the country, nor do I know what the effect would be of letting those loans be foreclosed. What I do know is this.

For years I have been receiving advertising importuning me to refinance my home and take out money to finance a “better lifestyle,” telling me how much money I could save with lower payments. Knowing that there is no such thing as a free lunch, I ignored those ads and stayed with my 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. I felt that doing otherwise was financially reckless.

If nothing else, people who took out loans they could not afford were guilty of bad judgement in that they accepted advice on a major financial decision from someone who was a total stranger to them.

My reward is that people who took out those bad loans, either through greed or ignorance, are now paying a lower interest rate than I am, thanks to a government that rewards greed and punishes thrift and financial conservatism.

So this plan not only rewards bad behavior, it punishes those who decided not to engage in that bad behavior. Which brings me to the title of this piece, the credo of our present government:

No bad deed goes unrewarded.

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