When government 'helps'

When government 'helps'

March 20th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Nobody likes to see a person lose his job and then lose his home to foreclosure because he can't make the payments. But is it a constitutional responsibility of the federal government to intervene in such a situation and force taxpayers to begin making an unfortunate person's mortgage payments?

Washington apparently thinks so.

You may have read in the Chattanooga Times Free Press that for the first time, a federal program will start making mortgage payments and covering other home-related costs each month for people who have lost their jobs or who are severely underemployed.

The $7.5 billion federal program will spend $217 million in Tennessee, and the assistance will drag on for more than a year in some cases.

"[T]he program will make homeowners' payments on their mortgage and mortgage-related expenses such as property taxes, homeowner insurance, homeowner association dues and even past-due mortgage payments that accumulated during a period of unemployment," the news story reported.

Do you really feel it's your duty to pay someone else's homeowner association dues?

Of course, it's misleading to say that the "federal government" will make the payments. Where does the federal government get its money, after all? From current and future taxpayers in the form of taxes and borrowing.

It is a testament to Washington's unwillingness to deal with economic reality that this latest multibillion-dollar bailout is taking place at a time when our national debt already exceeds a crippling $14 trillion.

Private charitable aid certainly should be extended to those who are really trying to find work to make their house payments. But digging our federal government even deeper into debt - when we already are paying hundreds of billions of dollars in interest on that debt each year - is nothing short of grossly irresponsible.